Signs of burnout: How the let-down effect hurts worker wellbeing

Signs of burnout can range from quiet quitting to getting sick more often. Sickness in an office is contagious. Whether it’s a physical or a mental illness, it can have a ripple effect across the workplace.

Someone’s lack of energy or productivity can make the rest of the team feel lethargic or demotivated, particularly if the person who is ill is in a senior position.

There’s no time this is more likely to happen (other than in winter in a cramped office) than after a huge project has come to an end. This is called the let-down effect, and it’s one of the major signs of burnout.

What is the let-down effect?

The let-down effect is when you get sick after completing a big project or dealing with another source of stress like exams.

When we work on a huge project, we run on the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. They ramp up to keep us going, helping us fight off things that might get in the way of us achieving our goals, like a pesky cold.

And as soon as the project is over, those hormones stop.

And as soon as the day after, signs of burnout can start to appear and we can get sick.

The let-down effect hit me back in November. I had so much to do in October. Client deadlines, a writing class to teach, a book reading, and a book to edit. Lots of prep, lots of stress. I was excited, but I was definitely running on adrenaline.

I kept saying to myself, “just make it to the end of October, then you can rest.”

That was a big mistake.

The morning of November 1st, I woke up with the flu. 

I don’t think I’ve ever been that ill, and I’m not entirely sure I’m completely over it six months later. 

It led to infections, chronic pain and fatigue flare-ups, allergy flare-ups, new allergies, insomnia…I could fill a blog post with all my symptoms since November, but you get the point.

The let-down effect can lead to new or worsening physical or mental health symptoms. It can worsen signs of burnout, and there’s no telling how long it will take to recover.

So what can you do about the let-down effect at work?

How to avoid the let-down effect in the workplace

Stress hormones have a role in our bodies, but it should only be a short-term one. The longer they build up, the more detrimental they become. 

They can lead to chronic inflammation and a weakened immune system, which is why chronic health issues can flare up after a big project, or it feels like we have a never-ending stream of illnesses.

The people most prone to burnout are the ones who care the most about what they do. That’s because they often work harder to achieve their goals. 

When someone enjoys something, it doesn’t feel so much like work.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t still lead to stress. Everyone needs a break sometimes.

So, one of the key things you can do to manage it is to check in with your employees.

Watch for signs of burnout. Ask them how they’re doing and what they need from you.

Would they prefer to work from home, where it’s quieter? Or come into the office later and stay later?

Or do you need to have an honest discussion about a deadline because it’s just not achievable? 

It may even be a case of needing to hire new employees to help you meet a deadline or avoid signs of burnout in the future.

Encouraging employees to reduce their stress levels slowly is also vital.

Instead of doing what I did, and saying, “Just make it to this date, then I can rest,” ensure employees pace themselves during stressful periods and ease back from the situation slowly.

Activities like exercise or cold showers can temporarily increase stress levels and help to avoid the sudden shock to the body from a lack of stress hormones.

How to support employees through the let-down effect

Sometimes, employees push themselves too hard or fast even when you tell them not to. Inevitably leading to signs of burnout, and ultimately, the let-down effect.

When they reach that point, it’s important to have an honest conversation with them. Some people can’t see that they’ve pushed themselves too far until their mind or body can’t function anymore. Ideally, you want to prevent this from happening.

Encourage them to rest. Despite what society tells us, rest is good for productivity

This could mean taking more breaks during the working day (away from their desk, not at their desk reading news articles), or it could be a week off to recover.

It may also mean channeling their energy into something else, like a new project that’s less pressure.

Recovery will look different for everyone.

It involves a lot of patience and self-care, which can be difficult for people who are used to pushing themselves hard and fast. 

You could organize workshops to help everyone recognize signs of burnout, as well as the causes, symptoms, and solutions of the let-down effect so that they know how to handle it. 

It also means that they’re prepared to help both themselves and their colleagues.

Connection is important, too. 

Helping employees network with like-minded folks who are equally driven—but perhaps further into their journey so they know when to slow down—will teach them valuable lessons on managing high-pressure projects.

