Burnout in the Workplace

In recent years, burnout in the workplace has become an increasing concern.  According to a 2018 Gallup study, two-thirds of full-time employees experience burnout on the job consistently or just sometimes.

Burnout in the workplace can lead to health concerns like exhaustion, vulnerability to illnesses, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart disease, food and substance abuse, and more.  It is not just our physical health in jeopardy.  Burnout impacts our mental health too and can make us susceptible to depression, behavioral changes, and isolation.

With so many people experiencing burnout and the risk to our health, we must identify it and take steps to improve it.

So, what is burnout?  The Mayo Clinic defines job burnout as the state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.  We find ourselves lacking motivation, being less productive, and cynical of our job.

Burnout can occur in any industry and to employees at every level.  Many factors in the workplace can contribute to it.  Can you relate to any of these?

  • Workload overload – as the tasks stack up, we quickly feel overwhelmed.
  • Unrealistic deadlines – we have all felt the pressure of working under time constraints. Deadlines can often be imposed by individuals who may not comprehend procedures or the time to complete tasks.  Worse yet, getting behind on a project can push other deadlines back.
  • Poor communication – clear communication with your supervisor and coworkers help you understand the expectations and deadlines set before you.
  • Job expectations – when it is unclear what our role is, it can lead to confusion and questions.
  • Difficult coworkers – toxic coworkers, office bullies, micromanagers, and undermining colleagues can negatively impact our everyday work life.
  • Mistreatment – unfair treatment can occur in the workplace including favoritism, mistreatment from coworkers, poor compensation, or unfair corporate policies.

Everyone experiences different levels of stress at work.  At times it can be easy to overcome.  Other times, it can impact more than just our stress level and affect us long after we have clocked out for the day.  Here are some of the symptoms of burnout.

  • Exhaustion – feeling drained and tired with no energy.
  • Poor work performance – decrease in productivity and finding it hard to focus or be creative.
  • Feeling ill – experiencing an increase in headaches, stomachaches, intestine issues, and nervousness.
  • Cynical – having a pessimistic outlook on work and life.
  • Depression – overtaken with feelings of hopelessness, unhappiness, and isolation.
  • Poor relationships – becoming easily irritated by coworkers or distancing yourself from friends and family.
  • No satisfaction – no longer finding pride in work accomplishments.

Have you been nodding in agreement as you read about the causing factors of burnout and the symptoms?  The good news, there are steps we can take to improve burnout in the workplace.

  • Communicate with your supervisor – let your supervisor know how you feel and why. Work together to prioritize projects and set attainable deadlines that work for you both.
  • Stress management – incorporate techniques for handling stress and polish your time management skills. Make sure you are eating healthy, exercising, and getting the right amount of sleep.
  • Create small goals and award yourself – find small wins in your daily tasks. Accomplish them and reward yourself even if it is as simple as your favorite snack.
  • Take breaks – While your break times may be short, it is an opportunity to take time for yourself and clear your mind.
  • Take a vacation – Those 15-minute and lunch breaks just not enough? Give yourself an extended break with a relaxing vacation and reset.
  • Focus on anything but work – once the day is over, leave work at work. Spend time focused on you, with friends and family, or enjoying your favorite hobbies.
  • Surround yourself with positive people – consider the company you keep both in and out of work. If possible, limit your time around toxic colleagues and spend time with people who lift you up.
  • Seek support – work with your human resource department to help sort out issues causing stress or take advantage of employee support programs. Talk with your friends and family, and do not hesitate to seek professional help if needed.
  • Change position or job – sometimes a change is just needed. Give yourself a fresh start by switching positions within the company or exploring other opportunities.

Are you ready for a change?  Here at Twin City Staffing, we can help give your career a fresh start.  We pride ourselves on matching candidates with the right company to help create positive relationships and lasting careers.  Our staffing agency specializes in manufacturing, warehouse, transportation, administration, general labor, and skilled labor careers.  If you are ready to reset, give us a call at 763-220-7052 today for open positions that match your skills and needs.