Managing Burnout In the Workplace:
If you feel burned out from work, you’re not alone. Workers all around the world are feeling the pressures of their demanding jobs. As a result, more people in the workplace are experiencing exhaustion, cynical thinking, and a lack of motivation at their job. The trick is managing burnout in the workplace. Easier said then done no doubt, and most notably starts with how one copes with tough situations.
Burnout in the workplace shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, scientists are starting to study the effects of burnout as it continues to rise. As a result, recent research has shown that people who experience work burnout frequently, are at risk for a host of health issues. This includes high blood pressure, insomnia, and even cognitive decline.
A recent 2019, systematic review and meta analysis showed both statistical significance in depression-burnout, and anxiety-burnout relationships.
Even after recovery, some of the effects of burnout can remain. The brain and body are changed under the weight of burnout. However, there is some hope. If you can prevent burnout, or stop it in its tracks early, the damage to your health can be minimized or halted all together.
Figuring out if you are actually suffering from “work burnout” is also complex in it of itself. Work burnout versus “something else” could be at fault of your current state of mind. Some research suggests people who have experienced symptoms of job burnout, don’t actually think it’s about their work.
Many organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) have taken notice of this worldwide issue. More evidence is also mounting that work burnout is not always about the individual, but has a lot to do with the “workplace” environment itself.
Staggering research numbers have now been associated with workplace stress, health cost, as well as mortality rates. According to some Stanford research this has led to health costs of around $190 billion (that’s right, we said BILLION)! Mortality numbers are around 120,000 deaths per year.
To help, we’ll talk about the causes of work burnout. Furthermore, we’ll discuss ways you can effectively manage burnout at work.
What Causes Work Burnout?
Work burnout happens for a variety of reasons. The type of profession you’re in can also have a huge impact on the type of burnout you’re feeling, and why. Oftentimes, there is no quick fix to the issue of true burnout. In addition, it can effect our health in different ways.
Here, we’ll introduce some of the most common causes of burnout.
You Have No Say At Work:
In some jobs, it’s become harder to say no over your workload, your schedule, or your work assignments. In this situation, you might feel a loss of control and hopelessness, especially if you feel like you have no freedom or ability to speak up about being assigned too much work.
This issue goes hand and hand with having a job, assignments, or job role with unclear expectations. Issue’s arise like; who can you turn to? How much authority do you have?
More job flexibility and freedom, leads to less burnout and a healthier and most likely longer life-span. On the other hand, a job that forces work and unreasonable hours, can lead to burnout and health issues both short and long term.
Your Workplace is Toxic:
Toxic work environments are another common cause of work burnout. Now keep in mind a “toxic” environment can include and mean many different things. Furthermore, can be associated with many different variants.
However, probably the most damaging type of work spaces involve abusive managers, bosses or coworkers. Working under a tyrannical or unfair boss is the reason many people leave their jobs. As such, staying in your role with a boss of this nature, can increase your chances of depression and burnout, or being subject to further abuse.
Keep in mind this doesn’t just have to be boss-employee. This can also be lateral workplace violence, employee-employee or even, an employee directed behaviors towards their boss.
Does your job have unfair expectations of you, and what you can achieve or produce daily, with unwavering chaotic energy to get things done? Is there this constant pressure to be focused 100% of the time? This to, can lead to fatigue and attribute to workplace burnout.
Bullies in the workplace exist. Feeling undermined or micro-managed can also lead to feeling of burnout on the job.
No Work-Life Balance or A Lack of Engaging Work:
Finally, workers can experience burnout when they have no work-life balance. When you are constantly working, or thinking what needs to be done at work, you’re setting yourself up for burnout.
We all need to have balance in our lives. However, when work takes up all your time, you lose your ability to relax and unwind, even at home.
On the flip side, working a monotonous job for many hours each day can be just as bad for you. When you’re bored at work or don’t have enough to do, you will dread going to your job as well. Not using your work skills to their full potential can be extremely demoralizing. You feel like you have no purpose which can on the alternative side, lead to burnout at work as well!
Ways Of Managing Burnout In The Workplace!
It’s one thing having an understanding of what causes work burnout. However, it’s another conversation as to how we address the burnout and recover. The hope is that you can recognize and evaluate the situation quickly, prior to it becoming a job threatening issue or heath threatening issue.
