From time to time, most of us will suffer from burnout as a result of a particularly busy time at work. But for some, the issue seems to be more commonplace and problematic – likely, a result of both issues at the job itself, as well as personal behaviours. Ahead, we take a look at some of the potential causes of burnout at work, so that you can better reduce the likelihood of experiencing it.
Most people will find it mentally taxing if they do not have a clear understanding of what is expected from them at work. Lack of such clarity around our responsibilities can lead us to take on more work than is necessary, often leaving us with tasks to tackle that are not in our job description. This expanded workload can become exhaustingly overwhelming if we haven’t received the training or tools that we need to handle it.
Similarly, it can lead us to not take on enough work, too. While we would expect that doing less would allow for more time to relax, often, it is these times of idleness that lead to overthinking, anxiety, and ultimately, burnout.
Lack of support
Our ability to cope with difficult times at work is hugely dependent on the level of support we have available to us. In fact, many report that if they are feeling especially stressed, receiving some level of assistance, understanding and appreciation from their colleagues or manager can help to alleviate a lot of the uncomfortable feelings – for many, a problem shared is a problem halved.
Although many of us may find support outside of the workplace, our colleagues are the people that are most likely to understand the stresses we’re experiencing, so internal support can often be more beneficial. Without a supportive outlet for our feelings, we are more likely to internalise our stress, which inevitably can lead to burnout.
Not varying activities
Particularly if you work from home, it can be difficult to pull yourself away from your screen when it’s time to take a break. However, it’s important to get up and get moving where you can, as an excess of screen time is a leading cause of both physical and mental health problems in the workplace.
By varying our activities at work, we can give our bodies a break from being in the same position all day long, and our minds a break from fixating on one task for hours at a time – ultimately, allowing us to better prevent burnout.
We tend to experience burnout when we become too overwhelmed by or fixated on our work tasks, with little room for change or control of our situations. While ensuring a happy and healthy workplace is generally an employer’s responsibility, there are also small changes that we can each make as individuals in order to feel more on top of our workloads, and therefore reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety that may lead to burnout.