Do you love what you do? Do you feel connected to the mission of the organisation you work for? Have you given up weekends and family time to go the extra mile, because you care about the company?
If you answered yes to all these questions, chances are you are a highly engaged employee. The kind that managers are looking for. This means great things for you, of course, lots of promotions, a pay hike, and the possibility of a burnout.
How? A study by Harvard Business Review found that 1 in 5 highly engaged employees is at risk of burnout. Characterised by high levels of stress that resulted in depression, sleep deprivation, physical and mental exhaustion.
They studied the levels of engagement among 1000 U.S Employees. For the most part, two out of five employees reported high engagement and low burnout. For them, it was a positive experience at work. However, 1 out of every 5 of them said they experienced high engagement and high burnout. These employees were so engaged that it increased the chances of burnout.
This shouldn’t be surprising since the work culture of Silicon Valley emphasises so much the importance of engagement. With many companies encourage workers to be a part of a mission or bigger goal that drives them to bring positive change to the organisation. To achieve this, long work hours and little to no holidays are taking its toll. While stretch goals have proven to be effective in increasing engagement, they are one of the reasons that highly engaged employees burnout.
Burnout is a feeling of exhaustion (both mental and physical), induced by high stress and work-related anxiety. Instead of feeling fulfilled, individuals are likely to feel demotivated and have a higher chance of quitting. The opposite feeling of what management and workers themselves want.
Another study by Harvard Business Review found that 50% of employees in the U.S feel the need to check their emails after 11 pm to keep up with work. This kind of engagement harms employees motivation and enthusiasm for their jobs. If you feel the need to be so involved with work that you barely have any time for yourself or your family, it’s time to reevaluate priorities.
That’s not to say you should be less engaged, it’s more about creating some balance in your life and drawing boundaries between high engagement and overwork.
Consider the importance of a work-life balance. Driven individuals need to give themselves time to rest, recover and recuperate to deliver results companies like.
That happens when you find a balance between your personal and professional life.
Flexible Working Hours
A great for people with varying styles of work. Some people are more productive early in the morning, while some are night owls. Not only would you be making the best of their abilities, but you will ensure high engagement with a lower risk of burnout.
Part-Time Working Contracts
Are becoming more popular, as some work doesn’t need employees to be at the office all day. It’s also less stressful.
Alternative working days
Offering the option for employees to come to the office on alternate days to work would give them more freedom to find some balance.
Many companies now do health checks to review the risk of burnout amongst engaged employees, like Hitachi. Organisations can also provide incentives to employees that take time off from work when the stress is too high.
But employers can’t do all the work, employees need to actively seek out a work-life balance. But how?
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Say no, you don’t have to accept every project that comes your way.
Set goals you can achieve, after all, you know how much you can do, don’t overwork yourself.
Resist the urge to check your mails over the weekend or dung your free time. You need boundaries.
To reduce the chances of burnout, and improve your work-life balance, start making use of your holidays and paid leaves. The break from work would do wonders to reduce stress and keep you motivated. Think of it as a reward for working so hard, don’t you deserve it?
Your career growth and health both matter. It’s as much your responsibility as it is your employers to ensure a work-life balance and that you don’t burnout. It’s a shared responsibility because, in the end, you need to find a way to balance your life so that you stay engaged smartly.