burnout

With the pandemic, there has been a major shift to remote work. This can cause burn out for employees. Working from home blurs the line between life and work. With this lack of work-life balance, workers are feeling more stressed than ever. We want to give you some tools that have helped our team deal with the new work-life adjustment.

First, let’s discuss the difference between burnout and stress.

In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially recognized burnout as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” 

More recently, this focus on workplace burnout has shifted with greater awareness of parental / career burnout, activist burnout, and thanks to 2020, even “societal pandemic burnout.” 

Although burnout is not a personality flaw or a mental health disorder, experiencing burnout can make us more sensitive to anxiety or depression – with data showing women, people in insecure work, and frontline workers have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic. It can also cause a lack of creativity and interpersonal skills to decline when they should be evolving.

Despite what some people may tell you, burnout isn’t due to a lack of ‘resilience.’ And while stress causes burnout, feeling burnt out is different from feeling stressed. Stress can feel like over-engagement or being overactive,  whereas burnout feels like disengagement or lacking motivation.

What does this look like exactly? Zoom fatigue, a feeling that you haven’t accomplished what you wanted to, and it’s emotionally and physically exhausting with a sense of disconnect. You lose the sense of passion and meaning about what you are doing and why.

It’s ultimately important to use the 3 C‘s with all teams: Collaborate, Customize, Commit. 

Collaborate

What do employees need? Once this is determined, we need to figure out how we can meet these needs together.

Customize

Propose a change to the local culture and type that is specific to your company.

Commit 

The workplace often takes temporary measures to fix problems but doesn’t truly commit to changing the culture. We must take the time to commit at all levels to see a change.

How are we addressing burnout at Opsani? 

We decided on 3 organizational interventions to evolve with the changing times. These are Techno-Structural, Human Resources Management, and Human Process. 

Techno-Structural Interventions are centered around improving the effectiveness and human performance by focusing on tech and structure. That means taking a look at all our systems and processes in place for using them. Project management tools like Asana have been greatly supportive in trying to align the remaining interventions. 

Human Resources Management intervention focuses on employee development and satisfaction. These interventions include encouraging employee growth through goal-setting and performance appraisals. This includes both the company goals and objectives as well as the individual employee. 

Human Process intervention focuses on the individual, group, and systemic processes, relying on behavioral science. Well-known human process interventions include individual or group coaching, team-building, and training.

 This can be as simple as creating an expectation to have agendas outlined for each meeting, projects listed on Asana, development workshops to understand leadership styles, and enhancing our onboarding program by understanding team processes and cutting them down by implementing them and integrating them into onboarding.  

A strong sense of organization can keep teams on task and as efficient with their time as possible. 

For some advice to improve workplace culture, check out What is Organizational Development and Why is it Important?

Make sure to read our new leadership series for valuable insight into the Startup world, Five Reasons Why Startup Fail.