We all know that work can sometimes feel as though it’s getting too much to handle. We’ve probably all lay awake at night, exhausted but still unable to sleep, worrying about the next day at some point too.
However, feeling this way too often could be much more serious than you think, and ‘burnout’, as it’s commonly referred to, is now officially a recognised illness.
The World Health Organisation recently described burnout as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress, that has not been successfully managed”, with sick days currently costing UK businesses a staggering £77bn annually, according to research by Consultancy UK.
Those who don’t call in sick, and turn up to work regardless of how poorly they might be feeling however, are at risk of inhibiting their own productivity. If left untreated, burnout can also lead to mental illnesses like depression, and can aggravate physical conditions such as asthma and eczema.
Silentnight’s resident sleep therapist, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, has met many people suffering from the symptoms of burnout, and believes there are several things we can be doing, both in and out of work, to avoid it – making the most of power naps being one of them.
She said: “Just taking a twenty minute power nap can make a huge difference. Naps have been scientifically proven to boost creativity and problem solving ability, and they can even rebalance the immune system, meaning staff are less likely to take sick days in the future.”
Bosses urged to monitor for burnout
However, it’s perhaps not just staff that need to change their ways, but company bosses too, and Dr Nerina believes there are a range of things they can be doing to protect staff from burnout.
That’s why she is now calling on company bosses to create ‘calm and wellness zones’ in the workplace, and monitor for signs of burnout among their employees more closely.
Dr Nerina’s top four tips for bosses to monitor staff wellbeing are as follows:
- Create a ‘calm and wellness zone’ within the workplace to allow employees to practice yoga and take a nap to allay work-related stress. Company nap time would definitely work in the boss’ favour in the long run.
- Allow staff to take regular technology and work-free breaks, particularly at lunch time as this enables them to build rest into their days as well as enhancing cognitive performance
- Have fortnightly catch-ups with your employees on a one-to-one basis. Even if just for 10 minutes, this can sometimes be enough to detect if things aren’t quite right. The topic of conversation is completely irrelevant
- Think about purchasing some gym equipment for your office. Exercise is great for releasing endorphins, and 10-20 mins of brisk walking can provide a real boost
Do you feel like you’re suffering from burnout? Let us know how we can help on our social media pages.