Three Tips for Battling Worker Burnout – Flexibility Is the Key

A timely article on the front page of our print newsletter – Staffing Decisions, for Spring 2017 – addresses the issue of worker burnout. No matter how good the intentions of managers and employees, once burnout begins to exact it’s draining influence on individuals, it’s extremely hard for employees of every level to be as productive, supportive, creative and responsible as before burnout raised its ugly head.

As the article intones almost prophetically towards its end, “As Dan Schawbel, partner and research director for Future Workplace, in New York, says, ‘The biggest priority for business leaders in 2017 will be retaining employees in an ever-more-competitive talent marketplace. As the economy continues to improve, and employees have more job options, companies will have to provide more compensation, expand benefits and improve their employees’ experience. Managers should promote flexibility, and ensure that employees aren’t overworked, to prevent employee burnout.’”

But how exactly DO managers, and for that matter regular employees, promote flexibility in the workplace when the pace of work has increased and many employees find themselves wearing multiple hats during the day? The newsletter article offers three salient suggestions and mind-flip tips that can make the workplace less stressed and more enjoyable, by way of author Dawn Roberts, owner of Dawn Roberts Consulting in Houston – very important qualities of a company in order to keep the best and brightest committed to a company’s mission.

First, focus on the things that you can control, especially things you are good at and enjoy doing. Roberts recommends making a list of these things and then doing more of them. “Trying to fix things you can’t control, aren’t good at, or hate doing, are sure to result in burnout and negativity,” she says.

Secondly, prioritize effectively, both in the office and out. “Every morning, write down the top three things you want to accomplish that day and follow through,” Roberts explains. “Rank your activities based on value, time commitment, and deadline. Once you start completing high-value activities, you’ll create positive momentum.”

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, don’t equate time at the office to value. Time doesn’t matter. What matters is quality and delivery. “You can spend less time and deliver more if you prioritize effectively and are efficient.” says Roberts. “In fact, studies have shown that when you take time off, leave work on time regularly, and spend your spare time in different hobbies or enriching activities (including rest), you actually perform at a higher level and deliver higher-quality work when you are at the office.”

Much of this paradigm shift involves simple mindfulness – being aware of the “tyranny of the urgent” in terms of time-sucking stresses that can be mitigated by the tactics described above. As with many things in life, a changed attitude can result in changed actions and a better, healthier outlook and working lifestyle.


Flex-Team Inc. offers temporary employment solutions and staffing consultation to growing offices and light manufacturing businesses in the Canton and Akron regions of northeast Ohio. Would your business like help developing a staffing solution that makes your company more efficient and effective? We can partner with you to solve some of your stresses and increase your output and productivity. Please contact us to get started, or to learn more about what we can do for your business. Learn about tactics to beat the Skills Gap in our free resource here for another stress-busting solution.





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