Can burnout be a benefit? If you are a bit confused, we understand. However, in this series, we have been looking at how lagging indicators of productivity can be positive for your organization. In the past, we have touched on how workplace trust and disorganization should be on your radar regarding productivity improvement.
For this blog post, the focus is on burnout. The fact is that burnout is real, and understanding it can improve your company’s overall productivity. So, before we dive into how workplace exhaustion can be a plus, let’s first understand its definition. According to the World Health Organization, “burnout is a syndrome that results from workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
Ultimately, burnout is caused by depletion, exhaustion, and a total lack of workplace organization and effective job distribution. It is a warning signal for productivity issues and can be used to improve inefficiency.
The “Burnout” Conundrum
According to a survey by Deloitte, 77 percent of workers have experienced burnout at their place of employment. Unfortunately, we live in cultures that promote “burnout” and working until “exhaustion.” In many ways, burnout is a result of this cultural mindset. Ultimately, fixing burnout requires a change in this thinking and your approach to work itself; this is the conundrum. It is about changing the way we think about work. You and your team have to acknowledge that preserving the work-life balance of yourself and your team improves productivity.
However, did you know burnout could be a benefit? Stay tuned below for tips on why burnout can be a good thing, and some steps on how to avoid workplace burnout.
Five Reasons Why Burnout Can Be a Benefit
It may seem counterintuitive, but burnout can actually benefit your team. Understanding the benefits can help you understand what causes workplace burnout, and how you can ultimately decrease its impact on your staff.
Here are five reasons burnout can be a benefit to your workplace:
- Reason 1: It can put the spotlight on other issues – Have you ever taken a car to the mechanic, and found an issue that caused you to address a more dire problem? The same can be said for understanding the benefit of burnout. You could have other workflow or workplace issues that you would never know about if your employees were not expressing some sense of burnout. Is there one worker doing the job of three? Are workers frequently calling out sick? Seeing evidence that your workers are experiencing exhaustion, lets you finally know how you can avoid workplace burnout, and develop a strategy to improve productivity.
- Reason 2: It pushes you to get the right resources and tools– You may have a stellar strategy to tackle burnout, but you cannot handle it without the right tools. Burnout can reveal that you may need to acquire new tools or update the ones you have. For example, you may have a custom-built internal portal that is no longer serving all your needs. It may make it challenging for your HR professional to track payroll or PTO, making them overloaded and prone to errors. Your goal should be to take a step back and find a more effective software solution to decrease the workload of your HR staff.
- Reason 3: Realign your company goals and vision– Have you taken on work that is outside your company’s scope? Do you need to re-evaluate the commitments you have taken on? Workplace burnout can give you the clues you need so that you know what to fix. A great example of this is the world of nonprofits. These organizations are known for their vision and mission statements. They serve a specific audience and offer a particular service to those individuals. When nonprofits go beyond their stated mission and unknowingly expand their scope, they are making it hard for their staff to still fulfill the original mission. Many times, burnout is caused by the tendency to stray away from your company or organization’s original purpose.
- Reason 4: Commit to efficiency – It can be easy to “do things the way they have always been done.” Nevertheless, understanding that burnout is a reality for your team can help you have a renewed sense of commitment to efficiency. When you see that your workers aren’t leaving the office until the late evening, or individuals are experiencing significant workplace stress, you have a front-row seat to burnout and why getting it under control can impact your productivity for the better. Looking at your efficiency also allows you to get a deeper understanding of what causes workplace burnout, and the strategies you need to develop to address it.
- Reason 5: Produce a better product – Burnout is real, and it can increase the number of errors your team makes. If mistakes are increasing, and low-quality work is being produced, then it could be a sign that your employees are burned out. This situation can be costly, but it can still be a benefit to your workflow and your team. A poor product that is the result of exhaustion can allow you to halt production to address issues. As a result, you will have optimized your production schedule, fixed the mistakes, and will set the stage to produce a higher-quality product.
So, if burnout is a reality for your team, you have to look deeper to see how it is explicitly impacting your staff so you can fix the issues and avoid it having a further hold on your workplace.
Burnout Doesn’t Have to Destroy Your Organization
Burnout doesn’t have to be something that breaks your team. It doesn’t mean you have failed, and it also doesn’t indicate that you cannot rise again. If used strategically, burnout can help you develop strategies to overcome it, and in turn, improve your company’s productivity.
Again, one of the best steps you can take is to find the right tool and resource to avoid burnout. There are many options out there, but if you do not have a productivity tool, we want to suggest flujo. Flujo not only allows you to streamline workflow and make work easy, but it also enables you to bring ease to the work-life balance of you and your team. For more info on how flujo can help you turn burnout into a benefit, check out the features page.
Also, for more insight into optimizing productivity and collaboration, take a look at our blogs.