Burnout in the Workplace – The Elephant in the Room

by Feb 17, 2021Blog, Business Support, Diary Management, Overwhelm, Productivity, Time Management, Virtual Assistant/PA

Workplace burnout is a state of emotional, mental exhaustion and at times physical exhaustion. It is caused by excessive stress and occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.

Burnout can affect anyone, however there is a growing number of entrepreneurs, business owners, and freelancers who are reporting these symptoms in the UK. Having worked with a number of businesses, and running a business myself, I speak from experience when I say it is possible to avoid burnout in the workplace. Below we offer 5 examples of how to manage your stress levels and stay on top of your workload.

Find Harmony in your Work

Yes work-life balance is important, however creating and finding harmony in your career is often under-estimated. Having passion and enjoyment in your work, can have a huge impact to your levels of happiness in the workplace.

You’re more likely to experience burnout in the workplace, working five hours a day at a job that makes you unhappy, than ten hours a day doing something that feels worthwhile. Make a list of everything you enjoy about your work and business. This simple task is a great first step to refocusing your attention on what you love. Now try writing a second list of things you can do which will allow you more time to focus on your priorities and passions. Perhaps, it’s just a matter of managing your time better or you may need to extend your team so that you have the support you need.

Build a Great Team

Businesses and people thrive when they have a diverse team of people who can contribute individual ideas. This work community can really take the pressure off everyday tasks, allowing you to prioritise on what you deem to be important.

Here Elite PA Solutions, we support our clients by providing experienced and professional personal assistants. This improves work place efficiency, flexibility and time management. Here is a case study from a longstanding client, who has benefited from hiring one of our associates.

In early 2019, we were experiencing a major growth in volume of specialist work. I reached out to Sandy to see if she could support us with identifying an extra pair of hands to support our existing team of two administrators.

Sandy very quickly suggested we meet in person for us to discuss fully how we could work together. At the time, I appreciated this approach. Sandy cared about our business from the onset. After this meeting she got right to work in finding Cat who now been supporting us a couple of days a week for nearly 18 months now. She’s fab!

A busy office requires a team with varied skills who can work well together and Elite PA Solutions has given us another member who fits well into our environment. Sandy recognises that I’m so busy and I just need it ‘to work’ and that is exactly what she provides.

 Since having Cat on-board it has given the team more flexibility to focus on projects that require their attention. As they have been able to delegate work to Cat and she is able to get on with it without too much guidance, which in turn frees up their time.”

 Lana Collins – St.James’s Place Wealth Management

Prioritising your Time

It’s easy to get carried away when writing a to-do list. Every point on that list can feel important and urgent. However, the reality is that we often end up dedicating a lot of time and energy to the wrong area and this can often lead to burnout in the workplace.

Try numbering the tasks on your list in order of importance. This way you’ll refocus your energy on the key areas of your workload first. Aim to complete five tasks from your list each day, consider anything else completed a bonus. Readdressing your goals in this way can really help those feelings of accomplishment. Although, be aware that if something has been at the bottom on your list for longer than a week, it might be worth moving it to the top and getting it done. When we avoid tasks for an extended length of time, we start to let those feelings of failure trickle back in. Manage your time effectively and you’ll remain in control.


Burnout in the work place directly effects your energy levels, so the idea of working out can be unappealing to say the least. However, a workout is something you can do right now to boost your mood. Even a quick ten minute walk can increase energy levels and aid relaxation.

Ramblers provides a website where you can explore walks in your local area. From short to longer walks for those who want to explore a little further, there is something for every ability. Please make sure that you currently adhere to local guidance and advice regarding COVID-19 restrictions.

Talk to others

Reaching out to others, talking over your concerns is nature’s antidote to stress. A sympathetic listener can calm your nervous system and relieve burnout in the workplace. Remember, this isn’t about the listener fixing your problems, it’s a space to discuss your feelings without judgement.

You may benefit from visiting Mind, where you can learn about different types of talking therapy and counseling. Mental health problems are common at work and although it can feel like a taboo subject, there are lots of simple things you can do that can help make your workplace mentally healthier. There are some great ideas shared on the Mental Health Foundation website.

This article was written by Sandy Hearn at Elite PA Solutions. Elite PA Solutions is a team of Virtual Assistants who will save you time by taking care of the operational side of both your business and personal life. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit our website at www.elitepasolutions.com or feel free to contact us at office@elitepasolutions.com.

We look forward to hearing from you.