According to research psychologists, burnout has three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization (or cynicism), and the feeling of personal inefficacy. To measure it, they administer a questionnaire called the Maslach Burnout Inventory, named for Christina Maslach, a leading burnout researcher for four decades.
Maslach and her coauthor, Michael Leiter, identify six main causes of burnout that arise within organizations: too much work, lack of control, too little reward, unfairness, conflicting values, and the breakdown of community. If you experience these in your job for long enough, you’re likely to go home every day feeling empty, bitter, and useless.
“We call them personal emergency days,” Mr. Marsen said.
Broadening the definition gives employees greater privacy, Mr. Marsen said. It also takes into consideration mental health and whether a child or another family member who depends on the employee is sick and requires care.
No longer does the employee have to “sell” their sickness to their boss with a list of symptoms.