Two leading causes of burnout at work.
The number of employees who feel burnout at work is increasing. The data from the General Social Survey of 2016 suggests that people are twice likely to report exhaustion compared with the people two decades ago. Almost 50% of people experience exhaustion because of their job.
Loneliness has a direct relationship with job exhaustion. This means that the more exhausted you are, the lonelier you’ll become.
In other words, burnout may be the result of loneliness and exhaustion. These two factors threaten employees’ physical and psychological health.
Signs and symptoms of burnout
Obviously, burnout can have several negative impacts on employee’s performance including but not limited to:
- Poor motivation
- Emotional instability
- Increasing level of frustration
Another alarming truth is that loneliness is not simply the result of social isolation. The main cause of employees’ loneliness is exhaustion in the workplace. In her book entitled “The Happiness Track,” Emma Seppala claims that 50% of employees across professions and organizations are burned out. The problem was not only evident among managers or executives but also throughout the organizational ladder.
In addition, loneliness, whatever its cause has a negative significant impact on a person’s life. Some experts in loneliness like John Cacioppo (the author of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection) explains the serious effect of loneliness on health and longevity among individuals.
In addition, the findings of Sarah Pressman, of the University of California, Irvine, suggests that loneliness reduces longevity. Another study found that loneliness causes stroke and heart disease. In contrast, another study found that social connection would not only boost the immune system but also lowers levels of anxiety and depression.
Loneliness and exhaustion are two of the leading causes of burnout in workplaces. Burnout employees have poor work performance due to disengagement. And disengagement increases rates of absenteeism and accidents according to some studies.
The question now is how to regulate burnout in the workplaces. Companies are yet to figure out how to resolve this problem. As a result, many organizations try to eliminate burnout through reducing employees’ stress by using mindfulness and workload reduction.
However, some studies suggest that one of the effective ways of reducing loneliness in the workplace is social support. For instance, a study conducted in the UK showed that positive relationships with the coworkers can make the employees happy. Good social connection increases psychological well-being. And well-being will result in better performance.
So how can you reduce the burnout incidents in the workplace?
The biggest challenge among organizations’ leader is the implementation of good leadership. A leader is one, if not the most influential figure in the company. So what is the most effective way to prevent burnout among employees?
The findings of Kim Cameron, the author of “Positive Leadership“, suggest that a caring, supportive, respectful, honest and forgiving work setting can boost overall performance.
The organization should establish positive regard and empathy for its employees and create a warm and friendly environment. After all, compassion is one of the factors that can improve resilience among workers.
Burnout prevention strategies
Other techniques to reduce stress and burnout in the workplace may include:
- Discussing clear expectations and see to it that employees understand those expectations.
- Making sure that employees are equipped with the resources needed to meet the goals.
- Employees training to maintain competency.
- Making the employees feel that they are valuable to the organization.
- Providing support and respect.
- Encouraging breaks and relaxation.
On the individual level, employees can also prevent themselves from becoming stressed from work. To do this, you just need to change the way you think about your work. Here’s what you can do.
- Focus on one task at a time (avoid multi-tasking).
- Work at your own reasonable pace.
- Celebrate small success along the way.
- Take regular breaks.
- Avoid unnecessary overtime.
- Prioritize your private life after work time.
- Improve relationship with your coworkers.
- Avoid toxic or negative people.
- Don’t try to accommodate everything, learn to say no if necessary.
- Become more connected with your friends and family members.
Loneliness and exhaustion are the leading factors of burnout in the workplace. But this problem can be resolved if the company will take its responsibility to provide a conducive working environment.
Furthermore, employees (you) can also prevent from becoming stressed in the workplace. One powerful solution is to change the way you think your work and your life. By so doing, you’ll be able to establish a good connection with others. Because social relationship would increase the level of happiness and well-being.
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I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.