Burnout is extreme fatigue often caused by work-life imbalance and a lack of social support.
According to Ohio State University, burnout can cause extreme physical and mental exhaustion and has been connected with many health risks, including early mortality, depression, coronary heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Certain personality traits, such as pessimism, perfectionism, and type A tendencies, may be more at risk for burnout. According to Forbes, in a survey of 1,500 U.S. workers in 2021, 52% of respondents said they were experiencing burnout.
Luckily, both employees and employers can take actions to reduce work-related burnout.
Actions Employees Can Take to Reduce Burnout
1. Be Honest with Your Employer
Be transparent with your boss to figure something out. Find positives within your job and practice gratitude by daily finding something about your job for which you’re grateful. Sometimes you just need to take a break and return with a rejuvenated mindset.
2. Find Activities that Fill You with Energy
“You often feel tired, not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you,” inspirational speaker Alexander Den Heijer said.
It’s not always possible to avoid doing things that suck the energy out of you. But you must find something that you genuinely enjoy, something that leaves you feeling energized.
It’s okay if you don’t know of any activities right now. Think back to activities you enjoyed in the past. Be adventurous and try out some new activities. Make these activities that ‘spark a light in you’ a priority in your life by planning them into your schedule.
3. Find a Support Group
Eventually, everyone struggles.
These moments don’t feel quite as debilitating when you’re surrounded by supportive people. Perhaps you already have a support group through friends, family, and/or activities. If so, work on being more comfortable reaching out for help when needed.
If you don’t have a support group, try your best to find or create one. Go to events. Connect with people through mutually shared interests. Be a little bit vulnerable and adventurous.
Employees can only do so much to reduce work-related burnout. Employers should also be aware of burnout and actions to help their employees.
Actions Employers Can Take to Alleviate Employee Burnout
1. Hire Great Managers
Managers are a key piece in reducing burnout.
They can make or break the work experience. Great managers should treat all employees fairly and not discriminate based on race, gender, or sexual orientation. They should give employees a manageable workload. This helps the employees and helps ensure the company is producing high-quality work.
Great managers should communicate clearly and effectively by addressing employee expectations and responsibilities. Managers should also be supportive and, if possible, provide flexibility to employees.
2. Prioritize Employee Wellbeing
Support your employees by helping them achieve the five elements of wellbeing: a fulfilling career, good physical health, supportive and loving social networks, a safe community, and a secure financial situation.
For example, foster positive social networks within the workplace through team projects and team-building activities.
Burnout within the workplace is an increasingly serious problem. Luckily, there are actions you can take to alleviate workplace-induced burnout.