3 min read

How to Combat Burnout in the Workplace?

By CHOYS Community
08 Jul 2023

Amid the pandemic, burnout became a pressing concern for many in Singapore, impacting mental health more than the restrictions themselves. Our work culture often prioritises professional responsibilities over personal well-being, leaving many feeling like machines rather than human beings.

In a survey of mental health across different Asian societies, Singapore was the only place where burnout was the leading factor affecting mental health during the pandemic.

For many, this looked like waking up just in time for work, continuing overtime and ending the day too tired to do anything else. Months into the process, this can make one feel more like a machine, than a human being.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines burnout as a “syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterised by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and reduced professional efficacy.”

It is a response from employees that could lead to an underlying problem in the way the workplace is structured. Burnout often comes out in the form of dread, anxiety, irritability and resentment.

With these feelings, one can be less productive and withdrawn, both at work and in one’s personal life.

How to Prevent Employee Burnout?

The most important asset to an organisation is its people and its employees’ well-being. And not addressing employee burnout puts organisations at risk.

But worry not! There are ways to combat workplace burnout. Here are four helpful tips that can create positive change:

Encourage Open Discussions

Working overtime, skipping lunch breaks, inadequate compensation – all these factors contribute to burnout. By opening up about these challenges, you can prevent your employees from feeling burnt out in the first place.

Employers must foster a supportive work environment by having regular check-ins or one-on-one meetings.

Creating an open space allows employees to freely share their thoughts, ask questions, or express concerns.

Leverage Your Employee Benefits Policy

At the heart of a thriving workplace lies the wellbeing of its employees.

It is crucial to let employees know what benefits, rewards and incentives are available for them.

Making benefits easily accessible to employees builds trust and a sense of belonging.

Get to Know Your Employees on a Personal Level

It's important to go beyond the workplace and get to know your employees on a personal level.

Showing genuine interest in their lives outside of work reaffirms that they are more than just their job titles; they are unique individuals with dreams and passions. They are not mere products of the organisation, but valuable members who contribute their talents and hard work. When employees feel valued for who they are as people, not just for their roles, they develop a sense of irreplaceability.

This, in turn, boosts employee retention as they are more likely to stay committed to an organisation that recognises and appreciates their individuality.

Empower Employees to Prioritise Self-Care

Finding time for rest between work can be challenging, especially when stress levels soar and tasks pile up. However, it's vital to recognise that operating from a constant state of anxiety and stress can take a toll on work output.

Employees should be encouraged to set boundaries at work for better job fulfilment and work-life balance.

Boundaries can look anything like not checking your phone past 6 pm, or not working on the weekends. And employers should encourage employees to prioritise themselves.

For optimal performance, employees must have their stress levels under control and feel well-refreshed and rested. Introducing a little playfulness in the workplace can go a long way.

Final Takeaway

Addressing the question about how to combat burn-out in the workplace requires a collective effort.

Employers and employees alike must work together to foster a workplace that values well-being above all else.

By taking proactive steps, such as encouraging open discussions, prioritising employee well-being, fostering personal connections, and empowering self-care, you can pave the way to a happier, healthier work environment.

So, start the conversation and pave the path to a brighter, more empathetic future, where well-being is at the forefront of professional lives.