5 Types of Worker Burnout (And How to Address Them)

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LumAppsEnable your employees to do their best work

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Burnout has become a much-discussed topic in recent years. Defined as a physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress, it has come to impact significant numbers of the workforce, triggered by a range of factors. Avoiding burnout is crucial as a business is arguably only as good as its weakest, lowest-performing employees and teams.

Article 5 Minutes
5 Types of Worker Burnout (And How to Address Them)

Many aspects of our working lives have changed in recent years, from our physical workplaces to the expectations and demands of business, so it’s no wonder that pressure has been felt throughout businesses and by their employees. 

Being aware of how changing economic and societal factors impact each area of business, with a clear focus on the employees at the heart, is key to establishing initiatives that can counteract burnout. Burnout is rarely an isolated incident. If a certain number of environmental or social factors are resulting in employee burnout, it will have repercussions across teams.

It’s the responsibility of employers and their HR teams, to put processes in place to monitor employee experience and avoid burnout. In this guide, we’ll explore 8 of the most common types of worker burnout, and discuss how to address them.

1. The worker who’s overwhelmed by the office

As teams now return to the office after a period of remote and hybrid working, it’s fair to say it can be an intense experience. From the sudden uptick in social interaction to in-person meetings, there are often many more demands to office-based work. 

In the spirit of ‘making up for lost time’, many offices are embracing team lunches and post-work socials which can be overwhelming given we’ve spent a huge amount of time often in our own company in front of a screen. 

To combat this, being aware of the office environment is key. Make sure there are areas for collaborative working but also spaces for quiet work, with flexibility for employees to work where they need to. A late start or early finish occasionally, where teams can take a little time out of the office, won’t go unnoticed and can help employees to transition back to office life. 

2. The remote worker who feels isolated

The requirement for remote work at such short notice at the start of the pandemic presented a challenge for both businesses and their employees - practices and procedures had to be completely reimagined. Now as we’re moving back into offices and hybrid working, it’s understandable that those with fully-remote environments might feel excluded or isolated.

Establishing open channels of communication for both remote and in-person teams will be key in avoiding this element of burnout. You want to avoid half of the team having a discussion in the office with remote employees sitting and listening in front of their screens. To do this, you can invite team members to review the information and share questions and talking points before the meeting, and share minutes or action points on an internal team intranet for visibility. 

It’s also crucial remote workers feel valued and included in decision-making, so ensure meetings take place in a format where they can be attended by all employees to help combat this. 

3. The worker that misses out due to ‘deskless’ working

Traditionally ‘deskless’ roles suffer one of the highest levels of employee burnout across a range of businesses. For frontline workers in industries such as healthcare, hospitality, construction, retail, manufacturing, and transportation, being deskless is part of the job, however, it does mean workers miss out on many of the benefits of ‘desk-based’ work. 

Often not having the same day-to-day routine or a central hub can present some similar challenges to remote working, with employees feeling disconnected or excluded from key projects. You can address this type of burnout by establishing open communication channels and regular contact with deskless employees.

When reports have to be filed or information recorded, equip your teams with the tools and technology to do this efficiently away from a desk to avoid paperwork becoming a time-consuming afterthought at the end of a hard day's work.

Being considerate of different working requirements when planning meetings, and sharing information in a format that will be accessible to all employees helps to ensure your deskless employees feel recognized and included. 

4. The worker managing a career change

A career change can be both a cause and effect of burnout. For those who have recently changed careers, the pressure of ‘catching up’ and feeling like you’re working alongside colleagues who have a wealth of experience in the industry can be overwhelming. This is often a similar situation for those returning to work after a break in their career. 

Acknowledging that employees offer a range of experiences in your industry is a huge benefit, as you embrace different knowledge bases. Ensuring key documents, employee directories, and company information are easy to access on a shared platform will help support those who’ve changed careers. Allowing time for questions and discussions during meetings will also highlight where employees might need more support or training in a particular area.

5. The toxic culture effect

As we talk more about the importance of culture in our workplaces, highlighting the negative impact toxic culture can have is also important. From a social point of view, it’s key to have a culture of trust and open communication in a healthy, happy workplace. 

To avoid toxic culture, set clear expectations for communication, with input from every department. Make sure there is time for employees to get to know each other in a professional but also personal capacity, as learning and understanding how colleagues work can have a big impact on team interactions and stop a toxic culture from developing. 

In a period of growth, teams can change rapidly and priorities shift, so keeping them in the loop of developments, promotions and new hires will also contribute to a more positive team dynamic. 

A happier, healthier workforce will positively impact the business

We know that optimal employee experiences result in more productive teams and better output. The best companies understand that employees strive to be engaged, enabled and empowered, but also that burnout can be a result of changing demands. 

As our working environments shift from remote to office or hybrid, or from one career or industry to another, we must consider all the factors that will be impacting teams. Recognizing different types of burnout, and putting steps in place to avoid them, will pay off in the long run as your employees will continue to have a positive impact on the business.

LumApps

Enable your employees to do their best work

https://www.lumapps.com/

LumApps is a leading Employee Experience Platform founded in 2015 to unify the modern workforce through better communication, engagement, and instant access to information. Integrated with Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, LumApps intelligently connects people, information, and business applications to empower employees and enhance productivity. The product tailors each experience to the unique needs of the employee, from executives and managers to frontline workers. LumApps is a true SaaS platform, designed to scale to the needs of today’s largest enterprises and is easily accessible across any device or language.

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