By Bond Collective Staff
Employee burnout is a very real problem for millions of people around the world. This type of stress affects their work, their relationships, their health, and, ultimately, the productivity of your team and your business.
But with some vigilance and a few preventative measures, you can keep burnout at bay. In this article, we’ll help you identify the signs that your employees are stressed and give you tips to help them avoid exhaustion.
Employee Burnout Defined
Managers and employees alike often think that burnout is simply exhaustion from working long hours. But there’s more to it than time spent in the office.
Burnout is an employee’s mental, physical, and emotional response to harmful stressors in their workplace.
Yes, physical exhaustion is a key variable that leads to employee burnout, but the mental and emotional components — perceived inefficiency and cynicism, respectively — are equally as influential.
With those factors in mind, here are signs that your employees are stressed and possibly on their way to burnout.
Signs Your Employees Are Stressed
1) Working Longer
An employee who starts staying later and working longer hours on a regular basis — not in response to a new project — could be overwhelmed and stressed.
When this behavior is out of character for the individual, it’s cause for concern on your part that they may be struggling with their workload.
For example, if an employee normally works 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. but suddenly starts working 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., they may be increasing their hours because they can’t get everything done during a regular workday.
2) Consistent Fatigue
If, day after day, a team member looks fatigued even first thing in the morning, it is well worth having a conversation with that individual to see how they’re feeling and what’s going on in their life — both personal and professional.
This is especially true if their fatigue affects the productivity, cohesion, and efficiency of the team as a whole.
An increase in irritability that leads to extreme reactions to things like printer problems or other team members’ regular behavior could indicate that employee burnout is becoming an issue.
Some people are naturally more emotional but, like the other signs on this list, when a behavior deviates from the norm, that is an indication that a team member is feeling inordinately stressed.
4) Change In Appearance
An employee who is stressed will often pay less attention to their general appearance because they are devoting more time and energy to their workload.
This is often a delicate topic — the change could simply be the result of personal preference — but it’s important to keep an eye out for sudden changes that are out of the ordinary when compared to how an employee usually presents themselves.
5) Confusion And Indecisiveness
If a team member who is normally confident in their convictions and firm in their opinions suddenly becomes confused and indecisive, they may be under undue stress and on the road to burnout.
Other closely related anomalous behaviors to be on the lookout for include lapses in memory and an inability to concentrate.
Now that you’re familiar with the signs that your employees might be stressed, let’s turn our attention to how you can help prevent employee burnout.
Tips To Help Prevent Employee Burnout
1) Spread The Workload
You want your employees to be challenged in their work, but not so challenged that they can’t realistically complete the task — that’s a recipe for disaster and burnout.
To avoid giving one team member too much to do:
Be realistic when you assign responsibilities
Delegate an amount of work that is challenging but not overwhelming
Spread the workload over several capable employees
Doing so can prevent the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that leads to employee burnout.
2) Work Reasonable Hours
Most employees are accustomed to working 40 hours per week, but if you ask — or demand — more from them day in and day out, their stress level may rise and their efficiency may decrease.
It’s not outside the realm of reason to ask team members to work a 10- or 12-hour day now and then when necessary. But if you continue to do so week after week, your whole team may quickly burn out.
3) Provide The Proper Tools
Writing a report for work is difficult enough. But doing so without a word processor, typewriter, or even pencil and paper only compounds the stress.
This may seem like a far-fetched situation, but you can extend the concept into any situation in which your team doesn’t have the tools necessary to get the job done right.
Give your employees the proper tools to succeed and you’ll alleviate much of the pressure that leads to employee burnout.
4) Encourage Employees To Follow Their Passions
When your employees are following their passions and working in positions that excite them, they’re better able to cope with the daily difficulties they may face.
This may require effort on your part — creating new positions or moving skilled team members to different departments — but the rewards are well worth the effort.
5) Allow For A Paid Mental Health Day
A mental health day is a period of time during which an employee can choose to do something that makes them happy — taking a class, learning a new skill, trying a new hobby, or just relaxing at home.
Allowing for a paid mental health day once a month or even once a quarter gives your team members permission to take some time off to recharge their batteries.
Prevent Employee Burnout With The Right Work Environment
Employee burnout can happen anywhere, any time. But you can take steps to prevent it from happening by providing the right work environment for your team.
Work environments have evolved significantly in recent years as more and more entrepreneurs and startups move online and into digital offerings. Despite this change in how and where we work, one thing remains the same: people.
Your employees are the one true constant in your business, so you should give them what they need to do their best work, including:
The right tools
Without these variables, their performance suffers, they feel stressed, and employee burnout becomes a very real possibility.
How can you provide all of these essentials without locking yourself into a long-term lease — that won’t grow and evolve with your business — and without burning through all of your hard-earned capital?
By basing your team in a coworking space like Bond Collective.
Bond Collective offers thoughtfully curated boutique work environments that provide an unmatched experience for you and your employees.
Inspiration doesn’t come easy. When it does finally arrive, you want to prolong its presence as much as possible. Bond Collective decorates, arranges, and operates each one of its many locations with inspiration in mind.
Bright colors, natural light, stimulating textures, and plenty of space for your body and your mind to move around — these are the unique ways in which Bond Collective brings inspiration into the work environment.
Inspiration, though, is only one piece of the equation. The right tools are another. That’s why we offer:
Fast, reliable WiFi and Ethernet connections
Unlimited black-and-white printing
Mail and package handling
Private meeting and phone booths
Guest reception and greeting
Daily porter service
Nightly office cleaning
When you don’t have to think about these features — they’re just there whenever you need them — you and your team can focus all of your efforts on getting the job done right the first time through.
What about comfort and flexibility? Bond Collective offers those as well.
All our office spaces are furnished with the highest quality in comfort and design. Many areas within Bond Collective allow for easy reconfiguration to accommodate an impromptu brainstorming session or emergency meeting — that’s flexibility in a nutshell.
Or, if privacy is paramount, take advantage of reserved conference rooms for two to 20 or more.
And let’s not forget about community. Working side by side with other like-minded professionals provides connections, stimulation, innovation, and a whole host of other intangibles that you can’t get from working in isolation.
Take advantage of all that Bond Collective has to offer to help you work smart and prevent employee burnout.
Visit any one of Bond Collective’s many locations in the United States, including workspaces in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Illinois, Tennessee, and Texas. Or call us today to find out more about everything we have to offer.
And while you’re at it, schedule a tour to experience first-hand how the boutique work environments at Bond Collective can benefit your business.