The Ledger No. 33: Burnout in the Workplace

January 19, 2022 Sarah Dameron

Manager measuring the impact of burnout in the workplace

Welcome to The Ledger where we sum up the latest finance and accounting news and trends for you. On this week’s entry, we’re diving into the topic of the impact of burnout in the workplace, how to combat burnout in the workplace, and how to recognize the signs. Read on to explore how to combat burnout by asking for help, the four stages of burnout, how sleeping more can rid burnout and why bosses are struggling to respond to burnout.

burnout in the workplace Ledger

Asking for Help Could be the Catalyst that Combats Burnout

If you’re feeling overworked, overwhelmed, on the verge of a breakdown, you may be experiencing the warning signs of burnout. And according to Debra Grayson Riegel, co-author of Go To Help: 31 Strategies to Offer, Ask For, and Accept Help, one of the biggest skills people struggle with is simply knowing how to ask for help. And it’s not because they don’t want help or need it. No, some people may hesitate to ask for help based solely on a previous bad experience. So how can companies help when this situation arises?

  • Invest in manager training. Managers need to learn how to deliver the right type of support based on the situation.

  • Recognize the signs of burnout. Sometimes burnout can be hard to spot. Once the signs have been spotted, it’s vital that managers get the resources and help their employees need.

To understand why asking for help can be the cure for burnout, read the full article on CNBC.com.

The 4 Stages of Burnout Impact in the Workplace and The Solutions for Each Stage

If you’re like much of the world’s workforce, you’ve probably experienced some form of burnout. But what happens when you keep leveling up through each stage? Can you survive burnout? Here are the four stages of burnout and the resolutions for each stage:

  • “Work is going great!” You’ve been there. You’re like the energizer bunny for work. Except there’s no off button and everything you do is crowded out by work. It’s a tricky stage to spot because you really do love your job, but you don’t know the meaning of ‘work-life balance’. The solutions?

    • Make time for your friends, family, hobbies, etc. Understand that these things are key to a fulfilled life.

    • Get a support network. When you need advice or just to rant, having a support network can be a beneficial thing.

    • Slow your roll. There’s no reason to go over the speed limit in life. You cannot outpace yourself every month.

  • Fatigue. When you’re tired, people can seem irritating. And it’s not an overnight revelation. No, it’s a gradual build up. The solutions?

    • Make time to relax. And not just sleep, but mental rest. If relaxing involves chores around the house or errands outside the house, you’re missing the point of relaxing.

    • Create boundaries. There should be a fine line between work and your personal life.

    • Delegate. This not only benefits you but your organization as well. If you want to succeed in your role and in the company, you need to learn to offload tasks to the appropriate people.

  • Exhausted. All of your symptoms have manifested to this very stage. You’ve ignored the voice in your head that’s telling you you’re doing too much and now your body is desperately trying to convey the same thing.

    • Take time off. The only way to recover from physical and mental exhaustion is by stepping away from work and the responsibilities of life and just taking time for yourself – whether that’s a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation.

  • The end. There’s no going back once you’ve hit this stage. You’ve prolonged the inevitable and the only way out is to change jobs or rethink your career path.

To explore the four stages of burnout and how to survive each stage, head over to Entrepreneur.com to read the full article.

Reducing the Workplace Burnout Impact Starts at Home - Work Less and Snooze More

Wait… what?

It’s a strategy that Jason Fried, co-founder and CEO of Basecamp, implemented throughout each level of his organization.

“It’s kind of gross – this idea that you ‘need’ to work so much, and that’s the thing that’ll get you ahead – putting in ridiculous hours. No one has the stamina or mental capacity to do 14 hours of work.” – Jason Fried

And it’s not just Fried that recognized this need. Other businesses have recognized the importance of employee wellness, especially through a pandemic. The term coined ‘sleep leadership’ has been making waves across numerous companies and many leaders are eating it up. In fact, global organizations such as Aetna and Zappos have offered enticing benefits such as nap pods and monetary incentives for sleeping to their employees. Furthermore, studies have shown that sleep-deprived leaders tend to “have less followership”. Els Van der helm, Swiss sleep neuroscientist, expands on this thought – “They’re less inspiring. The team of a leader who’s had a bad night is much less engaged at work.”

If you’re wanting to learn more about the correlation between sleep and work, read the full article on BBC.com.

Leaders are Struggling to Respond to Burnt Out Employees

The past two years has been messy. The pandemic itself has caused upheaval in the world’s workforce and many workers are saying ‘sayonara‘ to their employers. Some want better work environment. More pay. A better work-life balance. In fact, 39 million resignations were handed in last year. On the flipside, many companies are struggling to retain employees. Many are trying their hand at new things to boost company morale. But this is not a new issue. Chronic overwork started long before the onset of the pandemic. As Alastair Simpson, VP of Design at Dropbox, once said regarding this topic – “We equated busy with good, or a badge of honor.”

Recent Gallup research showed that burned-out employees are 63 percent more likely to take a sick day and nearly three times as likely to be actively seeking a different job. So how have other organizations acclimating to the new climate?

  • Asynchronous work

  • Four-day work weeks

  • Company-wide time off

  • Increased child-care and elder care benefits

To explore how leaders are responding to employee burnout, more on the impact at the workplace, and the uncertainty in today’s climate, head over to WSJ.com to get the full article.

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