You could facilitate this through mentoring, coaching, or employee groups. Each has different benefits depending on your organization.

You could even set up employee groups for stress-reducing hobbies such as reading, meditation, exercise, or puzzles.


The let-down effect can impact anyone within the workplace, particularly after a long, challenging project.

To support employees through it and manage down signs of burnout, make sure they feel comfortable telling you how they feel and requesting what they need. This could be more time off—either a day at home or a vacation—accommodations such as working on lower-pressure projects for a while, or even a new role.

Whatever you choose, Workrowd can help you organize your program and get the most out of it for you and your employees. Contact us today at to book your free demo.


Top tips for reducing stress in the workplace in 2024

Stress prevents around a million Americans from going to work each day. When you consider that 94% of people feel stressed at work, it’s surprising that number isn’t higher. It also really highlights the importance of reducing stress in the workplace.

Stress comes with too many physical and mental health issues for me to list in this blog post, but some of its more insidious symptoms include joint or muscle aches; shorter tempers; detachment from events/surroundings; and getting ill more frequently.

All these symptoms can impact an employee’s home life and their ability to do their job.

It’s not just employees who feel the impact of work-related stress, though. The global cost of stress, anxiety, and depression amounts to roughly $1 trillion in lost productivity.

So not working towards reducing stress in the workplace can have a huge effect on your business. 

How do you prevent your employees from experiencing stress at work? Here are our tips for reducing stress in the workplace:

Don’t treat everyone like an extrovert

It’s been years since Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking debuted. Yet for introverts, it can still sometimes feel like we’re expected to be raring to go and happy to be around people all the time.

Not everyone likes loud, open-plan offices or socializing after work. That doesn’t mean they don’t like their colleagues. It just means they need time to reset so that they can perform at their best.

What one person sees as celebratory drinks with coworkers, another may see as a trap. Whether someone drinks or not, we don’t get a lot of time to ourselves after work. For those of us who need a quiet space, those few hours between work and sleep are crucial.

Yet saying no to those drinks can mean colleagues judge us and even pass us over for promotions. All because we recharge our batteries differently.

And, while we’re at it, someone not talking in a meeting doesn’t mean they’re not engaged. It could simply mean they’re digesting what’s being said. Or they’re uncomfortable around so many people. It doesn’t mean they’re incapable of performing in their role.

Accommodating an array of different communication styles is an important way of reducing stress in the workplace.

Monitor workloads—and adjust accordingly

It’s all too easy for a manageable workload to slowly get bigger and bigger until it becomes unmanageable. And this can happen without employees or managers realizing it until the employee becomes stressed or burned out.

Managers therefore need to keep an eye on their employees’ workloads, ensuring they’re doable within their working hours and they don’t have to sacrifice personal time to hit deadlines. Unsurprisingly, employees’ workloads have a huge impact on how well you succeed at reducing stress in the workplace.

Be realistic with deadlines

While deadlines can be motivating, they can also lead to a lot of stress. It’s all too common for managers to overpromise to clients then push their employees too far and cause them to burn out.

For instance, this is especially common in the gaming industry, with what they call “crunch.”

The closer a game’s release gets, the greater the expectation that employees work longer hours, sacrificing time with their loved ones and possibly even sleep, too.

Someone I know who previously worked in the gaming industry would get home around midnight, then leave around six the following morning. For months. That’s not healthy, normal, or acceptable.

Things in the game industry are changing, slowly. And while the game industry may be bad, it’s not the only industry that pushes its employees to work harder and risk burnout to hit an impossible deadline.

Maintaining reasonable expectations is key to reducing stress in the workplace.

Keep an eye out for discrimination and microaggressions

Any time a business thinks that it’s 100% dealt with discrimination, it’s likely to slip backward.

Preventing discrimination in the workplace requires constant, active effort, in the same way that for a business to grow it requires regular effort. It is work, after all.

Just because you don’t experience discrimination in the workplace, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It could just be that it’s directed toward a different group and you haven’t seen it. Or you don’t know what to look for.

Disabled people experience the most discrimination in the workplace, for example.

People with hidden disabilities may not even share their disabilities with their colleagues for fear of negative reactions.

