How To Beat Burnout At Work With Boundaries

Boundaries at the office will help prevent burnout at work, and at home

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Photo by Bethany Legg

Most of my blog posts, tweets and podcasts you’ll hear me talk and write about is about personal boundaries. Something that happens in your life, what you’re doing, the things that are impacting your life. But for many of us, we spend the majority of our waking hours, consistently, at our workplace. Often times, there are boundaries issues that we encounter every day, at the place we call, “Work.”

Organizations are starting to recognize that they need to take a longer, harder look at the boundaries that are going on within their workplace or the lack thereof. We’re starting to see more and more people burning out. Doesn’t matter what career it is. I have a focus on healthcare but I also work in education and other areas and I’m seeing at across that receptor where people are burning out. There’s many reasons why. As much as we would like to point the finger at one reason, as with everything, there’s always more ingredients to that pie than just one. When you add additional ingredients into things, it can change the temperature of everything involved.

With organizations, we have the problem of overloading our staff with things that they need to do. Communication is usually a big problem. There’s a communication crisis in America. We’re starting to see that with all of the, “Me too,” movement, stuff, the stories that keep coming out about harassment, people leaving the professions that they work in because they burned out. There’s a huge problem. We need to address that as a society and as organizational leaders. The best way to do that is to talk with your people, find out what causing them problems. Give them a safe space to be able to come to you and tell you what’s going on.

Then, you can address things. Because if you provide a work environment, where people enjoy their work, you will see the results of that in improved outcomes with whatever they happen to be working on, quality of their work will improve, absenteeism will drop, sick days will drop, all these things. I see that. I’ve seen that throughout my career. The people that are taken care of, that do really well, rarely take days off other than their vacation days and personal days and whatnot, but those that are struggling will burnout through their sick days at a very rapid pace and if you have a tracking system in your workplace to keep track of it, you should be alerted to it sooner than later.

The key thing is to get ahead of that, to figure out what’s going on, to make sure there isn’t something that the work environment is creating the sick days from happening. It could be something that’s in their personal life. We’re not robots. Start treating people and your teams like human beings. Take care of them, find out their struggles, do everything you can as an organization to help them, and you will have a great employee. 

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