What is Burnout and How Can You Avoid It In the Workplace?


Since COVID-19 first began sending people into lockdown in 2020, people who reported that they experienced anxiety and depression increased by over 11%. It’s true that burnout is a real issue, especially with the repercussions many are still experiencing from the pandemic.

What exactly is burnout and what steps can you take to avoid it?

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is something we experience as a result of chronic stress. Burnout in the workplace can be identified in three different areas.

  1. Energy depletion or exhaustion at work that impacts someone’s personal life
  2. Distraction or distance from the job
  3. Increased feelings of negativity towards the job

People who experience burnout often find themselves dreading going to work when they wake up in the morning. They become easily distracted and significantly less productive. It’s important for employers to be aware of burnout as well as to have an open line of communication with management and human resources.

In order to address the issues head-on at work with an open door policy, you are giving your employees the chance to recover from burnout. In turn, you will have more productive employees and will benefit your business tenfold.

Let’s dive into a few ways to help employees at your company avoid burnout through a few tactics you can start to implement.

Increase Internal Communications

In order to keep your employees happy and healthy, there needs to be an open line of communication. As a manager or business owner, it’s your responsibility to be able to provide the necessary tools and resources for your employees to succeed. This also includes their mental health.

Creating an open line between your employees can be as easy as implementing text messaging for internal communications. Companies can offer their employees an opportunity to stay connected right from their mobile devices through SMS text messaging.

This form of communication not only helps improve the company’s overall morale, but can also provide education for their employees for mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, or ways they can alleviate anxiety or burnout throughout their workdays.

Develop Realistic Goals and Expectations

While you might love to believe that your employees are superhumans, they are people, like everyone else. They experience emotions, physical ailments, and have lives outside of the walls of the office.

It’s crucial to make sure you are developing and communicating clear, realistic goals and expectations. It’s important to aim high and dream big in order to allow room for innovation and growth. But you also have to remember not to make something seem completely unachievable. This will lead to failure which can make a dramatic impact on the morale of your employees.

Reward Your Employees and Give Them Breaks

Just like a vehicle needs to fuel up on gas, so do your employees. Being able to rejuvenate themselves requires proper self-care. Consider taking a look at what your current benefits packages look like. Maybe there is room for adjustment in terms of your work-from-home policy or making a change to your paid time off allowance.

Many companies now offer unlimited paid time off as a means to incentivize their employees. It promotes a level of trust that they will do their part in being able to care for themselves so the responsibility isn’t left on your shoulders alone. 

Other businesses have found that an email embargo is a great way to force employees to unplug and be able to refuel. This way, they’ll come back to work with a much-needed reprieve from all of their professional hard work, eager and ready to get back at it.


The most important thing to remember when it comes to addressing when your employees experience burnout is to open the lines of communication. Provide clearly stated and realistic goals and expectations. And, most importantly, remember that your employees are human beings, not just your workers.

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