How To Prevent Burnout? Well-being at Work

Since the beginning of this year, burnout is recognized as a disease entity on the basis of the WHO International Classification of Diseases. For employers, this means that along with a change in classification, doctors may therefore issue sick leave for employees. It is worth paying special attention to the phenomenon of occupational burnout also for other reasons. It is an increasingly common disorder that, as it turns out, affects not only professionals but also young people without extensive professional experience.

The coronavirus pandemic has only made matters worse, negatively affecting the mental well-being of many workers. As research shows, 2020 was the most stressful year for many of us in our entire professional life, which is why it is so important now to take care of employees.

Many factors influence the occurrence of occupational burnout. Working conditions, the atmosphere in the office, rules in the company regarding working time, its organization and the requirements of superiors are very important here.

What is burnout, how does it manifest itself and how can we prevent it?

This is what you’ll learn in this article.

What is burnout?

According to researchers dealing with the topic of burnout, stress, exhaustion and overload of the body are the dominant factors here. Most often it consists of several phases with different dynamics. Although burnout does not always go the same way. The steps can appear in a different order, intertwine with each other, or occur simultaneously.

What are the stages of a professional burnout?

Emotional exhaustion

Distance and cynicism

Feeling of lack of competencies and achievements

What’s very dangerous is that such behavior can increase, leading to permanent changes in personality traits. They contribute to many conflicts, deteriorate relationships with others, and also have a negative impact on the quality of life.

Symptoms and effects of occupational burnout

  • constant work fatigue, lack of energy,
  • decrease in involvement in professional activities,
  • reduced sense of own competencies and effectiveness,
  • fear of going to work,
  • apathy,
  • sleep disturbances,
  • problems with concentration,
  • lowered immunity.

Burnout has many negative effects that affect not only the person who experiences them, but also the employer.

The syndrome very often leads to conflicts in teams, a drop in productivity, more mistakes, frequent absences and even resignation from work.

Who is affected by burnout?

The disorder affects more often people whose work requires contact with others, e.g. salesmen, employees of customer service departments and managers. Healthcare workers, social workers or teachers are also at greater risk. A stressful workplace is also significant, as it requires the employee to make difficult decisions quickly, can include lack of support, loneliness, conflicts. The following factors contribute to the occurrence of occupational burnout: a tendency to focus too much on work, setting unrealistic goals, a high level of perfectionism, a tendency to workaholism, and weaker mental resilience.

One of the factors influencing the number of affected workers appears to be the coronavirus pandemic and the related lockdown. According to the report “ Mental wellbeing of employees in Poland “, 75% of the surveyed employees experienced burnout of varying severity in 2020. 60% of respondents admitted that they feel stressed, of which 11% feel severe stress. One in five respondents assess their mental condition as weak or very weak. As a result, in the first year of the pandemic, medical certificates caused by mental and behavioral disorders accounted for 10.8% of all days of absenteeism. The report cites ZUS data, according to which in 2020, 1.5 million medical certificates were registered for a total of 27.7 million days of sickness absence. 385,800 were certificates due to depression for a total of 7.8 million days. This is 25.3% more than in the previous year.

How to support employees in the fight against burnout?

As employers who care about the well-being of the employees, we should provide them with the opportunity to benefit from professional help. However, prevention is better than cure! Before you notice symptoms of burnout in yourself or your company’s employees, take care of your mental well-being, maintaining a proper balance between private and professional life, and properly planning your work so that it gives you satisfaction all the time.

  • Allow yourself and your employees a moment of relaxation (also during working hours). You can organize trips and integration meetings for those who are interested in it, introduce a sports section or set clear rules of cooperation, dedicating a certain time to work and time to rest.
  • Encourage employees to lead a healthy lifestyle — educate colleagues in this regard, inform them about the benefits of longer sleep, offer healthy snacks in the office and motivate them to physical activity, e.g. by conducting fitness classes during breaks at work.
  • Set realistic, achievable goals in your own work and that of your employees, avoid strong pressure.
  • Conduct workshops in the techniques of coping with stress and caring for internal peace and the ability to set boundaries.
  • Offer your employees professional development — let them spread their wings by taking on new challenges in a nice, supportive atmosphere.

Are you looking for skilled IT specialists willing to join your company? Contact us — we pay big attention to the well-being of candidates involved in the recruitment process.

Originally published at https://nexttechnology.io on March 9, 2022.

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Marketing Specialist at Next Technology Professionals - IT Recruitment | IT Outsourcing

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Aga Babicz

Marketing Specialist at Next Technology Professionals - IT Recruitment | IT Outsourcing