Sometimes, when we try to overachieve and accept more tasks, we can stress ourselves out to the point of exhaustion. Every employer appreciates hardworking employees, but there’s a difference between a healthy workload and paving the way for employee burnout.
In Canada, 96% of managers say that their staff is experiencing some degree of burnout. Burnout, according to World Health Canada, is an occupation phenomenon resulting from workplace stress. Burnout can impact your work performance, social life, habits, and general well-being. The symptoms of burnout can vary from person-to-person. However, the stress of undertaking too much without giving yourself a much-needed break tends to be a key factor.
There are a number of reasons for burnout to happen; however, research indicates that it’s more likely to occur for the following reasons:
When your job eclipses essential everyday tasks, it can hinder your ability to live. Not only can this develop into an unexplainable need to make every task you complete perfect, but it also distorts your identity because your success at work eclipses your physical and mental wellbeing. This dangerous way of thinking can lead you to take on far too much, dedicate too much time to an assignment, and isolate yourself from friends and loved ones. This also means you don’t prioritize downtime when it’s necessary. The best way to push past this issue is to consider whether or not you place work above your wellbeing. Most of the time it’s a gradual issue that goes unnoticed.
It’s good to say “yes” to tasks that you can keep up with. However, if you’re overloading yourself, it feels like you’re drowning under a sea of work that you can’t keep up with. Accepting an overbearing workload can lead to more stress, depleted energy levels, and exhaustion. Additionally, you can find yourself growing detached from your work and your coworkers as a result. A way to deal with this is to step back and identify what is causing the most stress in your daily activities. If you can cut back on stressing-inducing tasks, you may discover a better balance in your routine.
Just because you ignore your exhaustion does not mean it will disappear on its own. You have to allocate enough sleeping time to let your body relax after a stressful day. If you don’t, you will find yourself getting sick more often while dealing with lower energy and brain-functioning levels. Moreover, when you’re dealing with anxiety for weeks at a time, your body may be trying to tell you to slow down. It’s equally important to give yourself some severely needed “me time” for relaxation. Make sure you treat yourself to your favourite TV show, a cup of tea, yoga, meditation, or whatever else you need to relax.
In the end, a number of factors come into play to cause employee burnout. And the roots of it are embedded in our work environments where we aim to overachieve and be better than the next person. We want that promotion, account, etc. so we strive to work hard. This isn’t a bad thing, but when we push ourselves to the point of exhaustion or build up so much anxiety that we can’t breathe without stress, then it’s time to reevaluate.
Want to learn how to combat and prevent employee burnout? Check out Burnout Support and Prevention Resources.