Are you feeling unmotivated and unenthusiastic about work? That might be a sign that you’re suffering from worker burnout.
Worker burnout can leave you feeling exhausted, frustrated, irritable, and lacking a sense of direction. But despite these unpleasant feelings, it is unfortunate that burnout is quite common in the American workforce.
According to a Gallup – Workhuman report, 25% of employees say they feel burnt out at work “very often” or “always.” That means a quarter of the American workforce suffers from decreased productivity and poor mental health caused by occupational stress.
Today, we’ll discuss how to deal with burnout at work and how to recover from burnout while still working. But before those, how bad are these burnouts, and how do they come about?
How Bad is Worker Burnout?
Worker burnout is bad enough that the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized it as a legitimate medical diagnosis.
According to the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) released by WHO, burnout is “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
The Global Health Body said that occupational burnout has the following dimensions:
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
- increased mental distance from one’s job, feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
- reduced professional efficacy.
WHO specifies that burnout is strictly an “occupational phenomenon.” It refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”
How to Manage Burnout at Work: Understanding the Causes
Worker burnout can be down to one cause or a mixture of different causes. Also, when you understand the signs of burnout at work and what causes work burnout, you’ll know how to avoid feeling burnt out at work and how to recover from burnout while still working.
Some of the most common causes of burnout include the following:
Workload refers to the amount of effort, time, and mental or physical energy you expend to complete a task, job, or activity. High workloads can increase stress levels and fatigue and decrease job satisfaction.
The amount of work you do is one of the biggest causes of burnout. No matter how efficient, hardworking, or resilient you are, you have a limit, and if your workload stretches beyond that limit, the result is burnout.
Remember, humans are not machines; we can’t go on and on without rest.
You may feel like you have to work extra because not putting in the extra shift could be seen as slacking. However, in an effort to step up, you could be harming your health and efficiency.
Lack of Control
Your productivity and well-being may suffer if you believe that you lack independence, access to resources you need to get work done, and a voice in choices that affect your professional life.
If you cannot control critical aspects of your job, such as schedule, assignments, and workload, you could be on a downward spiral leading to burnout.
Without control, you can’t achieve a work-life balance. You feel helpless, overwhelmed, and unable to make progress.
On the other hand, when you can make creative decisions about your job and come up with solutions to difficulties, you are more likely to approach your work enthusiastically.
Simply put, burnout is more likely to occur if you feel constrained and unable to exert personal control over your occupational surroundings and everyday actions.
Lack of Reward or Recognition
No matter how much you love your job, you need a positive feedback loop of reward, recognition, and personal satisfaction to keep going.
Without that loop, you can feel stuck at a dead end and dread every day you go to work; this can take a toll on you and lead to burnout.
If the rewards you receive for your job, whether they are external (such as salary, benefits, or recognition) or internal (such as personal satisfaction, fulfillment, or enjoyment), do not match the amount of effort and time you invest in your work, you are likely to feel demotivated and unsatisfied.
Those feelings could then lead to decreased job performance, lower job satisfaction, and potentially even a desire to quit.
Poor Workplace Relationship
Poor workplace relationships can also lead to burnout in several ways.
Firstly, a lack of social support from colleagues or superiors can make work more stressful and increase feelings of isolation.
Secondly, interpersonal conflicts or a hostile work environment can cause chronic stress, leading to burnout.
Additionally, negative work culture can make it difficult for employees to find meaning and purpose in their work, leading to feelings of cynicism and detachment, factors that can contribute to burnout and may lead to decreased job satisfaction, productivity, and absenteeism.
For instance, if you have to deal with a bully at work, your colleagues constantly belittling your efforts, or your boss micromanaging you, you’re on a shortcut to worker burnout.
Lack of Fairness
Do your efforts receive the recognition they deserve? Are your rewards similar to that of your colleagues? Do you have the same access to resources as your other colleagues? Is your workload on par with that of your colleagues?
If the answer to any of those questions is no, you may feel treated unfairly, which can lead to burnout.
Without fairness, you can feel like the odds are rigged against you, and no matter how much you try, you won’t be able to reach your goals.
Work Values vs. Personal Values
Workplace values contribute significantly to job satisfaction. When your values and that of your workplace don’t align, you may feel a constant tug on your mind, which can lead to burnout.
A significant gap between an individual’s values and the values of their workplace or job responsibilities can cause feelings of dissonance, stress, and exhaustion as individuals try to reconcile these conflicting values.
Additionally, a workplace with excessive emphasis on productivity and performance without regard for employee well-being can also lead to burnout.
