Are you making your employees work too much or too hard and expecting to keep them productive? Think again.

"The economy has faced up to $1 trillion loss in productivity per year due to depression and anxiety. A total of 52% of all workers feel burned out, an increase of +9% from a pre-COVID survey.”

Employee burnout is a vital topic that is probably not discussed openly.

“Burnout is often driven by the demands that are placed upon an individual.” - Asa Don Brown.

Many organizations do not even notice the burnout their employees face until it is too late. We have tried to analyze the causes and symptoms of burnout in this article.

Workplace burnout Statistics

statistics

Recognizing Burnout

Is burnout a myth? Or does it exist? Many people face burnout, but they are not aware of it. Like it is rightly said:

"The more stress you accumulate, the heavier it becomes. If you accumulate too much, the weight of carrying it can break you." - Oscar Auliq-Ice

To understand burnout, let us see some use cases:

Use Case 1:

John was a manager in a big organization. He was passionate about his job, was a top performer, and had built a fantastic team.

However, while all was going well, John suddenly started feeling exhausted. He lacked motivation, began having conflicts with his teammates, often took leaves, and missed deadlines.

All this resulted in low productivity, decreased performance, and affected the business.

Use Case 2:

Mary is a Physician in a hospital. During Covid-19, she was overworked. As a result, whenever she tried to take any vacation, she had to cancel them due to emergencies or other reasons.

Without any leaves, she had to drag herself to work daily.

stressed out at work

The people in the above examples are cases of burnout, where they are physically and mentally exhausted, and are constantly stressed out about their work.

What are the signs of employee burnout?

Do you see some of these symptoms in your employees?:

  1. Struggling to do simple tasks
  2. Have a fear that they will not be able to meet the deadline
  3. Not able to coordinate with team members
  4. Lack of motivation at work or feeling dreaded that the next day they have to work on the given tasks
  5. Disengagement
  6. Find lame excuses for not doing the work?
  7. Decreased productivity

5 major causes of burnout at work

Human beings are not designed to work like machines where you can run continuously and accurately predict output as long as you maintain it. So why does burnout happen?

causes of burnout at work

Stress of Workload

This stress is due to too much work, too little time, uninteresting work, and not clear about what to do. Sometimes employees juggle multiple tasks which have deadlines. Other reasons for stress can come from:

  • Long work hours leading to fatigue
  • Have to work harder because of a lack of appropriate skills
  • Poor work-life balance
  • Doing monotonous work day after day

Lack of Support and Mistreatment

At times getting bullied in the office, conflicts with colleagues, and superiors constantly criticizing or micromanaging your work only contributes to the job stress.

While working on a project, sometimes team members do not cooperate. This results in not being able to complete the given tasks on time, which further delays the project and also be the reason for missing deadlines.

Sometimes unfair policies, favoritism by superiors, lack of compensation, and work going unnoticed are the main reasons why employees experience a high level of burnout.

Improper Planning and Resource Management

Are there any discussions about proper plans for the jobs on hand?

After assigning the project, it is essential to discuss and create a plan on how to handle and work on the given tasks. In the absence of instructions and proper training, employees start feeling stressed out, increasing exhaustion to complete the work.

Are there enough resources available to do the work? If not, are the employees working extra hours making up for it?

For example, during covid, the healthcare sector had a limited supply of medicines while handling an increasing number of patients. This inadequate supply had created an additional burden and stress on the doctors and the nurses. As a result, many healthcare workers left their job.

Poor communication and leadership:

Often management applies pressure to complete tasks by deadline.

  • The constant pressure to complete the work in a given period will impact the most optimistic employees.
  • Being unclear about ones roles and responsibilities for a task, will delay the deadlines and increase burnout.

Inability to disconnect:

There is a constant interruption from the workplace during remote work through emails, text messages, and phone calls.

This work-related communication creates constant pressure to complete the work, and employees cannot concentrate on personal activities or family life.

Does burnout happen when working remotely?

Though remote work has given us the freedom to work from home, saves a lot of commuting time, and has work flexibility, people feel isolated due to loneliness.