I’ve been told many times that I’m being a drama queen because I find lights too bright or spaces too noisy, even if sensitivity to those things affects my ability to do my job.

Those types of comments affected how comfortable I felt in the workplace and made me feel judged and less accepted in that space. It was a clear indicator that employer wasn’t as inclusive as it claimed to be.

If you see someone say or do something discriminatory, either call them out on it if you feel comfortable doing so, or if you don’t, speak to HR. When your organization is more inclusive, reducing stress in the workplace becomes easier.

Connect employees

Loneliness can be stressful. And even someone surrounded by people every day can feel lonely if the people they’re with don’t understand them.

Employee groups can help them to connect with colleagues from different departments, or even countries, who have things in common with them. This helps employees feel like they belong at work and can help new employees settle in faster.

But finding an effective way to manage employee groups can be challenging. That’s where we come in.

Using Workrowd, you can manage your employee groups in one, simple place. Employees have everything they need to network with their colleagues. And, you can measure your groups’ effectiveness with regular feedback surveys.


Stress, like many health conditions, can creep up on you. One minute you’re fine, the next you’re crumbling over a never-ending workload.

That’s why it’s so important to always be on the lookout for signs of stress in the workplace, in both you and your colleagues. You can then find ways to work towards reducing stress in the workplace before it escalates.

Are you ready to implement some of these strategies for reducing stress in the workplace? Workrowd can help.

With our all-in-one engagement tool suite, you can easily keep tabs on stress levels in your organization. From automated surveys to groups offering crucial support to stressed employees, everything you need is in one place.

Curious to learn more? Visit us online or email us directly at


10 office adaptations to improve workplace mental health

It’s estimated that 12 billion working days are missed each year due to depression and anxiety, costing $1 trillion in lost productivity annually. Needless to say, it’s pretty important that companies do what they can to address workplace mental health and support employees who may be struggling.

I knew depression and anxiety were bad, but I didn’t realize they cost the economy that much. It’s no surprise though, when you consider that almost half of employees feel their mental wellbeing declined in 2022, and 28% feel miserable in the workplace.

60% feel emotionally detached at work, too. And emotional detachment from things we previously enjoyed is a major symptom of depression.

So what can you do to support better workplace mental health?

Remove (or mitigate) distractions

Offices can be noisy, distracting places. Even the virtual office can bombard us with notification after notification. It’s easy for anyone to get distracted, let alone someone who’s already struggling to concentrate.

What distractions can you remove to better support workplace mental health? It may be worth asking your employee what distracts them the most, as the answer will be different for everyone.

Some examples include:

  • Bright lights
  • Loud noises
  • Lots of people coming and going
  • Slack notifications
  • Email notifications
  • Traffic outside the window

The solution might be to allow them to work from home, move the location of their desk, or have specific focus hours where others can’t distract them.

Utilize noise-canceling headphones

Noise-canceling headphones are magical, especially in noisy offices.

I couldn’t have survived working in an open-plan office without them because the constant shouting (yes, really) coming from other people’s desks made it almost impossible for me to concentrate.

Try fidget toys

I bought a fidget toy last year, and I regularly use it when I need to concentrate on editing something. I find it grounding, using it to keep my hands busy while my mind focuses.

It makes it easier for me to hone in on one task. So many of my friends were skeptical when I first got it, but they’ve tried it and since bought their own.

There’s a fidget toy out there for everyone, whether it’s a fidget spinner, stress ball, or something else. You could even order some with your company’s branding to distribute to employees in support of workplace mental health.

Buy supportive tech

My reMarkable 2 is my best friend. I use it every day to write what I have to do and what I have to remember. And I get a hit of dopamine every time I check something off my to-do list. If it isn’t on my reMarkable, it doesn’t get done.

What technology could you adopt to help your employees keep track of tasks? Is there an app, like ClickUp or Todoist? Or a piece of hardware like a tablet?

Something as simple as having an easy way to organize to-dos and visualize progress can boost workplace mental health.

Get a whiteboard

Tech is great, but sometimes it can also be handy to have something glaring and in your face so that you really can’t forget what’s most important.

