Workplace burnout affects both blue-collar and white-collar labor, all types of employees, and all types of personalities.

Whether the cause is a single job that requires a worker to be fully engaged and at attention or spreading oneself too thin across a variety of jobs and side hustles, employees with an unbalanced work/life ratio are prone to exhaustion and total depletion of their drive. 

In the day and age of overworked employees, it becomes supremely critical for supervisors to understand the plight of their workers and connect with them in a human way. 

How to avoid worker burnout

One of the most important things that a supervisor or workplace leader can do to look out for their workers is to recognize the initial signs of employee burnout and understand what steps need to be taken to eliminate this risk.

New research from Sleep Junkie, a leading mattress comparison guide website, asserts that this problem may be more widespread than originally thought. 

Burned-out workers are less likely to feel content with their work and their environment. They exhibit symptoms that may lead someone to leave their jobs or dramatically reduce the quality of their work. Workers that devote 60+ hours per week to their jobs:

  • Feel overworked (77%)
  • Are unsatisfied with their jobs (26%)
  • Don't have enough free time (40%)

Overworked employees appear to follow patterns of financial diminishing returns when they are under-rested in the workplace. The survey found that employees working between 40-49 hours make an average of $48,297 per year while workers committing over 60 hours to their jobs earn nearly $2,000 less, meaning the hardest working people actually ended up reporting the lowest earnings overall.  

Leaders must be proactive in keeping their workers healthy

Supervisors play a crucial role in the well-being of their employees. If you know that your workers also have a second or even third job, communicate with them and hear out their concerns. Many workers have children and other dependents to provide for, which is the root cause behind why many workers grind themselves into the ground and take on more hours. 

The Sleep Junkie survey revealed some indicators that workers who spend the most time at work may be struggling more than with workplace fatigue and poor performance. Workers who commit 60+ hours weekly to their jobs display signs of poor physical and mental health:

  • 68% feel their life is difficult
  • Only half feel rested on a regular basis
  • 26% are worried daily about how they will pay the bills 

A staggering 92% of workers tackle excessive work hours to provide for their kids, but 79% report losing quality time with their children due to work obligations.

It makes you question if the financial security is a worthwhile trade, but survey participants across the board would do it again: 80% of workers who clock in over 50 hours a week say the work is well worth the return. 

Preventing exhausted and burned out workers

Encouraging your workers to find a proper work/life balance can benefit the workplace twofold: first, it is a message to employees that it's important to value your health. Second, it helps promote efficient workers who have enough rest to properly execute the functions of their jobs. 

Healthy workers are happier and often display a better quality of life than employees who risk their well being to meet their numbers. Supervisors, take a note from this survey and open up the lines of communication with your workers. They will thank you.