Have you ever noticed how people mentally leave a job sometimes years or months and months before they physically do? And have you ever noticed the small tell tale signs that signal this is happening? The signs I’ve recognised in myself (in the days when I used to be an employee) and seen in others, over time include a lessening in overall energy; a growing lack of enthusiasm over work; an increasing slowness to make decisions or to do the work in hand; sometimes a reluctance to embark on new work tasks or responsibilities; and an incongruence between what is often verbally expressed – “work’s fine, really” and what is expressed non-verbally – “I can’t stand it anymore”. There is little to be done to help people who have mentally left the job but physically still there, other than talk to them about it if you are in a position to do so and it is appropriate to talk to them about what you have seen and heard. Sometimes naming the state for what it actually is, is helpful as some people don’t recognise the feelings for what they are. If you are a manager and someone’s performance is suffering because of the state they are in, you may need to confront the performance issues head on. You could also encourage and support people to explore their options, if they do admit to being trapped in a role they no longer want to be in and are mentally elsewhere, most of the time.