Lincoln's Soundbites

Burnout in the current environment

May 07, 2020 Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln's Soundbites
Burnout in the current environment
Chapters
Lincoln's Soundbites
Burnout in the current environment
May 07, 2020
Lincoln Financial Group

In this short soundbite, we share some of the key discussion points from our Lincoln Absence Advisor episode, Burnout and the current environment. Listen as Dr. Glenn Pransky answers questions involving how employers can detect and prevent burnout, how COVID-19 contributes to burnout, and impacts from working from home.

For more information, listen to our full episode here.


LCN-3072996-050520

© 2020 Lincoln National Corporation. All rights reserved.

Show Notes Transcript

In this short soundbite, we share some of the key discussion points from our Lincoln Absence Advisor episode, Burnout and the current environment. Listen as Dr. Glenn Pransky answers questions involving how employers can detect and prevent burnout, how COVID-19 contributes to burnout, and impacts from working from home.

For more information, listen to our full episode here.


LCN-3072996-050520

© 2020 Lincoln National Corporation. All rights reserved.

Karen Batson:

Welcome to Lincoln's Soundbites where we provide a five minute break down about key topics. Today's soundbite comes from this week's episode of the Lincoln Absence Advisor podcast. We were joined by Dr. Glenn Pransky, a physician and internationally recognized researcher in work and health to discuss burnout in this current environment. Take a listen to some of the important things he had to say. I'll circle back to the environment we're in now. What's different now that contributes to burnout?

Dr. Pransky:

So I think there are multiple elements to this new environment that can add the stress and lead to burnout. Many people are worried about the strange new economy. Will I have a job, will my company be okay? And in addition to all the stress that might occur, transitioning from the workplace to home, most people's jobs have also changed dramatically to adapt to this new situation . We're being asked to do new things in new ways and often asked to do more also. And all this can add up to a lot of stress and that certainly can contribute to feeling burned out.

Karen Batson:

Now let's switch gears slightly and talk about the employees. What do we see when employees say they feel burned out?

Dr. Pransky:

So they complain of being exhausted, apathetic about the job, unmotivated and unhappy with their work and their productivity. They might complain more to coworkers and become less responsive to customers. Often they start looking for other jobs that they hope will be less stressful.

Karen Batson:

So if seeing some of these signs, how can employers be aware of these signs with remote workers?

Dr. Pransky:

It's tough. As I mentioned, they know less about what's actually going on with them. But I think a key strategy is to check in regularly and ask the right questions. How many hours are you putting in? What's your workday like? How do you feel about the job you're doing? These are the sorts of questions I think managers should be asking. I can't emphasize enough the importance of talking with each employee on a regular basis, acknowledge that working at home isn't easy for everyone. And bring up the types of challenges that you've heard about. These often fall into one of several categories, technical problems, communication with coworkers and others, isolation and loneliness. Find out about each one of these because they can all add up to create a lot of stress and dissatisfaction if they aren't addressed.

Karen Batson:

And what about support from coworkers and how that might affect stress and burnout?

Dr. Pransky:

Well, having regular communication with coworkers is important for many people and this often gets lost with the transition to working at home. I would encourage employees to establish regular brief virtual check-ins with their fellow workers. Virtually everybody working now has seen major changes in how their job is being done. Some are adapting better than others. So it's important to identify and help those who are struggling find out what's a problem for them and what might help.

Karen Batson:

Do all these suggestions work for everyone?

Dr. Pransky:

Oh Karen, that's a good question 'cause we find a lot of really surprising differences in what works best for people doing their job at home. I think it's important to avoid these sort of one size fits all solutions. I encourage people to try out different strategies, find out what works best for you.

Karen Batson:

So, Dr. Pransky, if you had to pick the important points of our conversation today, what would they be?

Dr. Pransky:

We all must remember there's always the potential for working at home to cause stress and feeling burned out, but there is a lot we can do to help prevent that from happening. It all starts with setting expectations, figuring out how best to work at home, establishing a routine and boundaries between home life and work life and regular check ins with managers and employees. I think the most important questions are how's it going? How are you feeling about your work? What's frustrating and how could we improve things? This is a stressful time for everyone. We can't change that, but it's often possible to make it better.

Karen Batson:

If you're looking for more information about this topic, be sure to listen to the full podcast episode. Simply look for Lincoln Absence Advisor on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Disclosure:

Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and its affiliates, the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Lincoln Life and Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, New York. And Lincoln Life Assurance Company of Boston, Dover, New Hampshire affiliates are separately responsible for their own financial and contractual obligations.