From meeting strict deadlines to budget cuts to acquiring an aspired role to managing its responsibilities; work life often demands the employees to push their physical and emotional limits. Be it for organizational or personal goals, employees often feel the pressure of performing upto certain expectations. A state of such prolonged pressure or stress can lead to ‘burnout’, a phenomena that has become common in the corporate work culture. According to a survey, the top three causes of burnout are – unfair compensation (41%), unreasonable workload (32%), and too much overtime after work hours (32%).
Burnout hampers the physical and emotional health of the employees which often leads to decreased efficiency and job engagement. Therefore, both organizations as well as employees are required to prevent it rather than try to cure it once it occurs.
Here are 4 ways that burnout can be avoided at the workplace.
Ironically, failing to get things done in time is both a symptom and a cause of burnout. When you are constantly under the pressure of meeting deadlines over adding creativity or quality to your work, then you are likely to get stressed. This stress, then becomes a roadblock in you being more productive, hence creating a vicious circle. The only way to break this circle is to evaluate your time, work, and efficiency to do the work, and then prioritize accordingly. You need to know what needs to be done first and in how much time. Experts suggest that being proactive is the key to avoiding burnout.
pay attention to physical health
We often tend to make the mistake of disconnecting physical and mental health, whereas both go hand in hand. Mayo clinic defines ‘burnout’ as a state of physical and emotional exhaustion combined with self-doubt. Regular sleep, balanced diet, exercise, are some of the ways to maintain physical health which is a big contributor in relieving stress. Sleep deprivation is one of the major causes of stress and often leads to increased stress at work. It is scientifically proven that seven to nine hours of sleep is needed for a healthy mind and body. Exercising is also suggested as a way to reduce stress, increase focus, and improve memory. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a way to signal your mind to remain alert of any burnout.
create a work-life balance
A survey revealed that more than one in three employees feel above-average levels of stress. Employees often take being busy at work as the sign of being productive and valued at work. Many jobs are also designed in a goal-oriented manner which doesn’t count the number of hours put in by the worker. It is important that both organizations as well as employees become conscious of creating a balance between work and life. Employees need to know their mental and physical capacity before taking upon any new work responsibilities. From taking small breaks at work to taking regular vacations, it is necessary to rejuvenate in order to remain productive. Giving time to self, family, and interests beyond work is a good way to avoid a burnout at work.
Identifying the symptoms of a burnout and addressing it is one way to curb it in the early stages. Suppressing any signs of dissatisfaction at work, loss of sleep, lack of interest in socializing, cynicism, etc. will only take you further from the solution. You need to make a start by opening up about the issue to your manager, colleagues, or anyone that you are comfortable with. However, once you become sure that this might impact your work, then you must try and convey it to your manager as he/she is the one who can help you with changes in your daily work. A survey found out that 95% of HR professionals reported that employee burnout is one of the biggest hurdles in workforce retention. This implies that organizations and senior managers are well aware that burnout is a real challenge faced by workplaces. So it does make sense for you to communicate any related issue with your colleagues.
Knowing when to push your limits and when to stop to reevaluate things is the key to preventing a case of burnout at work. In an environment that demands you to be consistently efficient, you must recognize the need for a conscious invention. Having to do work that motivates you enough to look forward to the next day is the foundation of being an efficient performer.