5 Stages Of Burnout In The Hybrid Workplace

5 Stages Of Burnout In The Hybrid Workplace

5 Stages Of Burnout In The Hybrid Workplace


The psychological wellbeing of employees has become a strategic priority for most leaders and companies and most agree working from home is here to stay.

But, as the differing quarantine rules continue across the country and with no end in sight. We are starting to see differing levels of fatigue increasing.

That feeling of constantly being switched on, and the boundaries between work and home blurred.

A recent McKinsey Report surveyed over 40,000 women in the workplace, across 317 companies and found women, especially non-white women who are already marginalised.

1 in 4 were considering down shifting or leaving jobs.

For mums, particularly single mums, who have been waking up earlier to get some focused work time, spending time with their children during the day and then returning to work later.

Have been one of the groups who have experienced some of the physical and emotional symptoms of burnout the most.

The Hybrid Workplace

The hybrid workplace has become a hot topic for most companies navigating this pandemic, with challenges across all sectors.

I recently facilitated a conversation to explore the ‘Hybrid Workplace’ at the Mad World Summit, a leading global workplace wellbeing summit for C-suite leaders to explore this ‘occupational phenomenon’

The top three challenges leaders were grappling with in building the ‘hybrid workplace’ was achieving equity in a workforce, for employees who couldn’t work from home to avoid a ‘them and ‘us’ culture.

Supporting leaders to develop new skills that encompass empathy and have a deeper self-awareness to create a deeper capacity to care for people and build emotional resilience across the workforce.

And recognising the signs and symptoms of what burnout looks like to reduce the risk factors of fatigue and burnout.

Reducing Risk Factors

Reducing these risk factors is key to reducing or managing burnout. Now is an opportunistic time to build in measures as we start to develop the ‘hybrid workplace. Support from managers to reduce stress can really make a difference to avoid burnout.

Making sure managers are trained in mental health and are able to spot early warning signs and offer psychological support is key in building a hybrid workplace.

Preventative support promotes resilience and wellbeing to support the 75% of the population who have good mental health or are coping to remain healthy. However, if workloads are not manageable and there are unreasonable time pressures this will have little or no impact to reduce stress and burnout.

Clarity is important in contingency planning and an important risk factor to reduce burnout. I think one of the biggest challenges of this pandemic has been uncertainty. If you can become clearer about roles and responsibilities across the organisation, setting clear and manageable targets and processes in which people know what to expect and what is expected from them can help to reduce stress and anxiety.

Finally, unfair treatment such as unfair compensation or mistreatment from co-workers or discrimination experienced by marginalised groups, plays a key role in higher levels of burnout.The intersectionality between diversity and inclusion alongside wellbeing can be a key driver for any organisations considering ways to reduce burnout and improve the experience of employees.

What Are The 5 Stages Of Burnout?

Burnout is the loss of meaning in one’s work, coupled with mental, emotional, or physical exhaustion as the result of long-term, unresolved stress. Here are the stages of burnout;

  1. Exhaustion & Fatigue are early warning signs of burnout. If you are experiencing frequent headaches or muscle pain, including changes in your appetite and sleeping habits take notice. Feeling tired and drained most of the time is not normal. You could be compromising your immunity.
  1. Detachment & Ineffective burnout can effect everyday tasks at work or in the home. If you start to hate your job and begin to feel less capable at work and lack creativity this could be an early warning sign.
  1. Physical Symptoms chronic stress leads to physical symptoms, like headaches and stomach aches or intestinal issues.
  1. Hopeless & Loss Of Productivity if you are experiencing hopelessness this is a clear sign burnout is accelerating which will impact on your productivity. If you are cynical about your work conditions, stressed or frustrated with the people you work with and feeling numb you could also be experiencing depression.
  1. Habitual This stage needs to be taken seriously as this can lead to long term sickness and lasting effects of burnout. If you are experiencing habitual burnout you will be struggling to recover and maybe even experiencing chronic fatigue.

Managing stress is becoming a basic requirement for the future of human existence. Start to explore key mental health topics to open conversations and improve mental health in your workplace.

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