Employee burnout is a state of physical and mental exhaustion at the workplace. It may happen due to prolonged stress and frustration at work resulting from the nature of the job, lack of support, insufficient resources, and tight deadlines. Typical signs of burnout include the feeling of emptiness, frustration, depression, and exhaustion. The World Health Organization (WHO) is now recognizing burnout, as an “occupational phenomenon”. WHO included burnout for the first time in its 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases which goes into effect January 2022. Burnout is not just detrimental for the one experiencing it, it is also damaging to the well-being of the organization. Here are some tips you can apply yourself as an organization or educate your employees with, to avoid burnout at the workplace.
1. Being liberal with breaks
On a typical day at work, Mr. Arun rarely gets off his workplace except for food and toilet breaks. On the other hand, Mr. Varun, who also works for the same number of hours, is often found socializing with his teammates and other colleagues besides working. Can you judge who among them is a more productive employee? Simplistic logic might trick you into believing that someone who sits at their office workstation more, obviously works more. However, research indicates that sitting in a place for a long period of time can slow down your brain as it starves it of the stimulus it requires to perform at its best. This stimulus can be derived from getting up, walking, chatting, and challenging it with different tasks as opposed to simply sitting in one place. Organizations need to let go of oppressive break policies that micro-manage every minute of an employee. Of course, there has to be a perfect balance where ‘work’ should weigh heavier than ‘leisure’ with the latter only meant to be a slight change from monotony.
PS: Talking to people need not necessarily be the only definition of a break, sometimes a little bit of ‘me-time’ and self-talking is required to get back on track.
2. Setting Clear Expectations and Job Roles
A well-defined role at the company helps employees perform at their peak while an ambiguous and obscure role can confuse them. The uncertainty of their profile posing a novel set of challenges each day can stress them out and decrease their morale. No wonder military personnel and those working in the emergency services field are considered to be under most stress. On the other hand, a proper direction and a timeline with an end goal in mind increases productivity, boosts employee-confidence, and reduces stress.
3. Improving Working Conditions
Working condition is a broad term which may include improper furniture such as a cushion less seat, a table that is set too high/low, a chair that just won’t recline, and other aspects such as the absence of air coolers or proper ventilation, proper lights, clean toilets, and tidy surroundings can all combine to add significant stress on employees. Organizations should realize that the physical condition of a workplace plays a more important role than what we tend to assume. It sets the tone for the culture, employee self-esteem, and the way they think of their management, and potentially, of their own work.
HNI India, being an upholder of the idea of “Happiness at the Workplace” is a manufacturer and seller of ergonomic, user-friendly furniture solutions for offices. Our collections comprise office table and chair sets, height-adjustable table, lounge chairs & sofas, benches, cafe chairs, best ergonomic chairs, collaborative furniture solutions, and more. We also partner with international furniture solution providers to bring you the best from around the world. Do visit our website and find out more about us, there’s something for everyone!
4. Working towards a Higher Purpose
Ralph Waldo Emerson once rightly said “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. To have a higher purpose is a natural human aspiration. When people involved with an organization are making a tangible difference, it gives them a sense of meaning, draws their support, and makes their stress worth its while. This sense of achievement overcomes the feeling of burnout.
5. Provide Collaborative Spaces for Disconnecting and Reconnecting
Organizations can create or designate spaces and pathways that encourage spontaneous social connections so that people can easily switch from formal to informal conversations. These spaces should also be inspiring enough to allow employees to perform without being at their work desk. This can be better achieved by embedding technology with furniture. ‘Playces’ a collection of collaborative office furniture by HNI India and its partner brands, is a perfect example of a dynamic working environment that combines work, play, and rest. Such a space can not only avert burnout but can also boost productivity, accelerate project progress, and enable better problem-solving.
All fields have their stresses, but we can always find ways and means to mitigate them. Considering the above points can surely avoid burnout in employees and also inspire them to work better and stay healthier!