Job burnout represents the physical, emotional, or mental stress experienced by people who become too worn out by career and life pressures to work effectively. This exhaustion is accompanied by feelings of doubt about the ability to do their job and the value that they bring to an organization. In addition to having a negative impact on the company, job burnout can have significant detrimental effects on a person’s health.
Signs an Employee is About to Burn Out
Workers should be aware of how they are feeling and acting while on the job and be on the lookout for signs of burnout. They may notice they have a negative attitude, such as detachment, cynicism, pessimism, and increased irritability while on the job. Often employees suffering from burnout show a decrease in productivity and poorer work performance. Aside from physical fatigue, they may be emotionally drained, showing signs of depression and anxiety. If an employee is withdrawn and no longer socializes with their coworkers, they are likely experiencing burnout and need to make changes.
The Need for Work-Life Balance
Managing a healthy work-life balance is an essential step for reducing stress and avoiding job burnout. A work-life balance is attained by prioritizing job responsibilities and career ambitions along with the important lifestyle aspects, such as family, friends, leisure, and spirituality. Making this balance a priority benefits both the employee and the employer. Employees will be more relaxed and confident, knowing that they are valued as a worker and a person. Employers will benefit from having an eager staff who come to work energetic and focused. The following tips are useful for managers and workers to reduce stress in the workplace.
Stress-Reducing Tips to Prevent Job Burnout
Ask for a flexible schedule
The average person juggles many work and life responsibilities on a daily basis. If the management approves, a flexible work schedule can make a big difference in someone burning out on their job or achieving work-life balance. For example, employees who are able to start work later in the morning will be able to take their child to school every day. Offering flexible beginning and end of day work hours may not be difficult to coordinate, though the impact on an employee’s personal life can be significant.
Work remotely when possible
Technology has given us mobile devices and the ability to connect online from almost anywhere. Employees benefit from an opportunity to do their work from a location other than the office. Sometimes a simple change of scenery or the ability to work from home once or twice a week can relieve the pressures of a busy work week. Working remotely may require planning and coordination between employers and other team members, but managers who allow their workers to take advantage of this convenience are also helping them attain a work-life balance that reduces stress.
Try being off the grid during vacation
The downside of increased connectivity and mobility is that employees are often expected to always be able to handle issues that come up outside of working hours. This usually results in people working nights and weekends. While this may help workers get ahead and stay competitive, it can be physically and mentally draining to always be on call. That is why it is very important for workers to disconnect as much as possible while on vacation. Vacation time is for employees to spend however they desire and constantly checking emails and phone messages will only serve to speed up burnout.
Take unpaid leave for life cycle events
There are certain life events, either planned or unexpected, that is too important to miss.
While companies can provide sick days and paid personal days, people often have other life cycle needs that are not covered by paid time off. These may be serious events and emergencies. There are also instances when employees need time to make life-changing decisions, such as moving to another state or going back to school. Unpaid leave can be time well spent for employees to balance the pressures in their personal lives while remaining on good terms with their employers at work.
These work-life balance tips are guidelines for keeping the stress of career and life ambitions in check. Those who are able to maintain stability on both fronts are better able to avoid burning out. By paying attention to meaningful aspects of their personal lives, people are better equipped to focus on excelling in their careers.
At Ohio University, we understand how important an MBA can be to advancing your career. We also know that your MBA should be affordable, engaging, and academically-rigorous. That’s why we have designed an online MBA that is comprehensive and challenging, yet flexible to fit your lifestyle. When you earn your MBA online from Ohio University you are making a conscious decision to improve your professional value and position yourself for current and future business opportunities.
Forbes, “4 Signs You Are Headed for Burnout”
The Balance, “How to Encourage Work-Life Balance for Employees”
Society for Human Resource Management, “10 Ways to Establish a Better Work/Life Balance”
Mayo Clinic, “Job burnout: How to spot it and take action”