Last week’s news that UK unemployment held steady at 7.7 per cent was bittersweet. On the one hand, the unemployment rate is still far away from its highs of 2011, but it’s also not at its pre-recession lows. This means workers might be relieved to have jobs in a tough economy, but they could use a break.
In a CareerBuilder UK survey, 75 per cent of workers feel burned out on their jobs sometimes or always. Only a surveyed 25 per cent never feel burned out on their jobs. This is relatively flat from a year ago, when 74 per cent of workers felt burned out, which is mixed news for workers and employers alike. While the number didn’t increase drastically, but it didn’t improve either. This means business are filled with stressed workers in need of vacation.
What’s causing burnout?
One reason workers might be feeling burned out is that they have more than enough on their plates. In the last six months, 52 per cent of workers have seen an increase in their workloads, while only 11 per cent say they’ve felt a decrease.
In the still-recovering economy, many companies are asking their employees to do more with less. Employers are still reluctant to bring on full staffs but they don’t want to lose productivity, revenue or market share. This means an employee can end up performing the jobs of two or more people in order to make up for the lack of headcount. Consider that in CareerBuilder’s 2013 Global Job Forecast earlier this year, only 30 per cent of UK employers planned to hire new permanent employees this year, and 21 per cent intended to decrease headcount. With only a net gain of 9 per cent of hiring, workers aren’t receiving as much help as they might have hoped for.
Fortunately, job seekers don’t feel that work is impeding on life outside of the office. Fifty-nine per cent of workers are satisfied or very satisfied with their work-life balance, a sharp contrast to the 11 per cent that feel some level of dissatisfaction. This finding suggests that workers are able to leave their work at the office and not bring it home with them. Unfortunately for employers it means that burnout happens once workers punch their time cards.
How to solve burnout:
Both employees and employers can take steps to address burnout, both separately and together. Here are four ways job seekers can take some stress out of their daily lives:
1. Take time off
Although this tip is easier said than done, workers should get away from the workplace when they can. In CareerBuilder’s survey on global workplace trends, UK workers were some of the most likely to only take a week or less of vacation each year. Compared to workers in Japan and Germany, where 29 or more days off is normal, UK workers could use a few more holidays.
2. Talk to your boss
If your workload is stressing you out, there’s only so much you can do about it by yourself. You can say no to some projects or ask for deadline extensions, but that doesn’t mean the work will go away. Let your boss know that you’re more than happy to take on extra projects, but explain that workload is impacting both your stress level and even the quality of your work. Sometimes employers don’t realize the kind of stress their workers are under.
3. Get organized
Until you’re able to decrease your workload or find a new job, try to get your daily tasks under control. Sticking to a schedule and creating a formal process to prioritize your duties can make you feel like you’re in control and ensure you don’t miss a deadline.
4. Don’t take work home
Your work can often creep into your home life. Whether you’re bringing work home with you or checking email on your mobile phone, you can end up spending more time thinking about work than you realize. Try to keep your work at the office so you can relax at home and feel refreshed when you walk into work in the morning.