Recently, “burnout” has become a pervasive issue, often attributed to the challenges posed by the pandemic. However, it’s crucial to differentiate between the pandemic’s impact and the underlying problem—our pre-existing overwork culture. Even before the pandemic hit, individuals were struggling with long working hours, unrealistic expectations, and a lack of work-life balance.
The Pre-existing Overwork Culture
Long before the pandemic, unhealthy work culture was already affecting employees’ mental and physical health. Advancements in technology and the adoption of remote work blurred the boundaries between professional and personal life. Employees found it increasingly challenging to disconnect from work-related stress, often feeling pressured to always be available and meet unrealistic productivity targets. The lack of work-life balance and continuous strain on employees’ well-being set the stage for employee burnout to take root in our society.
The Pandemic’s Impact
The pandemic may not be the sole cause of burnout, but it undoubtedly revealed the vulnerabilities of our overwork culture. The abrupt shift to remote work, economic uncertainty, and increased responsibilities only amplified the existing stress. With the traditional work environment disrupted employees grappled with adapting to remote collaboration and managing their time effectively. The pandemic was a wake-up call, urging both employers and individuals to prioritize mental health, establish support systems, and reimagine work practices for a more sustainable future.
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Newsweek (2021 September 27). Workers Aren’t Burnt Out From the Pandemic. They’re Burnt Out From Overwork. Retrieved From: https://www.newsweek.com/workers-arent-burnt-out-pandemic-were-burnt-out-overwork-opinion-1632819