Long hours in the office can make anyone feel bogged down by the end of the day, and feeling that way day in and day out can lead to the dreaded Office Burnout.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Job Burnout is “a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.” This feeling leads people to quit their current job in search of greener pastures.
While this is encouraged for those who truly are not valued at their current workplace, or who want to make career changes, it also can cause us to leave jobs that are beneficial as well. High work turnover is seen as lacking loyalty to an organization and doesn’t help when searching for a new job too.
Now I am not a believer in working the same job for 20 years, I think some people want to do that, but for those who want to venture to other industries or roles, 3-7 years is a decent amount of time to stay in one company.
Whether you work in a high-paced sales environment, or a more laid back accounting firm, an 8-5 is still sometimes a drag. This boredom can leave us feeling that our job doesn’t matter and speed up how quickly we feel that burnout.
Luckily more and more options are making breakthroughs in office culture, such as standing desks, walking meetings, better in-office entertainment and even yoga breaks!
These are all are nice perks of working the 8-5, but here are some practical tips to help keep you happy and healthy in your job:
Explore the great outdoors with your co-workers!
In my current job, we have an amazing work culture and it all stems from the activities do together, more specifically outside the office. From short daily walks to planning weekly outings, there are lots of ways to get out of the cubicle and into the sunshine. For more ideas on this, see our other article about Why Getting Outside with Your Co-Workers Make for a Better Work Environment.
Get Involved in the Community
Volunteering is the perfect way to get involved in the community, meet new people, and do something that matters. A major contributor to that “Office Burnout” is feeling like your job doesn’t matter. What better way to combat that feeling than to do something you know makes a difference?
A few projects ideas that I have attended and had tons of fun at are:
- Surfing with Disabled Veterans, hosted by Operation Surf
- Gardening at the Veterans Affairs Bird Sanctuary, hosted by Oracle Volunteers
- Beach Cleanup at the Santa Monica Pier, hosted by Heal the Bay
Communicate with your Boss
Keeping lines of communication open with your superiors is crucial to your mental health at work. If something is not right, it’s important to let your manager know quickly and clearly. There are many instances where employees are being pushed too hard or feel they are in a hostile work environment and this is not something to be tolerated. If you cannot speak with your boss, get in touch with your companies HR department!
A few easy easy to make sure you keep an open conversation with your boss are:
- Schedule a weekly or bi-weekly check in to stay up-to-date
- Write down your grievances in advance so as not to forget
- Put together a short agenda to ensure all points are heard
Keep an Eye Out for New Positions
Sometimes, despite all you do, the job just isn’t a good fit. Before you start looking outside the company, keep your eye out for promotions or even lateral moves you can make in the same organization. Make sure you keep that resume updated and attend social mixers to meet other managers in different departments.
Take Advantage of Your Work Perks
Many of us have plenty of work perks that go unused! Don’t let your job stop you from pursuing your interests, and look for ways to get your employers help in furthering your career. For example, my job allows me to take classes on their dime in order to advance my education. Just taking a class here and there can help keep me motivated to stay in my role and work hard.
Another perk we have are regularly scheduled work happy hours! These are fun ways to let loose with your co-workers, have free food & drink, and network with other employees who may be in a role we find ourselves interested in later on.
While these are a few great tips to help avoid office burnout, know that there are also many other ways to keep your head up. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and regular time with family and friends are also important factors in a happy work-life balance.
Are there any ways that you stay motivated at work? Feel free to let us know how you keep a positive attitude every day in the comments!