Ever feel burned out at the office in this post-pandemic world? You are not alone.
Dr. Donna Milavetz, Executive Medical Director for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah says it’s not all in your head. According to the World Health Organization, “Employee burnout is a disorder, or a syndrome caused by chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. ”
She says employee burnout can be a serious issue that has only been identified in recent years.
“It’s this constant feeling of being overwhelmed, exhausted and unable to cope and many of us have felt that in the short term, right? But when it’s prolonged - that’s when burnout can happen. ”
Dr. Milavetz says in this post-pandemic environment, employee burnout is part of what has led to the ‘Great Resignation’ we’ve seen across the country, with droves of people leaving long time jobs in every industry.
When it comes to combating burnout, Dr. Milavetz says the first step is to speak up. “I think it’s important to raise your hand and say hey, I’ve got some challenges here. ”
Notify your supervisor if you’re dealing with energy depletion, physical and emotional exhaustion, loss of motivation, reduced sense of competency and productivity, and less compassion for others.
“I think we’re seeing a lot of that as one of the early indicators - that you are just on the edge,” says Dr. Milavetz.
She also says there are physical manifestations of burnout, including headaches, joint pain and trouble sleeping.
Dr. Milavetz recommends establishing a set work schedule – especially for those who work remotely. Don’t forget to take breaks, as it can be easy to just continue working when you’re in a home environment.
From the employer side, Milavetz says, “It’s important for us to recognize that burnout is real. It’s not a character deficit in any way, shape, matter or form. In order to address it, you need to, as an employer start to ask your employees better questions.”
Employers should also encourage employees to take time off, and help improve work environments. Make sure your team knows you are there for them, and follow through with action, rather than just lip service.
In the end, it’s up to the employee and employer to work together to ensure burnout doesn’t lead to long-term issues. Open communication on both sides will help with that work-life balance and overall well-being.
If you are experiencing signs of depression and anxiety stemming from employee burnout, do not hesitate to contact a medical professional for help.