Psychological Availability and Work/Life Balance

According to Gallup research, before the pandemic, 76% of workers reported feeling burned out sometimes, while 28% of workers said they were burned out “very often” or “always” at work. With the events of the past few years, you can bet those numbers are likely trending upward.

In our last article we looked at the term “psychological availability” and how it relates to employee engagement. One of the key components of psychological availability is work/life balance, often a major issue within organizations. As many of us have experienced, a lack of work/life balance often leads to burnout. According to the World Health Organization, signs of burnout at work include people feeling:

  • Depleted or exhausted
  • Mentally distant from their job or negative feelings or cynicism about their job
  • Reduced professional efficacy

Do any of the above sound familiar? Combating employee burnout and increasing team members’ psychological availability takes some ‘out of the box’ thinking and a commitment to real and meaningful change. Here are a few ideas to get started both in terms of physical environment and organizational culture:

  • Equip managers to combat burnout: Most employees say their immediate managers matter more than upper-level leaders when it comes to well-being support. But often, managers don’t understand how to talk to their employees about their well-being. That’s where training plays an important role. Managers need to learn the skills needed to identify and alleviate employee burnout. And these managers need to feel supported by upper-level management as well.
  • Make work/life balance a priority: This needs to be modeled by leaders and supported organization-wide. Work/life balance initiatives can include: monitoring workload and scheduling, allowing flexible schedules to accommodate team members’ needs, encouraging use of vacation time and incorporating wellness activities into daily office life.
  • Examine the physical work environment: Design environments that are as comfortable and inviting as possible. Examine the lighting. Monitor the noise levels and ways to reduce interruptions. Provide spaces that allow team members to connect with each other without disrupting the rest of the office.

That’s just the start. There are so many areas to consider and possible ideas to implement. The key is taking those crucial first steps. When it comes to employee burnout and disengagement, it’s so important to look for solutions right away, rather than wait until productivity declines and turnover increases. Call Leah M. Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at and let’s start tackling any disengagement issues now!

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Leah M. Joppy & Associates

Derwood, MD 20855

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