Have You Experienced Office Burnout?

by Joe Lavelle on August 3, 2010

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What a productive and positive society we would have if everyone got out of bed in the excited about their career and what they would be doing that day to advance their professional success!  People who are happy at work tend to be healthier and also more content with their home life.  (Of course, I believe the reverse holds true as well; every aspect of our life affects the others.)

The truth is, though, that many people in our country are experiencing job burnout.  They have lost the motivation to excel and will do the minimum required of them.  What causes burnout in our offices?  As I explain in my book Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail, burnout may result from a hectic work schedule that is not countered by fun and relaxing activities outside of the office.  Or, maybe an employee is struggling with a lack of self-motivation.  Where is the challenge or the reward that will encourage someone to go beyond the required tasks at hand?

I recently re-read an article first published several years ago in Entrepreneur magazine that offers some clear signs that burnout is occurring where you work and then some suggestions for improving self-motivation among your employees.  The piece, written by David Javitch, is titled “How to Prevent–and Rescue–Burnt-Out Employees” and is certainly worth the read.

Here are a few of the signs that Javitch shares as indicators that burnout is occurring with an employee in your office:

1. Attitude changes — Has an outgoing person become withdrawn or irritable?  Has the quiet person who sits across from you suddenly become talkative and full of energy?

2. Decrease in productivity — An employee is spending a longer time on projects with results that are no better, or perhaps even worse, than before

3. Tardiness — An unmotivated worker is not going to be anxious to be the first one to arrive and get started on his work day!

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar to you?  There is help for burnout if you acknowledge the problem!

Have you ever had to overcome burnout in your own career, or perhaps help an employee through this mindset?  What did you find to be successful in bringing back that important sense of self-motivation?

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