Tackling Burnout: How to Deal with Stress and Safety in the Workplace
"In 2019, the World Health Organization identified a syndrome it labelled 'burnout' resulting from chronic workplace stress. Now people who report feeling depleted of energy or exhausted, mentally distanced from or cynical about their jobs and experiencing problems getting their work done can be diagnosed with a workplace injury. Burnout as the result of workplace stress carries significant implications for employers. Canadian occupational health and safety standards require employers to protect the physical and mental health of their workers. If people are meeting the criteria for burnout, organizations may be neglecting their legislated duty to ensure psychologically safe workplaces."
"The good news is something can be done. While it will require genuine organizational commitment, prevention and mitigation are key. But to get at the heart of the problem, we must first ask if employers are even tracking psychological safety in the workplace. Of those that do, most merely encourage staff to exercise more, meditate, sleep better and eat a more balanced diet. This is, quite simply, passing the buck onto an already depleted workforce and does nothing to address the core of the problem. The answer is not to recommend Band-Aid solutions, suggesting employees try even harder in their downtime to compensate for organizational neglect."
"For meaningful change, organizations must first implement clear policies reflecting their commitment to workplace mental health and psychological safety, and appoint a wellness champion and leaders who model these values. The next step is identifying workplace hazards through employee engagement surveys, workplace risk assessments, incident investigations, exit interviews and disability claim data if available. Identifying controls to prevent psychological harm is also necessary."
The Conversation, June 14, 2021: "Tackling burnout: How to deal with stress and safety in the workplace," by Kristen Deuzeman
Harvard Business Review, August 24, 2017: "High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It," by Laura Delizonna
Edmondson, A. (1999). Psychological Safety and Learning Behavior in Work Teams. Administrative Science Quarterly 44(2), 350–383. https://doi.org/10.2307/2666999
Maté, G. (2003). When the body says no : the cost of hidden stress (1st ed.). Toronto: A.A. Knopf Canada. (Available for curbside pickup to the U of T community here)
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), November 22, 2018: Mental Health - Recognizing Psychological Health and Safety Hazards
International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10)-2014: Chapter XXI Factors influencing health status and contact with health services
Photo Source: Erfurt, C. (2018). Man covering face with both hands [Photograph]. Unsplash. https://unsplash.com/photos/sxQz2VfoFBE
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Okay, BIG question. Should we stop using “Quartz” counter tops because the dust is dangerous or should we require better working conditions including dust control.?
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i hate it here
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“Industrial gymnastics invigorates, restores and strengthens!”
Bulgarian workplace health poster promoting physical exercise at work for good health and well-being, featuring an illustration of several factory workers exercising together (1958).
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Kellogg’s workers now on strike, over loss of healthcare, loss of retirement benefits, jobs being outsourced
workers had to work during the pandemic, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week
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Will COVID-19 Spell the End of Cubicle Farms and Worker Bees?
"...an out-of-tune note from Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon recently caused some agitation among workers and management experts. ... Mr. Solomon ruffled more than few feathers when he rejected the idea of work-from-home as the new normal. ... Unfortunately, he’s not alone. Last September, JP Morgan’s chief executive officer Jamie Dimon said working from home had a negative effect on productivity."
"Nothing could be further from the truth. Study after study has revealed productivity has soared during the pandemic. ... Case in point: JP Morgan reported some US$18-billion in revenue and US$7-billion in profits in the first quarter of 2021. The company’s revenue exceeded analysts’ expectations."
"Rebecca Paluch, an assistant professor at the Sauder School of Business’s Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Division at University of British Columbia, has studied the relationship between organizations and employees during changing employment trends. ... Contrary to popular belief, she says telecommuting has not eroded company culture or productivity. She does admit, however, that telecommuting for more than a few days will get in the way of fostering connections among employees. Ms. Paluch said remote workers may experience loneliness and isolation from a lack of personal interactions."
The Globe and Mail, May 23, 2021: "Will COVID-19 spell the end of cubicle farms and worker bees?" by Radhika Panjwani
Gensler Research Institute, 2021: China Workplace Survey 2021. (4 pages, PDF)
Gensler Research Institute, 2020: US Workplace Survey 2020. (10 pages, PDF)
Gensler Research Institute, 2020: France Workplace Survey 2020. (8 pages, PDF)
Gensler Research Institute, 2020: UK Workplace Survey 2020.
Gensler Research Institute, 2020: Japan Workplace Survey 2020. (11 pages, PDF)
Photo Source: Félix, Adolfo. (2019). White corner desk. [Photograph] Unsplash. https://unsplash.com/photos/PG8NyM_Mcts
Vaccines for COVID-19 are being administered to thousands in the U.S. daily but cases are still spiking across the country and our health care workers are feeling the impact. Although we’re starting to see light at the end of this prolonged-pandemic tunnel, it is far from over. But there’s still a lot that we can do individually to keep ourselves and our health care workers safe: stay home as much as possible, wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands.
Remember, we are all in this together.
Illustration courtesy of @docscribbles, a.k.a. Cathy Cichon, MD, MPH
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every two months a big video game company is outed for having horrid work ethics...it’s good to see people care but i just want to add, they’re all like this. don’t wait for your favorite company to be called out, it’s pretty much guaranteed they crunch too. don’t put those big companies on a pedestal. support devs who speak out, buy from indies, and don’t put your trust in big brands to care for their employees especially in the video game industry
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At the health centre today...
