Whether or not you want to admit you are on the verge of a burnout at work – or already there – and whether those around you want to accept it, far too many hardworking individuals are needlessly losing their minds in the name of loyalty to their company.
While loyalty at work is essential to a successful and positive team, sacrificing the physical, mental, and emotional welfare of an employee for the sake of inflated quotas, unrealistic expectations, and tedious over-time is a sure recipe for disaster.
How do you know if you are suffering from workplace burnout? MayoClinic warns that suffering from one or more of the following can impose a risk to your health.
- Have you become cynical or critical at work?
- Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?
- Have you become irritable or impatient with coworkers, customers or clients?
- Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
- Do you find it hard to concentrate?
- Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
- Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
- Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
- Have your sleep habits changed?
- Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints?
Here are a few ways you can offset burnout and some aspects to consider in preventing it altogether.
KNOW YOUR WORTH | Knowing your true value will bode well for you when it’s solidly fixed in humility and paired with a strong work ethic. Your boss and coworkers will see how well equipped you are to handle tasks and appreciate the value you bring to the company – IF your attitude is right. Take pride in your position at work, from the way you dress to the words you use and the way in which you accomplish your tasks. Here are a few ways to use your knowledge and experience, and even natural talent, in a way that will bring actual value to your job and pave the way for a reasonable and healthy workload.
- Your Education | Your education has no doubt taught you the basics and perhaps even technical skills required for your job. Hopefully, you lucked out and had great teachers who were able to bring the subject to life and give you an edge. If you have kept up with your specialty, watching webinars, attending refresher courses, following the current trends, etc., you will be confident in assuring your employer and team that you know your stuff. This is important because it allows you the confidence to share concepts and advice when it comes to your trade.
- Your Experience | It’s been debated, but the right experience can trump education any day. Theoretical knowledge is vital for a good foundation, but the experience of playing out the day-to-day workings of a role is far more educational. Knowing how to deal with people, how to multi-task and prioritize, how to react in stressful or agitated situations, can provide a person with much value. Even if you didn’t get that college education (for whatever reason), if you have real-life experience working under varying circumstances and the tact required to handle anything, you can be an asset to any company.
- Your Natural Talent | Some individuals are fortunate enough to land a job that lets their natural talents shine. Whether you are a receptionist with a knack for organization and responding to the needs of others (sometimes before they even know they need something) or an engineer with a mind for creating and problem-solving, your natural talents are worthy of attention. For example, say you are a team leader, have gone to business school, and spent ten years managing dynamic teams. If you have no people skills, only see things from your own perspective or deem yourself superior to your teammates, it’s doubtful that you are actually good at your job. Whereas someone who naturally invigorates and inspires others, knowing that a leader is a peer and not, in fact, superior to anyone, will thrive in a team leader position – whether or not they studied that in school or spent years working as one.
Regardless of where your strengths lie in the preceding three areas, it’s important that you know why you are right for the job and what differentiates you, making you an asset to the company. Once you are confident in what you bring to the table, make sure to wrap it up in loads of humility and interpersonal skills. Feeling appreciated and valued by your peers and boss is essential for a healthy work-life.
COMMUNICATE | Once you know your worth and how it helps the success of your company, it’s imperative to establish good communication. Being honest, while respectful, and sincerely listening to others is vital in forming a realistic workload that benefits all parties involved.
- Communicate with Your Boss | Communication is the most critical aspect of any relationship. While your boss may be more formal or maybe even informal than most, there is always a place for honesty. Don’t mistake honesty with blunt expressions of what you need or overly intimate shares of your current stressors. Let your employer know when your workload may be out of balance. Rather than come to them with a list of complaints, try working out the situation on your own beforehand. Write down solutions that adjust the workload in a manageable manner while highlighting the increased quality of work it will bring to your position.
- Communicate with Your Coworkers | Coworkers make or break a workplace environment. Rather than ignore them or get overwhelmed by tics and negative aspects of their personalities, take an interest in them. Harvard Business Review suggests, “It could be as simple as taking the time to ask others how their day is going — and really listening. Or sending an email to someone to let them know you appreciated their presentation. Or choosing to communicate something difficult in a respectful, nonjudgmental way.”
- Communicate with Your Family | Your family knows you best. Lean on them when things at work get tough, as opposed to taking it out on them. Ask for their opinions, thank them for simply listening, and encourage them to warn you if they see any signs of burnout. Your home life is a priority, and as such, you will want to make sure that you see your partner and children as a valuable support group. If you need to lessen the financial burden of raising a family, consider improving your finances as a family. Knowing you are a solid team at home will reflect positively when you are at work.
Working on your communication skills will help you in many areas. You will be better equipped to discuss pay, workload, and interpersonal relationships with your superior. You will be able to create a thriving team atmosphere among your coworkers, focused on the positive. You will be able to count on a family who supports you and your hard work. When you feel heard and that you have a voice, you are far less likely to experience the stressors that lead to burnout.
Remember that even when you love your job, it should never pose a risk to your health. We all have 24 hours in a day, 8 hours or so in a workday and are human. Organize your tasks in a way that allows you to deliver quality work. Be positive and encourage a team-centric atmosphere, appreciating your teammates for their strengths. Communicate clearly and frequently with your boss to ensure you are all on the same track and keeping frustrations to a minimum. When you do leave your desk for the day, leave it for real. Enjoy your time at home, with the family, doing something you love. Get a good night’s rest and start again refreshed the next day.
24Cash is a Canadian company that not only offers simple online loans but practical advice for hardworking individuals trying their best to build a good life for their families. Staying on top of your health and well-being is half the battle. When it comes to the other half, the financial half, we’re here when you need us!