Burnout at work is a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress, according to the mental health website Verywell Mind. Burnout is characterized by exhaustion, sarcasm and feelings of reduced skilled ability. It affects one’s physical and mental health negatively. Workplace burnout was a severe problem before the pandemic, and it has grown, according to a 2021 article on Forbes.com.
The foremost causes for employees undergoing burnout are not having enough time to complete their work, lack of communication and support from their manager, lack clarity about their role or job duties and feeling as if their boss is mistreating them. Unsurprisingly, employees who feel strongly supported by their manager are 70% less likely to experience burnout.
In both private and public sector organizations, burnout signs are similar. As a manager, you will see some of your team becoming more withdrawn, irritable and angry. You will also see decreased morale, apathy, a decline in job performance and more conflict between co-workers and colleagues. You may also see higher rates of absence due to mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression, sleeplessness and increased misuse of alcohol and other substances. This may explain the high turnover rates in the workplaces and why recruiting and retaining quality staff is increasingly challenging.
To reduce workplace burnout, according to Workplace Strategies for Mental Health (Canadian workplace mental health advocate), take the following steps:
Have honest conversations with employees about their wellness.
Provide clear work expectations and ensure they are understood.
Provide ongoing training to maintain competency.
Be respectful,empathetic,and acknowledge employee contributions.
Enforce reasonable work hours and realistic work expectations.
Foster a culture of mutual support and respect in the workplace.
Support physical activity and taking breaks throughout workday.
Burnout causes people to feel exhausted, incapable of coping and drained. They often lack the energy to get their work done. Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work or home when someone’s main job involves caring for family members.
Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion might look like feeling exhausted no matter how much sleep you get, inability to relax, changes in sleep patterns, body aches, getting or feeling sick more frequently, skipping meals, feeling listless, and lack of motivation in non-work areas of life.
Recovery is different for all of us because everybody reacts differently to stress. Using different recovery techniques depends on the situation. Some people are very physically affected by burnout. Others will experience purely psychological or emotional symptoms.
The key to unlocking a healthy relationship with work is to invest in daily acts of self-care. By striking a work-life balance, you can focus on your well-being in a way that makes sense for your values, ideals, and capacities.
I know this may be easier said than done. Sometimes, you can use a little extra support to stay committed to daily stress management.