Burnout in the workplace is increasingly prevalent around the world and has a negative effect on employee performance and well-being, as well as the overall productivity of the organizations in which people suffering from burnout work.
This phenomenon causes considerable mental fatigue, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization (a state in which people feel disconnected from their bodies, emotions, and thoughts), and a decline in personal fulfillment. While a significant amount of research has already explored the causes and mechanisms of burnout, the role of personal relationships has been largely overlooked.
Now, a study conducted by the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE University) in Moscow has argued that satisfaction in personal relationships can have a significant impact on the manifestation of burnout syndrome in the workplace, particularly in men.
To test this hypothesis, study author Ilya Bulgakov, a research psychologist at HSE, administered a survey to 203 employees of several Russian companies, who were asked to rate their satisfaction with personal relationships and the presence of symptoms. of burnouts.
The survey revealed that as the level of marital satisfaction increased, the risk of burnout in the workplace decreased, a correlation that was found to be more pronounced in men. According to Bulgakov, these findings highlight existing disparities in social roles and stereotypes attributed to men and women, as well as variations in marriage and career expectations.
For men, professional success can often become a key aspect of their identity and self-esteem. As a result, they may encounter increased pressure in the workplace and experience high levels of stress as they strive to fulfill their duties and meet expectations. In this context, marital satisfaction and feeling supported in one’s private life may become critical factors in preventing burnout among men, Bulgakov explained.
For women suffering from burnout, depersonalization characterized by a feeling of disconnection from colleagues and clients and a decrease in empathy and compassion seems to play the most important role, while for men the main symptom of burnout is usually emotional exhaustion due to being overwhelmed with work demands and feeling unable to handle them.
These differences are most likely related to different social expectations and the roles imposed on women and men within the professional sphere. For example, in many cultures, women are expected to be empathic and affectionate, while men are viewed as providers and protectors. Thus, women often experience pressure regarding the amount of emotional support they should offer colleagues and clients, leading to increased stress and a tendency to dissociate from these responsibilities, eventually leading to depersonalization.
On the other hand, men who are supposed to have a high level of responsibility related to their perceived social roles can easily lead to emotional breakdown. Fortunately, in their case, marital satisfaction was found to mitigate these symptoms to some extent.
The study also found that men who experience greater professional success tended to have higher levels of satisfaction in their personal relationships – a correlation that was not identified in women suggesting that support in one’s personal life could play a greater role in facilitate workplace success for men over women.
Individuals suffering from workplace burnout syndrome often find it difficult to disconnect from their work and therefore remain in a constant state of tension. Consequently, personal relationships serve as a means of escaping the pressures of the career race, providing a source of satisfaction and support. Interestingly, this association was only observed in men. This can perhaps be attributed to traditional social roles, where men are often given more responsibility for achieving career success, which leads to more work-related pressure, Bulgakov explained.
A better understanding of the specific aspects of employee burnout could help organizations manage stressful situations more efficiently and improve employee motivation. Since how individuals build and engage in professional and personal relationships has important implications for their professional self-determination and how they deal with possible burnouts, taking into account the full complexity of these factors is critical to avoiding harm to both individuals and organizations caused by burnout.
The study is published in the journal Organizational psychology.
Read more about burnout in the workplace
Workplace burnout is a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion often linked to feelings of cynicism, detachment, and a sense of lack of accomplishment at work. Burnout is not just everyday stress; it is a prolonged and constant state that can lead to serious physical and mental health problems.
Common symptoms of burnout:
You feel drained, unable to cope and tired all the time. You may have difficulty getting out of bed, even after rest, and feel low on energy.
Cynicism and detachment
You may start to lose interest in your job or start feeling negative, cynical, or indifferent towards your homework or coworkers. You may also feel disconnected and may begin to distance yourself emotionally and physically from your work.
Lack of accomplishment
You may often feel unproductive or that your job doesn’t matter, despite putting a lot of effort into your activities.
These can include things like headaches, stomach aches, changes in appetite, and trouble sleeping.
You may find it difficult to concentrate, make more mistakes than usual, or struggle to be creative.
Workplace burnout is typically the result of work-related pressures or stressors. These can include long hours or heavy workloads, lack of control over one’s work, insufficient rewards for one’s efforts, or unfair treatment.
If you are experiencing burnout in the workplace, it is essential to seek support. This could include talking to a supervisor or HR about issues you are facing, seeking help from a mental health professional, or making lifestyle changes to manage stress and promote balance, such as regular exercise, healthy diet, sleep adequate and time for relaxation and social activities.
Employers also have a role to play in preventing and managing burnout. They can provide a supportive working environment, clear and fair job expectations, opportunities for professional development, recognition for good work and ensure work-life balance for their employees.
From Andrey Ionescu, Earth. com Personal writer
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