Mental well-being is a pressing issue for all employees in any organization, whether in digital advertising or other business areas. Managers must clearly understand the personal and individual challenges and perspectives that people face and how they affect an organization.
Burnout is one of the most common mental health issues in the workplace. How can managers and employees better recognize the signs of burnout in each other? What can be done to combat the early signs of chronic stress?
This article will examine how an organization can combat workplace burnout and how individuals can handle it.
Note: This article is based on a DMI Webinar on mental well-being. You should seek professional advice if you are concerned about your mental health.
Mental health in the workplace is an issue
Mental health issues can occur in any workplace. We treat mental health issues very differently than any other workplace problem. Employees may not hesitate to tell their boss if they are physically ill or have an upset stomach. They may not want to admit that they feel stressed or have symptoms of stress.
Encouraging employees to openly discuss their mental health issues is integral to creating a positive, healthy corporate culture.
You’re always young enough to get burned out.
Many believe younger people can handle stress better and ‘get things done.’ This is because they assume that they have more energy and fewer responsibilities. According to a study by the US National Library for Medicine (2010), burnout can start as young as 32. Employees of all ages should feel free to discuss their mental health issues with their managers as the stigma surrounding workplace stress begins to fade.
What is burnout?
A syndrome that is conceptualized as the result of chronic workplace stress which has not been managed successfully.
Chronic workplace stress: Stress is a part of every job, and a healthy amount can motivate people to improve. When stress is persistent and toxic (regular), it can hurt performance and mental health. Chronic stress can lead to burnout if left unchecked.
Stress is not managed well: After acknowledging the problem, it can be managed. The employee, as well as the manager or organization, have a part to play.
A YouGov study in 2021 found that one-fifth of UK workers could not control their stress and pressure levels. The feeling of constant stress can manifest in several ways.
Loss of Energy
Burnout can cause people to feel tired, depleted, or exhausted all the time. Not just sometimes tired, but a constant lack of energy. You may not be aware that your energy level has dropped.
Burnout can also manifest as a negative and cynical attitude toward your work. Burnout can cause an obsession with problems at work and a tendency for people to complain constantly. Burnout can make people unable to look for solutions.
Burnout can make people feel overwhelmed. Burnout can cause people to feel trapped, leading to feelings of helplessness or lack of control.
Burnout can also cause a loss of self-confidence. People who are burnt out lose the energy to deal with problems, and their performance can suffer. They may even start to believe that they cannot do their jobs.
Desire to escape
Burnout can cause people to try and escape their problems rather than face them. Procrastination can result from this, with tasks being continually put off. Some people may try to escape their problems by overindulging in things they think will make them feel good (alcohol or food, box sets, etc.).
Burnout affects people’s ability to perform their job. They cannot achieve the same standards as before because they need more commitment and energy.
Note: Only some people who are burnt out exhibit all these symptoms. The combination of symptoms can vary from person to person.
Burnout: the journey to a burnout
According to the YouGov survey, 46% of UK workers reported feeling more susceptible to extreme stress than a year ago. Burnout is increasing.
Burnout does not happen overnight. Burnout can happen gradually over weeks or even months. Most people begin their jobs with a positive attitude, but some may end up negatively.
Burnout can be categorized into four distinct stages.
Honeymoon: You may feel excited when you begin a new project or job, with new opportunities to learn and people with whom to work, even if you have niggling doubts about your abilities to do it.
Stress: You may notice that teething anxiety can turn into focus. This is manifested in symptoms like lack of sleep and an inability to switch off or work longer hours.
Chronic Stress: Anxiety becomes persistent, and you may begin to take less care of yourself and your appearance. You might also become more susceptible to illnesses like recurring headaches or stomach upsets.
Burnout All negative aspects of stress can be amplified. This can lead to self-doubt and pessimism. It may also result in isolation, neglect, or even depression.
Burnout is the result of a failure to manage stress effectively. It is, therefore, essential to identify the symptoms early and treat them to prevent burnout. “
What are the causes of burnout?
A single thing does not cause burnout. Burnout is often a result of several factors. The US National Library for Medicine (2020) surveyed to identify common causes of burnout.
58% of respondents said they worked long hours.
52% of respondents said that they were given too many tasks.
47% of respondents felt they are expected to be always available.
39% of respondents said they did not take enough time off.
Stress during Covid-19
A YouGov survey found that 46% of employees believed working at home contributed to burnout. Working from home was once seen as an added benefit of the job, but the Covid-19 pandemic changed how people viewed it.
People felt trapped at home. No clear distinction was made between home and workspace. There was no clear boundary between home and workspace. It may have been hard to find an office or garden to escape to, or you might need help working with your housemates at kitchen tables or in their bedrooms.
Source: More Happi