An office whiteboard is a simple way for employees to see what’s been done and what still needs to be done.

Or even to jot quick notes to each other or play a game during some downtime. (Tic Tac Toe can be great when you need to rest your brain, whatever your age.)

Try sit/stand desks or anti-fatigue mats

Movement can really help our ability to concentrate. It’s also much better for our posture than sitting at a desk all day, and helpful for someone who’s feeling fidgety or restless.

So incorporating more movement opportunities into employees’ days can be great for workplace mental health.

Giving people the option of a sit/stand desk enables them to work comfortably based on how they feel physically and mentally. It’s great for their short and long-term health.

Anti-fatigue mats, meanwhile, can help employees who stand at their desks. The mats improve blood flow and are much more comfortable on employees’ feet than a hard office floor.

Embrace natural lighting

The best type of lighting for our minds—and eyes—is natural light. It’s very different from harsh, bright, overstimulating light that can add to someone’s stress levels if they already feel down, anxious, or ill.

Could you dim the lights in the employee’s space? If there’s no option to dim them, could you disconnect one or two to make it less harsh?

Also consider ways to take the glare off people’s screens from windows, such as screen protectors or moving their desk space. These are simple, no or low-cost adjustments that can make a big difference for workplace mental health.

Allow a support animal into the office

Hugging or petting an animal can calm our nervous systems, making it a quick and simple way to reset when we feel stressed. As a result, we can get more work done because we spend less time feeling anxious or worried.

Allowing pets in the office is also a good way to increase your talent pool. Some pet owners are unable to afford pet care, so enabling them to bring their pet with them can really help to improve workplace mental health.

Create private spaces

Sometimes, we just need to be alone. And once we’re alone, we can get so much more done.

But to get to that point, we need a quiet space to recharge and disconnect from the outside world. Something which is increasingly hard to come by these days.

Is there a quiet room you could allocate for employees to do some deep work? Or even allow them to nap or meditate when they need some alone time?

Could you use a room-booking software for it, to ensure that nobody disturbs them?

Make the work environment calmer

We live in a world that’s switched on 24/7. And that’s terrible for workplace mental health. Is there a way you can create a calmer environment?

Not to the point where employees feel like they’re going to fall asleep at their desks, but where their senses aren’t being bombarded all the time. 

For example, lots of posters or things to look at in the office can be overwhelming. Ditto to lots of smells or sounds. A calm color, and a landscape painting or two, is much more soothing.


Supporting workplace mental health is about a combination of physical workspace transformations and actions that allow employees to work in a way that’s best for them. Every person’s needs will be different, which is why it’s important to listen and adapt things as needed.

If you’d like to offer more workplace mental health support, why not help employees connect with others through a mental health-focused ERG? While you’re at it, why not make it easier for the whole team to access programs, groups, and events related to their mental wellbeing?

Workrowd puts everything employees need right at their fingertips. Combine that with our easy, automated feedback opportunities, and you’ve got a flexible, turnkey way to improve workplace mental health.

Want to see how this can change the game for your organization? Visit us online or send us a quick note at


8 workplace accommodations for depression and anxiety

It’s no secret that mental health has become a major issue across today’s workforce. If you haven’t yet had to consider workplace accommodations for depression and anxiety, odds are high that you will soon.

Depression is one of the top three workplace problems employee assistance professionals face, rivaled only by family crises and stress.

But let’s face it: family crises can lead to stress, and stress can lead to depression. And depression can lead to stress. And stress can lead to family crises. So really, they’re all related.

If you don’t nip depression in the bud, it can spiral and result in decreased employee morale, increased sick time, and ultimately, higher turnover.

Depression also often goes hand-in-hand with anxiety. It’s one of the most common mental health comorbidities, with around 60% of people who have depression also experiencing anxiety, and vice versa.

56% of employees with anxiety feel it impacts their workplace performance, 51% feel it affects their relationships with their colleagues and peers, half feel it affects the quality of their work, and 43% find it impacts their relationships with their superiors. These are all pretty significant issues.

