The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: How do you avoid burnout? is written by Tom Gimbel, CEO of the LaSalle Network.
There’s no universal rule when it comes to avoiding burnout. You’re human, so it’s more than likely that at one point or another you will experience some sort of burnout in your career. But the best way to deal with it is to know what works for you. If and when any of my 170 employees begin to sense burnout, I always encourage them to make the changes they feel necessary to once again perform at their best. This varies for each employee and how long they’ve been with the company. For example, a new hire probably won’t receive as much flexibility as someone with longer tenure.
If a proven performer feels burnt out and needs to leave early one day to recharge his or her batteries, I’ll give them the flexibility to do so. If they want to work from home one day to focus on a project without interruptions, I’m okay with that as well. We’re all different, which means we require different work environments to thrive. So it’s important to support and encourage people to do what’s right for them. Sometimes all it takes to avoid burnout is a little change. Mix up your day by taking walks during lunch. Sit in a different part of the office. Work on projects in a different order.
It’s also helpful to have fun at the office and do things outside of your normal day-to-day tasks. At LaSalle, we’ll have chair races or a hula-hoop competition every once in a while to help reignite employees. We might bring in a guitar player to the office or do yoga one morning. Even an hour away from your desk can help you recharge. Sometimes, though, burnout can’t be solved with a quick fix. In this case, if a quick fix doesn’t solve your burnout, then you may want to reevaluate your job. Ask yourself: Do you love coming to work? Do you love what you do? Do you enjoy time with co-workers and your manager?
If you’re unhappy with your current position, then it may be time for a change. But before changing jobs, make a wish list of what you want in your new role. Perhaps you need to change up responsibilities or take on a new challenge. Talk with your manager about how you’re feeling and come up with ideas together to try. Discuss new projects you can work on or ones you can put on the back burner temporarily. Talk about aspects of the role you love, and ones that are more difficult. Sometimes you can combat burnout by making small changes during the week, other times you may need to make a bigger change. Whatever it is, the important thing to acknowledge is how you’re feeling and do what works best for you.