Epidemic in the Midst of Pandemic: The Burnout Phenomenon

January 1, 2021 Lintang Febri

Do you feel exhausted or stressed with your work lately?

It is the first day of 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic has been going for almost a year since its first appearance in March 2020. Some companies have extended their work-from-home (WFH) options, some have WFH-WFO options, even some have gone fully offline.

The burnout phenomenon affect employees' performance
(Illustration of a burnout) 

However, there is one problem arising. Burnout. Both employees and employers experience burnout since they still have to work within the uncertainties. When will the pandemic end? Will my business survive? Will my family and I be safe from the virus? Also, those questions about uncertainty of still having a job since many companies have some of their employers terminated. Hence, it is not shocking that according to PPM Manajemen’s finding, 80% of workers experience burnout during the pandemic.

If you answer ‘Yes’ to the question at the beginning of this article, maybe, you are one of those people who feel burned out with the work. What is actually burnout?

WHO defines burnout as an occupational phenomenon. More specifically, it is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. This burnout definition is only applied in the occupational context. However, burnout is not classified as a medical condition, even though you might need to contact health services.

If you feel you are burned out, there are three conditions that might occur:

  1. feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  2. increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
  3. reduced professional efficacy.

If you are experiencing those conditions, what should you do?

Accept what you feel

The first thing that you had better do is to be aware of your condition and to accept it. This is very important for you to acknowledge the feeling you are having for a suitable solution to the problem. Also, this will minimize the chance of you falling to another problem as a result of burnout.

A brief escape (without going anywhere)

In a normal condition, having a trip to Bali or other wonderful places would be a perfect option to refresh your mind and recharge yourself before going back to work. Even sipping a cup of coffee in a coffee shop watching the sun sets would help your mind to rest. Sad to say, traveling and being in a crowded place are increasing the risk of virus transmission. 

Some alternative things you can do is to have routine exercise, even jogging around the house 30 minutes a week would be okay. There are many home exercise videos on the internet that you can follow. Moreover, you can drive around the town blasting your own music. While others would have meditations.

Without these brief escape from work, to reset yourself would be harder to achieve.

Have clear work/life boundaries

It is especially for you who are having the WFH option, working from home is also increasing the disruption. It gives you more time to be with your family than any events of life, in this case, work. Having constant interweaving of life and work tasks would be exhausting and time-consuming. Thus, it is critical for you to set a healthy boundary. You can start by telling your family your time at work and asking them not to call you during work.

Create an office-like workspace in your house. Set the table, window curtain, floor, and any other things that trigger the vibe of your actual office. Always focus on your work every morning. You can do your personal tasks during break time.

When your time of work ends, you might want to turn off emails or other notifications relating to work. At least, give yourself some time to rest after a long day.

Consider employee-provided mental benefits

If your company provides mental health benefits, including telemedicine screening, employee assistance programs, and stress reduction programs, you should be considering taking the benefits. Another option, you can look for other health benefits that your company provides that would help you reduce your burnout. Also, you can always seek mental health assistance online or to other mental health care.

If you are a business owner who runs your business during this pandemic, both you and your employers need to be supported by a business tool that would help you. RUN System with its modules will simplify the operation management of each business process.

Find out more about RUN System and become our partner for great business management!