It’s time to prioritise strategies for avoiding burnout in the workplace

New data shows the average UK employee is working three extra weeks for free, thanks to expanded remits and workloads, highlighting a critical need for strategies to avoid burnout.

In today's fast-paced world of modern work, the pursuit of success often comes hand in hand with an increased workload. However, this relentless pace can sometimes lead to burnout, a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress.

Burnout not only affects your wellbeing but also has adverse effects on career progression. In fact, according to a recent poll of 2,000 UK workers conducted by Michael Page, 32% of professionals have actively declined additional responsibilities offered by their employers. Nearly half (48%) admitted already having an overwhelming workload, while 45% expressed concerns about their ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance if they were to take on more responsibilities.

Signs of burnout:

Burnout is a big worry for professionals trying to do well at work and have a good work-life balance. Before diving into prevention strategies, recognising the signs of burnout is the first step in addressing and preventing it.

 These may include:

  • Chronic fatigue: Feeling constantly tired and drained, even after getting enough rest.
  • Cynicism and negativity: Developing a negative attitude or feeling detached from work, colleagues, or projects.
  • Decreased job satisfaction: Losing interest in tasks that used to be enjoyable and experiencing a sense of disillusionment about your career.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Struggling to focus or make decisions, leading to decreased productivity and effectiveness.
  • Physical symptoms: Experiencing headaches, stomach issues, muscle tension, or other physical ailments due to stress and exhaustion.
  • Increased irritability: Feeling more irritable, impatient, or easily frustrated, both at work and in personal relationships.

If left unchecked, burnout can have serious consequences, including reduced job performance, strained relationships, and even long-term health problems. These signs serve as important indicators that it is time to address potential burnout and take steps to prioritise self-care and well-being.

How to avoid burnout: Striving for balance

Let's learn how to prevent burnout and find balance and fulfilment at work by using practical strategies.

Prioritise self-care: Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. Take breaks during the day to relax and recharge. Do activities like exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones to promote wellbeing. Remember that taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining resilience and productivity.

Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life to prevent work from encroaching on your wellbeing. Communicate your availability to colleagues and supervisors and resist the urge to constantly check emails or work-related messages outside of designated work hours.

Take charge of your workload: Communication is key—be upfront with your employer or team about your capacity, and don't hesitate to negotiate deadlines or workload adjustments. Learn tips and strategies for prioritising tasks, setting achievable goals, and delegating responsibilities when needed. Remember, it's perfectly acceptable to decline additional tasks if you're already stretched thin.

For more tips on mastering workload management, check out our guide on how to effectively manage your workload.

Build strong relationships with colleagues, friends, or mentors: Your colleagues can be a great source of guidance and encouragement during tough times. Don't hesitate to reach out for support when you're feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. Sometimes, simply talking to someone who understands can provide much-needed relief and perspective.

Invest in professional development: Take proactive steps to invest in your professional growth and development. This could include seeking out training opportunities, attending industry events or conferences, or networking with peers in your field. Investing in yourself not only enhances your skills and knowledge but also reinforces your value as a professional.

Are you being paid your worth?

In addition to these strategies, it's essential for professionals to ensure they are being fairly compensated for their work. Feeling valued, recognised and fairly rewarded contributes to overall job satisfaction and fulfilment. Use resources like the Michael Page salary guides to learn about industry salaries. This can help you figure out if you are being paid fairly.

Access Michael Page candidate salary guides

If you're feeling like it's time to explore new horizons, our Michael Page consultants are here to support you in finding the right environment to succeed and grow. Explore our live job opportunities or submit your CV today and take the next step toward a rewarding career:

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