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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Managing Your Stress: The Consequences of Workplace Burnout

People often come to see me in my psychotherapy private practice in NYC about career and work-related issues.  One of the biggest issues that many people are struggling with today is how to cope with the ever increasing demands at the workplace without burning out.

Managing Your Stress: The Consequences of Workplace Burnout

What is Burnout?
Burnout is a chronic state of stress that can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion.

Burnout isn't something that happens overnight.  It usually occurs over time.

Unfortunately, especially among high achievers who are ambitious and driven, people often don't realize that they're suffering from the effects of burnout until they experience serious negative consequences.

When someone is experiencing full-fledged burnout, he or she has difficulty functioning personally as well as professionally.  In the most severe cases, they might not be able to function at all.

Whether you work in finance, healthcare, social services, education or any other field, burnout has become a serious problem which has negative consequences for employees as well as employers.

Negative Consequences for Employers:
  • increased absenteeism
  • increased staff turnover
  • increased inefficiency
  • increased costs (in the billions)
  • increased Workers Compensation claims
  • decreased productivity
  • decreased morale
  • decreased quality of service
  • decreased customer satisfaction and increased complaints
  • decreased creativity and innovation

Negative Consequences for Employees:
  • increased stress
  • increased health problems, including sleep problems
  • increased mental health problems, including anxiety and/or depression
  • increased sense of autonomy and a sense of helplessness
  • increased alcohol and substance abuse problems as well as other addictive behavior
  • increased marital problems as work stressors spill over into home life
  • decreased work satisfaction
  • decreased camaraderie among staff

Employers Have a Responsibility to Help Employees Avoid or Overcome Workplace Burnout
Since the consequences of burnout has such a significant impact for employees and employers, it's important for organizations to create a healthy work environment to avoid burnout or, if burnout is already an issue, to find creative ways to address it (more about this in future articles).

Managing Your Stress: The Consequences of Workplace Burnout

Employees Can Develop Stress Management Strategies to Deal With Workplace Burnout
Since it's important for employees to learn ways to manage their stress to avoid burnout, I often address this issue in therapy sessions with clients, who are either suffering from the consequences of burnout or are on the verge of burning out, by teaching them tools for managing their stress including, among other things, learning to balance their work and home life and learning breathing and meditation techniques.

In future articles, I'll address what employers and employees can do to deal with workplace burnout.

Getting Help in Therapy
People often wait until they're mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted before they get help for burnout.

Getting Help in Therapy

At that point, they might already be feeling the effects of poor health and mental health due to prolonged stress and exhaustion.

Often, by the time people begin therapy, their relationships with family members are suffering due to bringing their work stressors home (see my article:  Workplace: Are Your Work Stressors Affecting Your Family?)

Rather than wait, it's better to get help early on to learn how to manage your stress as well as addressing any work issues that could be triggering personal issues or vice versa.

Getting help early can help you to avoid burnout and thrive both personally and professionally.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples.

One of my specialties is helping clients with career issues.

I have worked with many clients to help them avoid or overcome workplace burnout.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me: josephineolivia@aol.com.

Also see my article:  Managing Your Stress: What Are the Signs of Workplace Burnout?


















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