Before the pandemic, working a maximum of thirty-two hours a week was more of a plot convenience for The Office (UK or U.S. version, there’s just no way they all put in forty hours a week). But today, you can’t search “4-day work week” without a slew of case study articles, announcing that yet another company is trying it out.
So this 32-hour workweek craze is becoming a global trending phenomenon with entire countries hopping on the bandwagon. But, when you think about how 2020 completely transformed the working world, it’s no real surprise.
2020 opened up the door to working from anywhere and, for some, that meant a world of making whipped coffee, brewing sourdough, and binging Tiger King. For others, it meant whipping up makeshift offices and feeling tension brewing from trying to juggle work, life and family responsibilities. No HR-mandated course could’ve prepared us for empathizing with Carol Baskin.
Unsurprisingly, quit and burnout rates were at all-time highs, but with hope of vaccines on the horizon we thought this little hiccup would soon pass. But here we are in 2022, and with COVID variants, post-quarantine stress, and new business challenges, employees are still struggling.Up against exhaustion, lower productivity, work or life stresses and strain, working one less day a week sounds like a sweet deal. But there may be underlying reasons a shortened workweek isn’t right for your company.
Before you take pitchforks into the corner office to protest the given workweek, there might be some solutions you can use to deal with burnout on your terms. So, if you’re feeling a little frazzled and fried, consider these practical tactics to beat burnout in 2022 (and then maybe go for the pitchfork).
As long as your boss isn’t Miranda Priestly, it’s perfectly okay to meet with your supervisor and tell them that you’re feeling the effects of work burnout. Worried that they’ll think you’re a slacker? Ask them for advice about how you can better prioritize your work. But chances are your supervisor will completely understand. They’ve been trying to figure out this whole “working during a pandemic” thing just like you, so don’t be afraid to call for help.
Work besties are a must.
Think Goose and Maverick. Cristina Yang and Meredith Gray. That short but glorious period of Parks and Recreation when Anne Perkins worked at the town hall with Leslie Knope. Our point stands: finding someone to chat with during the highs and lows of the 9-to-5 grind can help you feel more connected and energized in your workplace, especially if you’re remote. Friendships boost our confidence, happiness, and sense of belonging whether that’s inside or outside of the office, so, get out there and ask a coworker if they’d like to grab a coffee. They probably need a pal just as much as you do.
Figure out what that work-life balance thing looks like.
Work-life balance sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s actually key to avoiding and combatting burnout. Work-life balance is all about dividing your time and energy between work and non-work responsibilities like your hobbies, relationships, and weekly Dungeons and Dragons game nights. But maintaining a healthy work-life balance can look different to different people. Maybe you need to silence your Slack notifications after 6pm so you can enjoy an evening binge-watching Succession. Or maybe you need to take a mental health day occasionally. Figure out the best ways for you to separate work and play, and follow through on it. You’ll notice a huge difference in your productivity and general wellbeing!
We heard your audible “ugh!” reading this one. It’s on page one of every self-help book on the shelf but not without good reason. Regular exercise can positively affect your mood and energy levels, allowing you to tackle any project that comes your way. It doesn’t have to be too demanding either. From a lunch break walk with your dog to 15 minutes of yoga in between Zoom calls (or during if your camera is off), moving your body even a little bit can improve your state of mind and relieve stress.
T!LTed Tip: Try an exercise challenge and encourage your coworkers to join in like T!LT did with our new favorite annual competition, the T!LTathon!
Yawn, baby Yawn.
Sleep may seem like a given, but it packs a huge punch when it comes to your focus and stress. Sleep loss under normal circumstances can cause you to be more vulnerable to anxiety, so just think about adding a global pandemic to the mix. Now of course, we’re not saying you should take a nap during the workday. But setting a solid sleep schedule at night will allow you to be more focused during the day.
At the end of the day…
Burnout is a bear, and everyone is trying to tackle this sucker in their own way. Our point is this, burnout can come at you ferociously and mercilessly, like in The Revenant, or well-intentioned and devoted to helping you take responsibility for your life, like in Ted. It’s all in how much time (and patience) you give yourself. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and take it from us. A few T!LTed tips will get you back to kicking ass in no time! #getyourT!LTon