Life & Work, Quotable Magazine

Burning Out and Staying Sane

Zoom fatigue is real and no one knows that better than the thousands of workers across the country that had to completely switch back and forth between in person, remote or a hybrid of the two. Working in ever-changing conditions takes a toll on employees, but company leaders across America are paving the way in combating workplace fatigue.

In June, Bumble was the first to cause a buzz in the business world when Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder of the mobile dating app, gave all Bumble employees a one-week paid vacation so that they could avoid job burnout. And Bumble isn’t the only one setting the example for prioritizing employees’ mental health.

Big companies like Nike, Hootsuite and Marriott are following Bumble’s lead and giving employees a paid week off or a “wellness week.” After a year of working in stressful pandemic conditions, employees approached their paid vacation as a time to rest and avoid burning themselves out.

Burnout is a phenomenon that can lead to poor mental and physical health conditions in employees, so the action these companies have taken in combating burnout is a testament of true leadership many work environments should– and are– adopting.

It can be hard to monitor our own stress levels and even harder to come to terms with it. Burnout doesn’t mean you’re bad at your job. In fact, it means you’re so motivated to perform well that you’re sacrificing your mental and physical needs in the process. And while productivity is an important part of any business, doing so to the point of exhaustion does more harm than good. Work burnout has been shown to negatively impact job performance in the office and can quickly snowball into an office-wide lack of motivation.

For the health and wellness of yourself and your employees, learning to notice signs of burnout can be the most beneficial tool in keeping workplace morale up. Without it, it’s easy to quickly lose track of yourself in your work, which can accidentally lead to setting up a standard for your employees to follow.

So just how exactly do you begin to get to the root of the problem that is workplace burnout?

Demonstrating good leadership within your business doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes it’s as easy as making an effort to take better care of yourself and in turn your employees.

Here are 7 ways you can help avoid burnout in your business:
  1. Eat. It’s easy to skip breakfast and just drink coffee all day, but preventing yourself from gaining vital nutrients will lead to body fatigue and lack of mental focus.
  2. Set up reasonable expectations for your team. It’s easy to get caught up in ambition, but creating unrealistic goals for your team can make them feel as if it’s impossible to succeed in your workplace.
  3. Encourage breaks when they’re needed. Whether a ten minute stretch break or a week of paid time off, giving some well deserved rest and relaxation will help your team avoid burnout.
  4. Keep a balanced work schedule. While being productive is the priority, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Keep a healthy pace on team tasks and deadlines.
  5. Communicate clearly with your employees. Not only does clear communication help avoid conflict, it also builds trust and teamwork in the workplace.
  6. Notice your team’s boundary setting. Some employees are willing to say yes to anything without realizing just how quickly taking on numerous tasks can burn them out. Start a conversation about work boundaries and how they’re important in preventing burnout or workload stress to encourage healthy work boundaries.
  7. Give yourself time to recharge. When you feel your battery going down or notice lack of energy in your team, encourage a moment of recharge that will help make everyone feel rejuvenated.


Burnout can cause everyone to feel a little fried, so take initiative in preventing it from cooking up in your team and yourself. Just because we can push ourselves to our limits doesn’t always mean that we should. So get up from your desk and stretch your legs, your work will be there when you get back.

Katalina Elise is a member of the Quotable Magazine editorial team. A senior at NC State University in Raleigh, she’s passionate about baking, spending time with her cat, and writing at her favorite art cafe.

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