Additionally, the absence of a proper work atmosphere, short breaks, heavy workload, and working even through sickness amounts to a high level of burnout.

causes of burnout at home

A study conducted in 2020 shows that remote workers face more burnout than those working from the office.

  1. 37% of people have been working more hours than usual since the pandemic.
  2. 69% people working remotely are experiencing burnout affecting their productivity, whereas 41% prefer to return to the office or work.
  3. As per the study, remote workers work 10% more hours in a week than usual.
  4. 75% said they were working on weekends, and 45% agreed that they work more during remote work than at the office.
  5. Work hours have increased from 8 hours to 11 hours during the lockdown period in the US.

What are the consequences of employee burnout?

Employee burnouts have a lot of adverse health impacts. As per the research conducted, work-related stress causes 120,000 deaths annually in the US. In addition, the US government spends $125 billion annually to cover costs related to psychological and physical issues related to burnout.

The consequences caused due to employee burnout are:

Physical Illness Mental Illness
Heart-related disease Depression
Obesity Fatigue
Type-2 Diabetes Anxiety
Frequent Headaches Sadness and anger
Change in Apetite Irritability
Insomnia Feeling exhausted
Gastrointestinal Issues Drained out most of the times
Blood Pressure Social Withdrawal

For Employees:

All the above factors may result in decreased productivity, harmful use of alcohol, lack of motivation, absenteeism, and may feel disengaged at work

For Employers:

Many employees show disinterest in work and can leave. Unfortunately, worker replacement costs are very high, which the organization has to bear each time the employee leaves.

Many times organizations expect more from the top-level managers or performing employees. Unfortunately, these expectations may lead to overwork and burnout, affecting performance and productivity.

With chronic stress, absenteeism increases, which puts additional stress on the organization for rescheduling the work.

Who is at the risk of burnout?

Perfectionist

Employees who are perfectionists always expect perfect results and strive to give their best.

To be perfect always causes much stress and may affect their well-being. In addition, humans tend to make mistakes and getting terrified of failures causes an additional burden.

Lack of Skills:

When you are assigned a project that you feel disconnected with or lack the required skills that do not fit your strength may increase the risk of burnout.

Lack of belief:

There may be reasons like you work to support your family, feel disillusioned about your job, have joined the required fields for the wrong reasons, or are doing something you don’t believe in.

Then, it isn’t easy to give 100% for this kind of jobs, and it will take a heavy toll and lead to burnout.

Accepting change:

Many people for years work on the same given task. It is challenging for them to accept any change in the job or working of the given task.

Resilience to change is one of the reasons for burnout.

How to measure burnout?

Christina Maslach, a professor of Psychology and a researcher at the University of California, did significant research on employee burnout. As a result she developed a tool - the Maslach Burnout Inventory, which helps to measure employee burnout.

This survey covers three areas:

  • Emotional Exhaustion (EE)
  • Depersonalization (DP)
  • Low sense of Accomplishment (PA)

This is one of the most effective tests that organizations should adopt for measuring employee burnout. Mind Garden administers the online service for the survey of MBI.

Free Template to measure burnout:

Do you think you are suffering from a burnout? But not sure how to find out?

We have created a simple template where you need to fill up the survey. Once you have filled up the survey, you can check the scores and interpretation and take necessary steps.

Free Template: Measuring employee burnout

Top Companies worst hit by Burnout:

burnout rate

As per the survey conducted in 2020, companies like Oracle, T-Mobile, Paypal, and JP Morgan chase have very high burnout rates.

Managing employee burnout has become one of the challenging issues for most companies.

How are leading Companies dealing with preventing burnout at the workplace?

Many leading companies have started recognizing the burnout issue, affecting employee productivity and business revenue.

