Having discussed the “executive brownout” phenomenon in our article “10 Reasons Why Great Employees Quit (And How to Avoid It)”, let’s now focus on the causes of employee burnout and how they can be prevented.
Firstly, we need to debunk the myth that it only happens in certain professions. Although it’s typically found in client service-centric occupations such as medical practitioners, customer service representatives and police officers, it’s now commonplace to accept that burnout will happen to professions in the corporate and manufacturing sectors.
Here are the 5 signs to look out for so that you can avoid getting burnout!
You’re constantly physically tired yet can’t seem to sleep well and you continually feel depleted of energy – mentally and emotionally. This is the sign that you’re exhausted and when you feel this way, don’t ignore it. Instead, schedule regular relaxation time into your workday. Taking even a 15-minutes tea break will do wonders for your health.
2. Bringing work home
It’s the end of a workday and you’re home, finally ready for bed. Yet, you can’t stop thinking about work. Undoubtedly, this is a strong signal that you’re burning out. Counter this by being more organised and take some time off from work to rejuvenate. Here’s how you can do so without seeming like you’re unproductive.
When people ask you about work, you either only have negative things to say or simply brush away the question with a one-word answer: “Fine”. What’s worse, you seem to have more arguments with your family and loved ones because you’re frequently angrier about most things. This is the time when you need to disconnect from your office when it’s outside of working hours. Carve out quality time to spend with your loved ones and yourself alone and avoid answering work calls and emails during this time. Instead, do so at a scheduled time so that you can reconnect with both yourself and your loved ones.
4. Inability to focus
You’ve accepted that you may not have the best memory, but lately, things seem to be hazier and you’re even forgetting the most basic things. This is another signal your body is sending to tell you that you’re burning out. Don’t withdraw from your friends and family at this time and communicate to them that you’re in need of an understanding support system.
5. Decreased job satisfaction
Thinking back to your first day of work and the enjoyment you felt during the early stages seem like a distant memory and even makes you feel depressed rather than joy. It’s harder and harder for you to get motivated in the morning for work and by the end of the week, you’re completely exhausted such that you can’t even enjoy the weekend. This is the crucial time when you need to decide what’s more important – work or your health. Be honest and ask the brutal question that maybe this job is just not for you.
There’s only 24 hours in a day and arbitrary deadlines are constantly looming. Work is indeed never-ending but that doesn’t mean every job will be that way. Prevent burnout at work by learning to prioritise, be organised with your time and understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Schedule regular breaks and take as many holidays as your company will allow you to. You’ll soon increase your own productivity and be happy at work.