I finally got an appointment today after like 5 months between appointments to see my psychiatrist and I was annoyed, because they'd switched me again. This was my 4th psych in less than a year. And then I showed up and it wasn't even the person I was scheduled to see, she was on leave and I got a substitute.
I was feeling unsupported and went to speak with the nurse who didn't call me for my last phone appointment months ago, before I could, she told me she was about to take a week's leave, that she was exhausted, and she'd call me as soon as she was back at work. She told me my last psych left because she couldn't take it. And that all the GPs working in the same building left that week so mental health and nursing were the only failing departments left in the building.
Everyone is burned out, the pandemic is making things worse and these are the professionals who are supposed to help us cope with these feelings.
I thanked her and wished her a good vacation. I don't know if she'll come back, I don't know if she'll call. (Maybe she should run and find a better job if she can) I do know things need to change and the healthcare workers aren't to blame. How can any of us get help when the helpers are hanging by a thread in a country with normally excellent socialised healthcare? As someone struggling with their mental health and studying in the field of healthcare it's disheartening to say the least.
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It's great to see you back! your ask blog is super interesting. A question then! - How impacted would a doctor be by not being able to touch their patient (or, specifically, feel. Deadened touch sense)? How much of that could be overcome with technology or a good assistant (nurse, junior doctor) at hand?
Hey nonny! Depends on their specialty.
Surgeons... Yeah, they might need to change to being the person on the team who rounds on patients rather than actually being in the OR. (Most teams use PAs for this though)
On the other hand, plenty of doctors practice with one or both hands as prostheses.
Shit, my first job in human health care was to care for a guy who put himself through med school as a quadriplegic. Dude needed his toothbrush velcroed to his hand so he could brush his teeth.
You know what he did? Adolescent psychiatry. Graduated top 25% of his class at Boston U. Had a practice helping prevent teen suicide.
Outside of the OR, "touch the patient" has widely been replaced by "stick the patient in a CT/MRI/PET/get an ultrasound" anyway. I could see them having one nurse or PA or NP or resident do some of the more hands on exams for them, but I would also believe that they would just rely on different information to make decisions. He might even tell the patient what to do and ask how it feels.
xoxo, Aunt Scripty
PS: Sound off if you're a medblr and know a doc with a major hand disability!
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WE GOT TO DO THIS...
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I can't do it anymore and I feel like the worst most useless person for not being able to stick it out past 1.5 years but I feel like I'm losing it. I've had to start medication for depression and my anxiety meds have had to be upped because of how bad work is. We can do nothing right!!!! NOTHING!!! Our team lead went on a 3 week vacation, came back for 3 days and then went on another vacation. This is the norm. I called out one day because I had a medical emergency and I got a disciplinary meeting.
Then, while she was gone, she left a list of what to do with someone else who wouldn't give it to us. They gave us a brief rundown and that was all. So, I wrote it down and improved upon it based on past experience. We spent hours organizing and cleaning only to be told it looks like shit when she got back. Mind you, we only had 2 people working at all most days. In a popular coffee shop inside of a popular store. We are always understaffed. When we bring up issues we're told we're just starting drama or we get blamed for it. (i.e I got blamed for being sexually harassed) Our HR lead told me never to trust my coworkers and that I could only trust her. She was the same person who blamed me for being harassed and misgendered me!!! Never mind the fact that she knows one of my coworkers is my roommate and best friend of 12 years.
I'm so sorry if this is a mess. My thoughts are a mess. But over the last vacation my team lead took we noticed there were big chunks of mold in the ice. The maintenance guy had apparently cleaned out the machine but left the dirty ice, which he admitted to. We cleaned out the dirty ice and the bin! But the next day there was still mold in the ice. We had to make a choice right then so we said no iced drinks while we got everything clean. My roommate and I pulled the cover off the ice machine and it was FULL of mold. Green, pink, black, brown....all over. It was vile. So, we started cleaning it out. Really deep cleaning the shit out of this thing. We were covered in it. Finally, we called a team lead to tell them no iced drinks. They flipped out and said we'd made up the mold, that we sabotaged the machine and that we were inventing problems. But I'd taken photos and set aside full cups of mold because we've done this song and dance before. They told us it was fine. We were making something out of nothing. We were never to clean it again.
We cleaned everything out anyway and got bagged ice from the floor. I cried the whole time. I was just so angry I couldn't help it. They don't care about people. But I do.
The next day my team lead came back and I had to have a disciplinary meeting because of cleaning out the ice. She said I was not allowed to touch the machine but 1.) it's in my monthly assessment 2.) she's never told me that in all the time I've worked here. I told her my concerns about health and she said it wasn't that big of a deal. Then she informed me I was no longer allowed to drink water while working (I have a doctor's note) so that's fun. (I never drink water in the food service area or near anyone)
When she left I was alone to deal with the Friday rush and it was just too much. I got physically ill and as soon as my line died down I told a lead I was sick and was told to go home.
It's at the point where I cry before and after work. I even have nightmares about work. I think I need to quit. I want to. But I feel like maybe I'm being stupid and childish. I'm sorry this is a mess. There's so much and this is just the recent bits.
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