5 tips to avoid the rapidly increasing burnout epidemic in 2021
Are you feeling exhausted? You’re not alone. Typically, employee engagement and well-being are inexorably linked, and employee engagement reduces burnout and increases productivity. But in 2020, Gallup identified a reverse trend dubbed the “well-being and engagement paradox” in which the well-being of the U.S. workforce has plummeted to levels not seen since the Great Recession of Canada. 2008. “Employee engagement and well-being disconnected from each other and went their own way,” according to Gallup. “This discrepancy has critical implications for workplace leaders over the coming year.” As this trend continued during the 2021 pandemic, work as we know it has been turned upside down. Exhausted workforce, burning midnight oil at home, claims they have become modern day workaholics (40% by one count).
Burnout at work on the rise
A new Visier survey has shown that the pandemic has created widespread remote work with burnout at epidemic proportions (89%), resulting in a significant resignation rate as a result. Employees said their main contributor to burnout was urged to take on more work. Other major contributors include a toxic work culture, being asked to complete work faster, being micromanaged, and a lack of control in the workplace. More than two-thirds (70%) of employees said they would leave their current job for one that offered comprehensive resources, benefits, support or policies to reduce burnout. So what do workers think helps fight burnout? More flexibility and support, according to the Visier survey. When asked which employer benefits would most help alleviate burnout, 39% of respondents mentioned flexible work schedules. Others said they wanted better mental health resources (31%), paid sick time (25%), and a wellness program (24%).
What is burnout and how to prevent it
In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) took an important step, officially classifying it as a medical diagnosis, including the condition in the International Classification of Diseases: “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic stress in the body. work that has not been successfully managed ”. Burnout is diagnosed by three symptoms: “feelings of exhaustion or energy exhaustion; increased mental distance from work, or feelings of negativity or cynicism related to work; and reduced professional efficiency.
The more severe your burnout, the more stressed you are at work and the more difficult it is to fulfill your professional obligations. Burnout isn’t the same as stress, and you can’t cure it by taking extended vacations, slowing down, or working fewer hours. Once burnout has set in, you run out of gas and have lost all hope of overcoming your obstacles. But job performance and well-being should not come at the expense of sweat equity, burnout, or loss of mental and physical health. Here are five tips to avoid it.
- Practicing radical personal care. The top priority should be your health and well-being and your willingness to protect it on a daily basis. It involves being “Good enough” instead of forcing yourself to give 100% to everything (which is impossible). Making sure you have a work / life balance is a characteristic of personal care that can alleviate stress and burnout. There is value in “micro-breaks” throughout the work day to relax and reset your energy. After hours of sitting, short breaks (I recommend five minutes or less) are effective energy management strategies and can be as simple as stretching, walking up and down stairs, looking out a window at nature, snack, breathe deeply, do yoga or a mindful five meditation.
- Lead with self-compassion and empathy. It is important to practice self-compassion as well as respect and empathy for co-workers. Caring for yourself and others is the foundation of workplace morale and, ultimately, the bottom line of the business. The ability to put yourself in a colleague’s shoes and see their point of view is a powerful tool. The 18 inches from your head to your heart is the longest business trip you’ve ever taken. Empathy connects you to the feelings of others, makes you a more compassionate colleague, and frees you from your own narrow thoughts and blunt judgments. It neutralizes anger and frustration and helps you recognize that everyone you meet at work is grappling with their own inner burdens. It is therefore important to get in touch with each other to support each other, to feel supported and to lend a helping hand to an overwhelmed colleague in need.
- Set limits. If you are a remote worker, it is essential to establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Limit work to a specific area so that your work does not interfere with the lives of other household members and you can focus. Have a designated area for your workstation instead of spreading the work out on the kitchen table or in front of the television. After hours, keep your workspace remote as if it’s five miles outside of town, and learn to say no to a job application when you’re already overloaded.
- Sharpen your outlook. Your main ally is your point of view. It can victimize you or hold you accountable. Stressors tunnel vision blinds you to possibilities and hinders tranquility, happiness, and productivity, so it’s important to see the big picture where the workable solutions lie. When you look for the bright side of an unfavorable situation and figure out what you can control and what you cannot control, it’s easier to come to terms with circumstances beyond your control. In an uncontrollable work situation, your power is to find the opportunity in the difficulty rather than the difficulty in the opportunity.
- Ask for help. A Vida Health survey by Onepoll reported that 47% of workers believe taking advantage of mental health opportunities is a sign of weakness, and the Visier study reported that only 7% of exhausted employees seek support out of fear of being stigmatized as incompetent if they talk to a boss. Overall, 42% more women (42%) than men (30%) said they felt uncomfortable talking about burnout with their boss. It’s important to remember that management can’t offer support if they don’t know you need it. Your first responsibility is to yourself not to let bullying stop you from talking to your manager about the possibility of an extension of time, a more flexible schedule, or a reduced workload. Seeking a professional help is essential if the symptoms of burnout worsen or after trying the measures available to you. Take advantage of the advice and other support programs offered by employee assistance programs. Or you can contact Mental Health America to find resources closest to you or call 800-273-8255, a 24-hour crisis center.
A note to employers
At the Ending Physician Burnout World Summit, Dr Paul DeChant asserted that burnout is not caused by employees, but by six factors in the workplace: (1) a chaotic work environment (2) a loss of control (3) insufficient rewards (4) community collapse (5) lack of fairness and (6) conflicting values. “It’s not a lack of personal resilience,” DeChant said. “We take highly skilled professionals and put them in a clinical work environment that is very dysfunctional and requires us to be constantly vigilant and focused in order to do our jobs successfully. ”
The Visier report admits that giving employees a week off to recharge is a step in the right direction, but also points out that companies need to do more to tackle the burnout epidemic by using a strategic and holistic approach with the right policies, processes and technologies in place to support them. . By engaging employees in conversations about their burnout and using workplace tools to assess stress levels, managers can help their direct reports develop action plans to alleviate work-related fatigue. These strategies ensure that employees don’t feel solely responsible for fixing an issue that in many cases is triggered by their work and not their own shortcomings. When organizations don’t tackle burnout, the best talent will leave for companies with better benefits and better support, which will increase revenue and recruiting costs.