Burnout – as distinct from mere tiredness – has been named an occupational syndrome by the World Health Organisation, and it’s a real problem for the modern employee that hasn’t properly managed their workplace stress.
Typical symptoms include physical, mental and emotional exhaustion, loss of motivation, feeling empty or lacking in emotion, inability to focus or concentrate, loss of passion or drive, and experiencing conflict in your relationships, according to ReachOut.
These pervasive feelings of exhaustion can lead to cynicism, depression or lethargy, according to The Interview Guys (TIG).
But what’s actually causing the burnout?
According to TIG’s study of 928 employees, there are some damaging behaviours you’re exhibiting at work that might be contributing to your sense of lethargy or loss of motivation.
These include eating lunch at your desk, skipping lunch, feeling like you can’t control your tasks or workload, and not receiving recognition at work.
Those who said they ‘always’ or ‘often’ ate lunch at their desk had the highest burnout scores of everyone who answered their question, and those who said they always skipped lunch had burnout scores far higher than those who said they never skipped lunch
But it seems like an overwhelming workload could be one of the biggest contributors to burnout, with those answering that they always felt they were out of control of their workload having burnout scores nearly three times higher (74) than those who never felt that way (25).
And unsurprisingly, those who never or rarely received recognition for their work had burnout scores that nearly doubled (69) those who always or often got recognition.
“If unhealthy habits plague your workday, you might be at a higher risk for burnout,” stated The Interview Guys website.
“Many of us have experienced the maddening spiral of more and more work piling up and not being able to control it. Keeping an up-to-date schedule and implementing organisational habits can help control this spiral and keep you feeling in control.”
Though it may seem better to skip the lunch break and graze at the desk to get something done, this can actually be counterproductive.
To reduce stress, take brief personal breaks in your day by taking a walk, having a healthy snack, chatting with a friend, even having a quick nap or meditation session.
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