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Office employees ‘facing burnout’ amid heavy work demands

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Business employers need to take steps to ensure their overworked employees do not suffer burnout, it has been suggested.

Writing for CNN Money, Gary M Stern suggested that employees are being forced to work harder and harder – but many company bosses are failing to pay attention.

He said that while the term ‘burnout’ was in vogue 15 years ago when companies began to downsize and workloads started to increase, managers tend to overlook the issue now where possible.

“In a struggling economy, most employees are happy to have jobs and don’t want to complain or appear as if they lack enthusiasm,” Mr Stern noted.

“Everyone is expected to give 100 per cent and be available 24/7.”

Speaking to the news provider, Ronald Downey, a psychology professor at Kansas State University, said a major symptom of burnout is “disconnection”.

He said employees start to feel disconnected from the workplace, their job, colleagues, and ultimately themselves – which has a major bearing on their productivity levels.

“The more alienated an employee feels, the more constant connection to the job becomes onerous and suffocating.”

Employers need to seriously consider whether the demands they place on their paid workers are too great.

While they are undoubtedly under pressure to do more with less, there comes a point where office workers may simply choose to leave their jobs rather than carry on with their current responsibilities.

Nothing affects productivity as much as staff attrition – while the process of replacing leavers is both costly and time consuming.

So employers may need to set realistic goals for their workers; challenging them to achieve their potential but without pushing them over the edge.