Based on Mercuryo anti-burnout practices.

Every fintech company must comply with several mandatory policies. Be it money laundering or data governance, the financial space cannot function without a set strict set of rules designed to protect customers and companies from fraud and risks. 

The anti-burnout policy is neither mandatory nor widespread, but it seems like it should be. It is meant to protect employees in the stressful, fast-paced, and often competition-based work environment. Although burnouts are damaging, they can be detected and eliminated. 

Every Friday, Mercuryo hosts evening meetups, introducing new products and practices. At these meetups, co-workers share their expertise and explain complicated processes. Sometimes, we invite guest speakers to teach us something new. 

Recently, the Mercuryo team had a Burnout intro course hosted by an independent psychologist and HR expert. It turned out to be even more helpful than we hoped for, and we decided to summarize the insights.

What is a Burnout

How would you describe burnout? Some people compare it to apathy; others say it’s when procrastination takes its turn for the worse, and then there are those who associate burnouts with a vivid desire to kill people. Jokes aside, burnouts are not fun. Meanwhile, over 74% of working people experienced burnouts in one way or another. 

The term burnout was coined in the 1970s and initially described it as growing emotional exhaustion. Today, the meaning didn’t change much. Burnout is a partial or complete loss of work efficiency brought on by increasing emotional and physical exhaustion. The WHO recognises burnout as a syndrome, and in some countries, you can get a paid leave based on your condition. 

Sadly, burnout has become a common part of our professional lives, and people treat it differently. While some start looking for a new job, others prefer to go with the procrastination flow. The daredevils quit and sell everything and move to uninhabited islands. In reality, that doesn’t often work.

What Causes Burnout

So, where does it come from? Suppressed negative emotion and other unresolved issues may eventually backfire in the form of burnout. 

For instance, you’ve got a colleague that constantly disrupts deadlines without any solid reason, and you’re the one who’s getting to deal with consequences. If you choose not to tell them anything but start piling up frustration instead, your body will waste energy supporting this inner battle. And that’s when burnout happens.

We can highlight three main factors that cause burnout. 

Emotional Issues

Working with emotionally difficult people is one of the significant emotional burnout causes. For instance, customer service workers may suffer from this tremendously. 

Intensive and uncontrollable communication is another emotional factor that can negatively impact your productivity. The necessity to be online 24/7, especially relevant for remote workers, can drain your energy quickly. Endless Zoom meetings and a full calendar cause a lot more stress than you think.

Organisational Issues

Unclear tasks and poor responsibilities’ distribution are examples of organisational issues. Moreover, burnout stress can be caused by a lack of coordinated actions. If you’re unsure what all of the above means, imagine a junior-level designer who has just joined the company and needs to create the main landing page from scratch within two weeks. It does sound stressful.

Issues with Work Conditions

Physical and material encouragement can make a massive difference. Often, the former one matters even more. Praise, compliments, support, and empathy can do wonders.

If you’ve noticed that you constantly feel tired and cannot function properly even after decent 8-hour sleep, you might be experiencing burnout. Other signs include insomnia, unwillingness to socialise with colleagues, absent-mindedness, lack of creativity and motivation, fatigue, anxiety, and even physical pain. Basically, if the mere thought of work makes you shiver and start smoking after the ten-year break, things are getting serious. 

Regaining the Balance

Now, how do we fight this? The first step is to admit that you’ve entered the burnout stage. Then, you’ll need to switch focus from what your brain thinks to how your body feels and what emotions you’re experiencing. Ignoring emotions wastes energy; noticing them works in your favour. 

Here’s a list of other things you can do to help yourself.

  • Increase your energy income

Think about what makes you happy and write them down. Make more time for your sports, but do not treat it as another challenge. You don’t have to prepare for a marathon in four months; several hours of light exercises per week is already a great start.

  • Reduce the negativity impact

Don’t overwork and work on your days off. If you have to deal with a toxic colleague regularly, think about why it triggers you so much. Come up with a solution on how to minimise the damage.

  • Close debts

Analyse your fundamental issues and where they come from. Why does it offend you so much when people do something better than you or have more power? Why do you care about what other people think?

  • Invest your energy wisely 

Do more of the things that you love.

One More Checklist

  • Improve your sleep and eating habits
  • Set work boundaries
  • Create routines and stick to them
  • Raise your quality of rest
  • Do something that makes you happy for at least half an hour each day
  • Describe what you do during short breaks
  • Develop awareness
  • Map out your goals and values
  • If nothing works, talk to a professional

The Bottom Line

Completing complex work tasks and achieving goals makes us happy and proud, but it doesn’t mean that we have to overwork and suppress our emotions constantly. The modern corporate environment forces people to overachieve, which causes a great deal of stress. 

Instead of falling into the rabbit hole of workaholism, focus on your emotions, needs, and priorities. Burnout is a common issue and can be treated, especially if you work in a company that gives back what you invested.