Burnout Is Spreading: What Can Managers Do To Prevent The Spread?

According to Owl Labs' "State Of Remote Work 2021," only 11 percent of managers surveyed were worried about employee burnout.

The survey found that 55 percent of employees work longer hours working remotely than they did when working in the office. Forty-two percent of workers are stressed about uncertainty concerning their employer's in-office requirements. Sixty-three percent of respondents also had caregiving responsibilities during the pandemic.

According to the CEO of Owl Labs, nearly one in three employees have been working remotely from inside their closets at least some of the time, contributing to employee burnout.

Of the 25 percent of employees who changed jobs during the pandemic, 87 percent did so to decrease their stress, the survey found. Women changed jobs 47 percent more than men.

Finally, 82 percent of employees said having a remote work option at least part-time would improve their mental health, and 75 percent said it would make them less likely to leave their organization, according to the survey.

Owl Labs, in collaboration with Global Workplace Analytics, surveyed 2,050 full-time workers in the U.S. between the of ages of 21 and 65 at companies with 10 or more employees and gender equity in September 2021 for the report.

A previous global study of business executives and human resources professionals found that both leaders and employees are "burning out at record rates."

According to the author of the Banish Burnout Toolkit, "unreasonable workloads and deadlines eventually cause burnout," which is defined by the World Health Organization as "chronic stress that is not successfully managed."

Burnout can appear as mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. One day off is not going to help, she says. Burned out employees would need many weeks off and possible reassignment, which would have financial, productivity, and reputational consequences for the employer.

She recommended that managers take the following steps to address employee burnout:

1.   Find ways to make workloads and deadlines more reasonable.

2.   Listen to employees.

3.   Make employees feel valued by including them when discussing strategy.

4.   Align their work with a clear mission to help employees find meaning in their work.

5.   Treat employees with respect and bond with them on a personal level.

6.   Show employees appreciation by asking them what they want and doing your best to give it to them. Edward Segal "Report: 90% Of Managers Are Not Worried About Employee Burnout. Here's Why They Should Be." www.forbes.com (Nov. 24, 2021).

 

 

 

Commentary

Burnout can lead to mental, physical, or emotional disabilities. This is detrimental to the worker, but it also hurts, to a much lesser degree, management and other workers.

Employees who reach burnout may need to take weeks of medical leave. This impacts productivity and requires other employees to take on more responsibility, increasing their chance of burnout.

As a manager, it is essential to work with your employees to manage their workloads, due dates, stress levels, and work-life balance to prevent burnout.

Start by listening to employees’ needs and concerns and address them if you are able to or seek the help of others. When permitted allow flexibility, do so in a way that employees can maintain work-life balance.

Finally, always encourage employees to use their benefits, including vacation and other time benefits, so they can recharge their batteries.

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