How To Fight Employee Burnout During a Pandemic

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Working from home has its benefits, you can wear your casual comfy clothes all day, not having to commute means extra savings to spend on things you enjoy, and better work-life balance as many jobs introduce flexible schedules. In conclusion, working from home should have a positive impact on employees,  however, a recent report published by global recruiter company Robert Walters indicates that 36% of Irish employees feel that their mental health and wellbeing have suffered due to working longer hours during the pandemic.

As a result of the change in work circumstances, 47% of managers fear their employees “may be at risk of burnout”. Many employees are worried that the social aspect of work will no longer exist post-COVID 19, this will have a big effect on team engagement, motivation, and employee wellbeing.

Let’s define the term burnout:

“It’s a syndrome resulting from chronic unmanaged workplace stress, it is considered an occupational phenomenon, however, is not classified as a medical condition” (World Health Organization, 2019). Basically, feeling burnout is feeling exhausted, frustrated, sometimes depressed, and irritated. Although is not considered a mental health illness, burnout can cause serious mental and physical health issues.

Common causes of employee burnout:

  • Overwhelming amount of work
  • lack of support or guidance,
  • time pressure,
  • lack of resources,
  • lack of rewards.

These effects not only affect the individual’s performance but also their team and the overall business.

A new survey done on behalf of OMT Global by the Department of Work and Employment Studies at the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick determined that since the beginning of the pandemic, 60% of employees in Ireland are feeling more stressed, while 51% of all remote working employees feel less connected to their teams. Chief executive of OMT Global, Mark Doyle, stated that these figures are alarming and employee burnout is in the near future for many Irish companies.

As we continue to adapt to new regulations and changes at work, companies, and employees must be aware of burnout symptoms and prevention.  If you think you are feeling burnout you must take action before it causes a serious impact on your health and your personal and work life. Professionals recommend the following tips that help to deal with feeling “burnout”:

Reconnect with those closest to you

Seek support from loved ones or colleagues at work. Social contact is nature’s remedy to stress, conversations face to face with someone is one of the easiest ways to relieve stress. While the person you are talking to may not be able to fix your problems, having someone who will listen carefully will make you feel better.

Set boundaries

If you are still working from home, then reconsider your boundaries and set new ones. Learn to say no and to disconnect from work once you have finished for the day. Remember that working on many projects or taking on many tasks will not result in productive days of work, instead, it will leave you feeling exhausted and burnout.

Do a technology detox

Set time aside each day to put away your phone and laptop. Give your brain and eyes a break from the screens.

Exercise

Regular exercise helps relieve stress, find an activity you enjoy doing. Make sure you keep your body active by doing things you enjoy and that will help keep your mind away from work-related thoughts.

Get good nights of sleep

 

Hit the reset button each night when you go to bed and ensure you get enough hours of good rest to restore your wellbeing.

Finally, remember to take a break when your body asks for it! If you are finding it difficult to overcome stress, seek professional help.