Feeling a bit more burned out at work on these hot summer days?
Get in line.
A Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees done last summer found that 23% reported feeling job burnout very often or always, while another 44% reported feeling job burnout sometimes.
That means about two-thirds of full-time workers experience job burnout.
Those are meaningful numbers, made even more so when you consider exactly what the professionals mean by the term “burnout.”
It’s actually more than just the “summertime blues.”
According to the Mayo Clinic: Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.
In other words, the harder you push, the less you get done, the more skewed your priorities get, until you lose all sense of why you even work in the first place.
“People are feeling like their bucket is empty at the end of the day,” accord to Dr. Adrienne Boissy, the chief experience officer at the famed Cleveland Clinic, who is leading the charge to combat employee burnout. “There is an ocean of distress and suffering out there.”
So what exactly is going on? .
Possible causes of job burnout
Job burnout can result from various factors:
- Lack of control. An inability to influence decisions that affect your job — such as your schedule, assignments or workload — could lead to job burnout. So could a lack of the resources you need to do your work.
- Unclear job expectations. If you’re unclear about the degree of authority you have or what your supervisor or others expect from you, you’re not likely to feel comfortable at work.
- Dysfunctional workplace dynamics. Perhaps you work with an office bully, or you feel undermined by colleagues or your boss micromanages your work. This can contribute to job stress.
- Extremes of activity. When a job is monotonous or chaotic, you need constant energy to remain focused — which can lead to fatigue and job burnout.
- Lack of social support. If you feel isolated at work and in your personal life, you might feel more stressed.
- Work-life imbalance. If your work takes up so much of your time and effort that you don’t have the energy to spend time with your family and friends, you might burn out quickly.
5 key ideas to fight job burnout
Improve your self-efficacy: . Your sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how you approach goals, tasks, and challenges. It’s important to try to refuel your belief in your own ability to succeed. One way is to observe a colleague accomplish something meaningful. That’s contagious. Just remember it’s always a good idea to be yourself. Oh, and ignore stupid rules.
Have creative outlets. Burnout blows up your ability to think clearly, and to be flexible and creative. Taking the time to decorate, or redo, your workspace is extremely helpful. Find an arcane and difficult to understand work process and re-fashion it or re-write it into something that is more easily understood and simpler to follow. Clarity is refreshing.
Look out for yourself. Work at a sustainable pace. Too many organizations still insist its employees be present and seated in cubicles, in order for their business to function properly and profitably. But bodies have their own rhythms separate from punch clocks, and people aren’t machines. When you are present and accounted for, plan to eat a fun lunch and make it better by finding a co-worker to share it with.
Get support. The more someone burns out, the more they want to hole up and avoid people, which is exactly the opposite of what needs to be happen. Maintain and work on social connections. Supportive people are the best inoculation against burnout.
Get real. We do have more control sometimes than we give ourselves credit for. Increase your diet of positive emotions. Allow “happy” to be a more significant part of your day by communing with the people, places and things that improve your resilience. You’ll be better for it.