Here are just some ways that we can all minimize the risk of experiencing work burnout.
Prioritize Important Work:
To prevent work burnout, you want to start by prioritizing tasks that are most important to your job. There is plenty to do on a workday that’s for sure. However, you’ll want to conserve your energy and spend time on tasks that are vital for yourself, and the company.
Are you the type of person that wants to help co-workers ALL-THE-TIME? In addition, a person that answers every single email. Well, that’s okay at times, but you need to learn how to work more efficiently. By working smarter, you can reduce the chances of burnout.
Do you get emails that are oftentimes the same questions? Can you set up autoresponders to answer some of these frequently asks questions (FAQ’s). How about a generic webpage to refer clients to? The point here is to streamline some of your work.
Can you refer an employee to instructional or support help, so you don’t have to always be the helping hand?
“Work smarter, not harder” in any way you can!
Create A Schedule:
We’ve talked about this in numerous posts about burnout. Even in managing stress at work during pregnancy. Why? Because it is simple, inexpensive, and it works!
Begin creating your work schedule. Having a deadline will help you stay on track and finish your work on time, as well as prioritize. This can reduce many of the issues you have at your job.
A large percentage of stress and burnout comes from a lack of planning. When you have a compact schedule you can visualize, procrastination may be a thing of the past. Secondly, it may limit projects/work tasks piling up, as you know what needs to get done, and when!
There are even apps, planner/schedulers online to utilize. In addition, go “old-school” and keep a physical planner. There are tons of options on places like ETSY, that can even customize planners to suit your needs!
Learn How to Say, No!
This next tip goes hand in hand with prioritizing your own work. If you’re in a work environment that is healthy and open, we would suggest saying no to extra work. At the very least, until you know you can comfortably get done your regular assignments on time, and with little stress involved.
Don’t make it a habit of putting extra pressure on yourself!
It can be awkward to turn down a co-worker or a manager, there is no doubt. For this reason, it’s vital to set boundaries, right off the bat. If you simply say ‘yes’ to everything anyone asks of you, it becomes harder to get yourself out of that role.
If you are already stressed at work, this should be a polite, but firm ‘no’ to additional tasks. You need to think about your own mental and physical health, because not many other people may. Setting boundaries is not a bad thing.
Not everyone can do this, unfortunately. Still, try your best to set limits.
Take Care of Your Health:
Work burnout can develop rapidly if you don’t take care of your health. Make sure you are optimizing yourself. Try and be consistent with your health. Consequently, you’ll function better at work and have enough energy to get through your day. Particularly when it comes to eating, make sure to eat nutrient rich/dense foods. Explore the vast selection of workout’s at your fingertips these days and exercise regularly. Lastly, be sure to recharge your system by getting a good night’s sleep.
Your sleep is especially important. When you are sleep deprived, it can be harder to concentrate at work and meet your employer’s demands.
Relax After Work:
It can be hard to relax after work as well, especially if you’ve just had “one of those days” as we all have had. Jobs are stressful. Even if you enjoy your job you can get burned out if you don’t make an effort to unwind.
Yoga, meditation for stress relief, and other relaxing activities can truly be useful. However, at the end of the day, you should do things that you enjoy and that improve your mood and energy levels, whatever they may be.
Reach Out to Friends and Family:
You aren’t as alone as you think. Likely, your family and friends have been in the same situation as you, or dealt with stress and work burnout to some degree. So, if you feel burned out from your job, try reaching out to the people in your social circle. They can give you advice and support.
It’s difficult being on your own when you’re struggling, but staying connected with others can help. Having social ties will ease the pain of work stress and burnout. You can even turn your situation around with the aid of your loved ones or other support groups.
Ask Yourself If Your Job is Worth The Burnout & Final Thoughts!
In some cases, your work environment just won’t change. No matter what boundaries you put in place, and what negotiations you make with your boss, you might still feel burned-out. If you happen to be in this situation, ask yourself what you’re willing to do.
Are you willing to jeopardize your health and happiness for a job that is literally killing you? Or, do you want to take a chance and look for a new job? No one can make this decision for you, but consider your well-being and health.
When you’re at a job that is draining your energy and motivation, how much can you take? What are your limits and how far should you push yourself?
Learn about some other ways of managing stress in the workplace, here!
Thanks for stopping by, we hope to have you again soon.