How employees & employers can avoid burnout as many return to the office

Posted at 5:32 AM, Jul 06, 2021

(WXYZ) — As more and more people head back to the office, we are looking at employee burnout.

During the pandemic, we've seen a different kind of worker burnout. With all the negative emotions like stress and worry, Americans were drained.

According to a Gallup poll, Americans' life evaluations hit their lowest level in more than a decade. The percentage of Americans who consider themselves as "thriving" dipped to its lowest level since the Great Recession.

As people get back to the office, there's a whole different way we can burn ourselves out.

When thinking of the things people need to take into account working at an office, there's commuting, child care, potential workplace distractions and more. All can constribute to burnout.

"Any job, whether you're home or not, you're gonna have burnout with it to some degree. But you never realize until you were able to work remotely.. how much that burnout had happened and you didn't realize it," Connie Shaffer said. She's returning to the office part-time.

Shaffer said working from home has freed up time and removed stress.

"What has been so great is that, of course, I'm here anytime my kids need me," she said.

Now, she's headed back to the office in medical billing, but her job is allowing a hybrid schedule.

"I'm going back two days a week right now. There are other people who are working a week at a time," Shaffer said.

It's that flexibility and attentiveness to employee's needs that Dr. Angela Hall, a human resources expert, said could make the difference in preventing employee burnout, as well as employees needing to communicate.

"They can't be afraid to ask for help and to take advantage of resources that the employer will have," Hall said.

She added that employees shouldn't be afraid to negotiate with their employers on what works best for them and help prevent the symptoms of burnout.

She said employees shouldn't be afraid to negotiate with their employers on what works best for them.

"Studies have shown that the best way employers can support their employees with respect to burnout is on two levels, individually, like approaching the employee, doing check-ins, observing them, seeing how they're doing, but also in an organizational or systemic type of way," Hall said.

For example, Hall said having an inclusive and supportive culture, one that allows employees to speak up.

You also have employees who may have become burned out during the pandemic from working extra hours at work. The same tips apply for employees and employers in the way of communication and attentiveness.

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