As many of us have adjusted to new working environments during the pandemic, workplace burnout remains a prevalent issue for many employees. Even though working from home can be beneficial in potentially giving employees a better work-life balance, the same issues which can lead to burnout in the office are still relevant at home
There are many different causes of workplace burnout, from unreasonable workloads or expectations to a work culture that neglects employees’ mental health. If you begin to notice signs of burnout within your workforce, this could be an indication that your working policies are not completely fit for purpose and should be revised where possible.
But, with less communication and reduced face-to-face interactions, how can you identify workplace burnout within your organization? Here are three signs that burnout could be an issue affecting your employees.
Reduced Productivity or Efficiency
If you notice an employee is taking significantly longer to complete a task than usual, this could be a sign of excessive workplace stress. Commonly, when a worker is suffering from burnout, they are likely to feel overly tired or overwhelmed, which could lead to lower levels of productivity.
Similarly, if you begin to notice more errors in their work, this can be symptomatic of a burned-out employee. Perhaps they are feeling overwhelmed with their workload, or have simply become disconnected from their work and so are giving it less care and consideration.
Maintaining a happy workforce will not only benefit individual employees but the company as a whole. Studies have shown that employees are 12% more productive when they are happy at work, demonstrating just how valuable building a positive professional environment can be.
Increased Irritability or Frustration
With the majority of workforces operating predominantly from home, where time spent chatting to colleagues is streamlined, irritability or frustration can be trickier to spot amongst employees. With face-to-face communication being replaced by online messaging platforms, it may be more difficult to gauge your worker’s emotions and feelings.
Whilst you don’t want to actively seek out signs of irritability amongst your workers, which could be blamed on a bad day or personal circumstances, it is important to be aware of any atypical displays of frustration. If you continue to notice this trait in ongoing interactions with a particular employee, this could indicate that the individual is burned out and you might need to address your working policies.
Detachment doesn’t necessarily mean an employee is no longer showing up to meetings, or withdrawing from other professional commitments. They will likely still be physically present, but, highlighted by a lack of contribution or insight, they will be detached from such engagements.
This, again, will be more difficult to spot, particularly in the absence of regular social events outside of work. With some employees also being more naturally reserved than others, it can be more difficult to identify when certain workers are suffering from this particular symptom. You should encourage open communication channels between employees, and always be ready to listen to feedback from workers who might have noticed similar signs amongst their colleagues.