Some steps taken by the companies are:

  • Offering mental health benefits and perks
  • Free meditation apps for stress management
  • Employee assistance programs with therapists
  • Trying to check in with employees
  • Offering flexible Schedules
  • Providing additional time-offs
  • Celebrating wellness days by shutting the office down for a few days
  • Discussing issues with employees

Burnout in different sectors:

Healthcare

healthcare sector

Consists of Problems faced
Nurses Long work hours
Physicians Unavailability of resources
Specialists Staff retention
Interns Mental stress
Technicians Excessive workload
Work in different shifts

Retails

retail sector

Consists of Problems faced
Grocery and supermarkets Poor treatment by customers
Fast food workers Making delivery in stipulated time
Restaurants Low compensation
Merchandise stores Long work hours
Long standing period
Heavy workload

Emergency Responses

emergency responses

Consists of Problems faced
Police officers Lack of sleep
Fire-fighters Untimely emergencies
Paramedics Work in different shifts
Physical and mental stress
Facing traumatic situations

Air Traffic Controllers

air traffic controllers

Consists of Problems faced
Ground-based controllers managing air traffic Managing huge number of flights daily
Most stressful job
Work in shifts
Controlling air traffic during peak hours
Fear of errors

Education

education sector

Consists of Problems faced
Teachers Dealing with mischievous students
Supervisors Face issues while teaching online
Admin Staff Staff retention
Directors Conduct regular exams
Complete syllabus within stipulated time
Lack of appreciation

How should your employees deal with burnout?

exercise

Exercise daily

Exercise and meditation help to fight mental exhaustion and increases productivity

taking breaks

Take breaks

Take breaks at regular intervals to refresh yourself and focus back to work again.

education sector

Get Enough Sleep

Try to get enough sleep of at least 6 hours and relax for some time in between work hours.

organize schedule

Take Control

Plan and schedule your work. Then check, prioritize, delegate, and start working on given tasks using a timer.

say no

Learn to say No

Learn to refuse politely for excessive workload or ask for some time frame to complete the workload

connect with people

Socialize

Spending time with pets, family or reconnecting with friends helps unwind and relax.

discuss issues

Discuss issues

Share and discuss problems with family and friends to reduce stress and help find solutions.

create balance

Work-life balance

Proper work planning and time management will help to create a work-life balance.

How can organizations help to prevent burnout?

education sector

Regular health check-ups:

Organizations need to do regular health checkups for employees. Work-related stress can lead to many physical problems, which will be easy to detect with regular health checkups.

Keep a check on Absenteeism:

If you find an employee is taking leave regularly, try to find out the reason. For example, is the leave related to stress, anxiety, or depression. Then, ask the managers to sit and discuss the issue with the employees. Discussion at personal levels will help early detection of issues and reduce the level of burnout.

Rewards and Recognition:

Motivation and appreciation goes a long way in boosting the morale of the employee. If an employee has surpassed the expectation, financial compensation or rewards in the form of recognition will positively impact the well-being of employees. In addition, this will help other employees also to perform better.

Training Programs:

Organize wellness training programs for employees' well-being by life coaches to improve mental well-being and help in stress management.

Create a workflow:

Creating a proper workflow with efficient Project management, time tracking and creating tasks for multiple projects will give the employees a clear view of roles and responsibilities. It will also help organizations to track time and track project status.

Feedback:

At regular intervals, try to take feedback from employees regarding their workload, productivity, work schedule, and issues faced, if any. Feedback will help management to take appropriate steps toward reducing work-related stress.

Conclusion

If employees are diagnosed with burnout issues, discuss it with them and try to find appropriate solutions. The well-being of employees should be the priority for every company.

Like it is rightly said:

“A Happy workforce is a productive workforce”

For that, organizations should take all necessary steps and create a supportive work environment that will benefit everyone in the long run.

OfficeClip Free Time and Project management solutions will help create an appropriate process for analyzing, planning, and scheduling work and ensure timely completion of projects.

A smooth work process goes a long way in making efficient use of time and resources, reducing employees' burden and stress.

Address:

OfficeClip LLC
3301 Buckeye Road, Suite 209
Atlanta, GA 30341

To Pay OfficeClip Invoices: click here

Tel: +1 770-448-7375

Support:ocsupport@officeclip.com
Sales:ocsales@officeclip.com

Connect


Blog:OfficeClip Blog
Forum:Support Forum