3 strategies to reduce burnout on your team
More than two-thirds of employees say they are burned out, a 20% increase from May, according to a new report from employment platform Monster. The extreme stress and exhaustion of the COVID-19 pandemic is putting employees at risk of physical and mental illness.
“When we work from home, we don't create boundaries in our lives,” says Curtis Christopherson, CEO of Innovative Fitness, a personal training and wellness club that works with businesses to provide virtual health and fitness sessions. “Because we’re home and isolated now, we’re working a lot more and spending time in front of technology. The thing that’s suffered is health and wellness.”
Burnout has been an official mental health concern since 2019 when it was added to the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, a diagnostic tool for medical providers. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress, and left untreated, can lead to long-term health consequences, like depression, heart disease and diabetes. Employers spend between $125-190 billion on healthcare costs associated with burnout, according to research by Harvard Business School.
Because of the pandemic, employees are even more at risk for burnout because of the increased stressors of work and home responsibilities, Christopherson says. Employees are operating in “fight-or-flight mode,” which can affect workplace productivity.
“To protect ourselves from fear, we either conserve energy or we fight back, and that level of energy can really impact our well-being,” he says. “Employees feel overwhelmed — they don’t have the attention span and efficacy in their jobs and are not performing at their best.”
Employers can intervene and prevent burnout by recognizing the warning signs and establishing a healthy remote work environment, Christopherson says. He shared three critical considerations managers should take when dealing with burnout.