Signs of Burnout at Work
When you’re approaching burnout, your body begins to flash warning signs, just like the dashboard of a car lights up when something is wrong. So, what are the signs of burnout at work?
If you feel any of the following, it’s time to hit the brakes:
- Cynicism and negative attitudes toward work
- Decreased job satisfaction or feelings of accomplishment
- Detachment and a feeling of disconnection from work or colleagues
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Exhaustion and feeling emotionally drained
- Increased absenteeism or lateness
- Increased irritability or impatience with colleagues or customers
- Lack of motivation and enthusiasm for work
- Physical symptoms such as headaches or muscle tension
- Reduced productivity and effectiveness
How to Deal With Work Burnout
Now that you know what causes burnout and the symptoms of burnout, let’s talk about some useful tips on how to deal with burnout at work and how to avoid feeling burnt out at work.
Remember, once you begin to feel any of the signs of burnout, it’s time to implement these tips.
Lighten the Load
Reducing your workload is a great place to start if you’re wondering how to recover from burnout while still working.
To counter overwork, you can do any of the following:
- Delegate tasks: You don’t have to do everything yourself
- Learn to say no: If you’ve got too much on your plate, don’t take on more
- Plan your work: A coherent structure will greatly reduce stress
- Prioritize your work: It’s ok if you can’t get everything done, especially if you’ve sorted the most important ones
- Stop trying to be perfect: Perfection is a myth; let it go
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your colleagues and boss will view you as a slacker if you refuse to take on more work than you can handle.
Remember, there’s no point in taking on more work if it affects your productivity and health.
Prioritize Your Rest
Burnout is not stress; you can’t push through it. Even more so, the harder you try to fight it, the worse it gets.
As soon as your body begins to flash those warning signs, pay attention and get lots of rest. If you’re still working, take regular daily breaks to rest and recharge.
When discussing tips on how to avoid burnout at work or how to recover from burnout while still working, rest is one of the most important and effective ones.
Take microbreaks throughout the day. After hours of work, those five to ten minutes of “me time” can help you take the edge off.
You could stretch, walk up and down the stairs, practice yoga, engage in mindful meditation, or have a healthy snack.
Set Firm Boundaries
Setting firm boundaries is a vital part of how to avoid burnout at work because a lack of work-life balance is one of the biggest causes of worker burnout, and you can’t understand how to deal with work burnout without addressing that balance.
Work-life balance has become even more essential in the post-covid era, where more people work from home without clear limits between work time and after hours.
Hence, if you work from home, have a designated “office” area where you can concentrate on work. Keep work contained to that workspace, and don’t spread it to the kitchen, the sitting room, and all over the house.
Having a designated work area makes it easier to shut down after the “close of work” and turn your attention to domestic matters.
On the other hand, if you work from a regular office, always remind yourself that the work will still be there tomorrow and you don’t have to finish everything in a day.
Put work aside and go home when it’s time, don’t attend to work calls or emails after work, and make it clear to your employers that your work-life balance is essential to your productivity.
If you’re serious about how to deal with burnout at work, this is one area you can’t compromise on.
Speak Up for Yourself
Confront underlying stressors head-on and speak up for yourself. If something is not right and it’s stressing you, you’ll suffer burnout if you don’t address it.
If you’re being treated unfairly or your work does not get the reward and recognition it deserves, these are valid reasons to speak with your employer and seek redress.
You’ll find that simply bringing these issues to your employer’s attention can have significant results.
It could be that no one noticed these stressors until you spoke about them.
Building mutually beneficial relationships with your colleagues is an indispensable tool. Don’t be reluctant to ask for help if you’re stuck; no one knows it all, and your colleagues could be happy to help.
Also, if you notice a colleague struggling, approach them and offer to help. Offering to help can earn you a reputation as a team player and endear you to your colleagues. Of course, it makes things much easier if your colleagues like you.
Other ways to build connections include the following:
- Appear approachable, wear a smile, and maintain a friendly demeanor
- Collaborate on projects, share struggles, and share victories to create a powerful bond
- Participate in social activities, and don’t be that person who only has time for work
- Show interest in others, empathize with their struggles, and celebrate their wins.
Fight Burnout With Craft Medical
Burnout doesn’t go away if you ignore it; it worsens and negatively impacts other parts of your life. That’s why you must adopt a proactive approach.
We’ve written this piece to help you understand burnout and how to deal with burnout at work.
Here at Craft Medical, we are an online men’s health clinic emphasizing sexual health. So, trust us when we say stress and burnout can lead to a decline in sexual performance and satisfaction.
But luckily for you, we’re here to help, and we understand the importance of privacy and confidentiality.
Need more help on how to deal with work burnout? Is the burnout already affecting your sex life?