Burnout—known as a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion—has always been an issue within the workforce, but it has become more prevalent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, people are increasingly anxious and stressed. According to Mental Health America, the number of people who sought help for anxiety during 2020 increased 93% from the previous year. As such, it is important to address these feelings in order to prevent burnout.
One way to prevent burnout is by establishing meaningful connections with your co-workers and managers. According to research from Harvard University Professor Shawn Achor, the people who handle stress the best are those who focus on their social connections during difficult times. Consider the methods outlined in this article to cultivate connections that will help you fight burnout.
Discuss Your Well-being
Some companies host weekly wellness check-ins where employees can voice their current concerns. If your company is not already doing this, consider reaching out to HR to inquire about setting it up. If you have the opportunity to discuss your well-being, it is a good idea to address things you are struggling with.
Even if you don’t find a resolution to some issues, letting your manager know about your concerns can help them determine how much work to give you or understand why your performance may be different than it otherwise would be.
Talk to Your Co-workers
While your co-workers may not want to share all of their personal struggles, checking in on their well-being is important. When you understand more about how those you work with are feeling, you are in a position to better understand their actions and performance. This not only will help you feel less stressed when they are not performing at their peak, but it also will help them feel seen by you. Ultimately, checking in with your co-workers is a crucial step in improving workplace communication, which often leads to less stress.
Having the option to work remotely can be beneficial in preventing burnout. Whether you are tired from the length of your commute, are apprehensive of returning to work due to ongoing COVID-19 risks or have other concerns, flexible work arrangements may help remedy these issues.
However, it’s vital to stay connected when you aren’t physcially working around others. Consider scheduling times to speak with friends during your day or joining any team events your company may host. Continuing to connect with others can prevent you from feeling isolated when you are not working on-site and, in turn, help you fight burnout.
Amid the pandemic, feelings of stress and anxiety have increased in the workplace, posing additional burnout concerns. Fortunately, you can help prevent burnout by voicing your struggles, communicating with your co-workers and building more meaningful connections.