Work burnout and in need of a sabbatical?


For every person the 'work' that he or she does, has a deep, personal meaning and interpretation. For someone it can be a means of earning and providing for their families, while for some others, it may be used as a primary measure of success in their life.

As a better understanding of an individual's performance and the relationship between perceived job satisfaction, motivation and output becomes evident; workplace culture and values have also undergone a major shift to allow for performance optimisation. Workforces have transitioned towards a more informal, first-name basis, flexible work hours, an environment with a focus on allowing people to become more comfortable and involved at their workstations; offices have become a second 'home' for many people.

Even with the current 'work from home' scenario, work resulted in a major lifestyle adjustment which many adapted to smoothly. However, continuous repetition and increasing workload pressure has led to an unintended loss of motivation even amongst the most dedicated individual's.

Targets, deadlines, and expectations (both personal and professional) may lead to a feeling of emotional numbness and fatigue, Dr Kedar Tilwe, Psychiatrist & Sexologist, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi tells IANSlife. "Lack of clearly defined life goals, personal expectations, absence of work-life balance as well as stress can further add to this pressure".

Often this results in 'burnout', and usually it will first manifest in your workspace. Dr Tilwe says the symptoms may vary from:

Complete lack of interest and initiative

Decreased job performance

Emotional exhaustion

Chronic stress

Precipitation of anxiety and sleep-wake cycle disturbances in some

He says, "A change in lifestyle, using stress minimisation techniques, regular revaluation of personal goals, considering redefining of job roles, taking on challenging projects are some of the ways people can choose to rediscover the spark and deal with their burnout. Often taking a short break can also help in this regard."

Sometimes however, a properly considered long-term break or sabbatical may be an option that may be considered. The time-off from your regular routine environment can help you re-evaluate and re-prioritise your goals, often helping to revitalize yourself. While some may choose to travel or learn a skill, sabbaticals can also be used to pursue academic interests and individual life-goals.

"While the exact details of an individual's sabbatical may vary depending on personal and professional circumstances, taking time-off maybe just the elixir you need to jumpstart your engine and redirect yourself on the best path forward," he says.