Have you experienced burnout in your current job? Do you feel like your employer just isn’t doing enough to prevent or alleviate this type of exhaustion?

You’re not alone. In fact, 56% of employees don’t think their employers care about employee mental health, yet 91% of C-suite executives think their employees believe that the C-suite does care. According to a Deloitte survey of 1,050 employees and 1,050 C-suite executives performed in February 2022, there’s obviously a disconnect:

Image courtesy of Deloitte Insights

So how can employees and HR professionals address this issue and improve employee wellbeing and mental health?

It’s all about identifying the signs of burnout and exploring strategies that prevent it! That includes stress management techniques — like deep breathing, meditation, and even stretching.

But how do you spot the symptoms of employee burnout?

Exhaustion and lack of motivation

People who are constantly tired and don’t have any passion for their jobs might be experiencing burnout. WebMD describes burnout as a “form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling swamped.”

Sound like you or someone on your team?

Burnout can lead to exhaustion and a lack of motivation for several reasons. Not having any control at work or ongoing conflict with teammates are just two causes of this ever-growing problem. Challenges with work-life balance and having too much — or oddly, too little — to do at work can also lead to burnout.

Whatever the reason, feeling exhausted all the time and not having any motivation can impact performance and profitability in the workplace. So, HR pros need to address these issues.

Reduced productivity and feeling cynical

Burnout makes someone less productive at work, according to the senior director of applied psychology at the American Psychological Association. And when someone’s not as productive as they should be, they are more likely to make errors, which can impact service quality and an organization’s bottom line. Not good for the business or the employee.

Experiencing burnout can also lead to feelings of cynicism. In other words, someone might not trust other people in the workplace and question their motives — even if they have good intentions. Also not good! When people are cynical, they are more likely to perform badly at work and leave their jobs.

Headaches, stomachaches, and other physical problems

Burnout isn’t just a psychological phenomenon. It can impact someone’s physical health, too. Suffer from headaches? Stomachaches? Other body aches? Or do you know someone on your team who does? Perhaps burnout is causing those symptoms.

Another side effect of burnout is insomnia. That’s when it’s hard to fall asleep. Or stay asleep. Researchers have found that poor-quality sleep and insomnia often stem from feeling emotionally exhausted in the daytime. Sometimes, someone might not be able to get any shut-eye because they are thinking about their jobs. Or all the things they need to do at work.

The importance of work+life synergy

So, how do you handle burnout and its many symptoms?

Creating a work+life synergy is one solution. Work+life synergy occurs when someone finds a way for their work and personal lives to exist in harmony. They might align work with their unique goals and needs. Or discover how to connect their jobs with other aspects of their lives, such as family, friends, hobbies, and mental health.

Work+life synergy is completely different from work-life balance. That concept implies that someone’s professional and personal lives compete with each other and should be kept separate. Synergy is all about integrating the different aspects of life.

Sarah Jane O’Hare, a people growth manager and coach, says:

“Ultimately, whether one seeks balance or synergy depends on personal preferences and life circumstances. Some individuals may prefer a clear distinction between work and personal life, while others may thrive by embracing the interconnectedness and mutual benefits that synergy can offer.”

Stress management

Another way to reduce burnout is by managing stress. That’s more difficult than it sounds, though. More than half of all Americans experience stress during the day, which is significantly more than the global average.

Stress management techniques include deep breathing. By breathing through the diaphragm, you can control your nervous system and encourage your body to relax. Sounds good, right?

You can also manage stress by meditating. That involves taking a few minutes from your day to focus your mind. Meditation can bring about feelings of calm and balance that improve emotional wellbeing and even overall health.

Did you know that stretching is another stress management technique? This simple physical activity improves circulation in the body, increases oxygen, and reduces muscle tension. Who knew?

Beat burnout for good!

Burnout is an American epidemic. It’s characterized by exhaustion, reduced productivity, feelings of cynicism, and a lack of motivation. Burnout can also lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and insomnia.

Whether you suffer from burnout or you know someone on your team who does, you need to address it! Prioritizing self-care can prevent work-related stress and improve mental health. That might involve managing stress or achieving work+life synergy.

If you’re in HR, investing in a wellbeing platform can also help with employee burnout. RemoteWorx lets you boost worker wellness, team engagement, and overall productivity in remote, hybrid, and traditional work environments through incentives and rewards. Learn more about the RemoteWorx platform, or request a demo now!