Attempts to Overcome Burnout

Part 2 of our 4-part Burnout Series. If you missed the first article, you can check it out here.

With burnout on the rise, things might feel hopeless sometimes.  But the good news, is that recognition is the first step to get back to healthy. And both organizations and individuals alike have realized this is an issue that can’t wait.

Unfortunately, individuals face an uphill climb when attempting to combat burnout, and the pressures from hustle culture, on their own.

To start, most tips and tricks for individuals to find more balance in their lives come down to ways to more easily fit life around work, which doesn’t actually address the root problem of too much work and the expectation that you should be working all the time.  So stress continues to pile up.

Trying to set new boundaries for yourself without buy-in and understanding from your employer, especially in cultures where hustle is celebrated, puts you at risk of ridicule, being labeled a slacker and even being passed over for promotions.

If individuals are struggling with this, organizations are not doing much better but it’s not because they’re not trying. 

Organizations have tried to push their people to take more time off for rest and recovery with unlimited PTO and even incentivizing PTO. But vacations aren’t enough because people need balance in their life –  more than 2 – 3 weeks out of the year. They need to be able to feel like they don’t have to be “on” all the time.

Beyond vacations, many organizations have invested in making the workplace more enjoyable through social apps, happy hours and allowing pets in the office.  But making work more enjoyable doesn’t address the issue of people’s lives piling up because they can’t break free from work.  

And this isn’t limited to a certain population of workers.  Managers and executives are burning out and they’re caught in the middle.

Training and equipping managers is great – we highly encourage it.  But unless companies start to address the overwork and burnout their managers face, these managers can’t really be effective.


Executive coaching is another strategy we’ve seen deployed but if it’s done in a vacuum without also giving permission to the people to prioritize their life above work when needed, the culture remains stuck.

To fix this, there needs to be a shift in mentality across the workplace — together, at all levels, so new behaviors can build.  As Margaret Wheatley so eloquently says, “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” 

Join us next week as we explore the antithesis to hustle culture and how we work to overcome burnout as a community.

To learn more about burnout and our research around it, check out our recent webinar, or download the full report for yourself.