Great Article: Burnout and the Brain by Alexandra Michel, writing in The Observer, a publication of The Association for Psychological Science.
- Stress may cause changes in the brain.
- Stress may cause problems with:
- working-memory problems in general
- Studies were mostly correlational, so not clear whether there is cause-and-effect relationship.
- Stress is NOT caused just by working long hours. As the article says:
"a comprehensive report on psychosocial stress in the workplace published by the World Health Organization identified consistent evidence that 'high job demands, low control, and effort–reward imbalance are risk factors for mental and physical health problems.' Ultimately, burnout results when the balance of deadlines, demands, working hours, and other stressors outstrips rewards, recognition, and relaxation."
- If we want our organization's employees to work at their best, we can't put them under long-periods of stress.
- We need to give them more control of their work, reward them appropriately especially with recognition and status (not necessarily with money), promote periods of rest and relaxation, and give employees input into their job environment.