So, what workplace accommodations for depression and anxiety can you make to help mitigate—and hopefully, eventually eradicate—these challenges?

Come up with strategies together

Depression and anxiety can both come with sides of brain fog. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your employee a say over their workplace accommodations, though. Not giving them a voice is only likely to make their mental health worse.

Instead, listen to them, let them explain how they feel, and see if they know what might help (from, say, reading a blog post like this one). Then, work together to come up with coping strategies.

Once you’ve devised a plan, write it down so you both know what you’ve agreed on.

Refer to the agreement regularly and check in to see if any further changes need to be made.

Communicate clearly and be specific

There’s nothing worse than someone saying, “We need to talk,” when you have anxiety. It can cause anything from mild panic to sheer terror. 

Please, when you schedule a meeting with anyone, tell them what it’s for. This is good for respecting employees’ time and helping mitigate any potential worries whether they have a mental health condition or not.

Even better, have a clear agenda that allows for all attendees to plan beforehand. (And maybe even give them permission to not attend any meetings that don’t have a clear agenda, so their time doesn’t get wasted.)

This is one of the simplest workplace accommodations for depression and anxiety, but also an incredibly important one.

Watch your words

Most people mean well when they say things like “You’re so strong for doing X while Y is happening.”

But when you’re on the receiving end of it, it can feel irritating and condescending. Especially if the person who says it doesn’t know the full story.

It also then means that that person may feel less able to be vulnerable in future scenarios, so it puts them at greater risk of burnout

It should be okay to be vulnerable. It’s being able to express those negative emotions that can lead to greater resilience and stronger mental health long-term.

Offer flexible working

A strict 9-5 schedule doesn’t work for everyone. And sometimes a person may not feel great in the morning, but they may be able to work later in the day.

Also, employees should be able to attend doctor’s or therapist’s appointments during working hours.

Many healthcare settings aren’t open outside of traditional 9-5 hours, which means that if an employee doesn’t have flexible work options, they have to use up their paid time off. Which is really unfair when a healthy employee doesn’t need to do that.

Having less paid time off to relax can have a damaging impact on employees’ mental health, making their situation even worse. Especially when their colleagues aren’t in the same boat. This is one of the workplace accommodations for depression and anxiety that can make for a more equitable company culture.

Allow regular breaks

Sitting at a desk for four-hour chunks at a time isn’t normal. No one should have to sit still for that long because of the numerous health issues it causes and exacerbates.

Let all your employees get up and move about; have a chat in the kitchen about what they watched on TV last night; make a drink to stay hydrated. All these things are good for everyone’s mental and physical health.

So long as they get the work done, that’s the most important thing, right?

Offer coaching

Sometimes, when we’re feeling stuck, talking our situation through with someone can help.

Coaching can be a great way to offer workplace accommodations for depression and anxiety. It supports people dealing with these challenges, and helps them find a path toward what they want to achieve while giving them something positive to work on.

Remove non-essential duties

When our mental health is struggling, tasks can take more energy.

To help, is there anything non-essential you could take off of your employee’s plate?

For example, do they really need to go to that meeting? Or could you share the notes with them after?

Meeting attendance often doesn’t need to be mandatory. Many attendees’ time could be better spent on their tasks, rather than sitting in a meeting where they can’t get a word in anyway as there are too many cooks in the kitchen.

Break down tasks into smaller chunks

Tasks can feel overwhelming when you’re short on energy. The smaller the chunks you break a task down into, the more dopamine it triggers in the brain. And therefore, the bigger the boost to mental wellbeing.

It also makes the task less intimidating and therefore easier to do. Getting the ball rolling can be the hardest part, so focusing on something smaller can really help get someone out of a funk.

For instance, when writing a blog post, I don’t list my task as “write a blog post.” Instead, I break it down into:

  • Research
  • Planning
  • Writing
  • Structural editing
  • Copy editing
  • Send to client
  • Client edits (if required)

These smaller chunks mean I can do one task a day, or do several a day, and still feel like I’ve accomplished things. Something as simple as making it easier for someone to see and track their progress on tasks can do wonders as workplace accommodations for depression and anxiety.


Depression and anxiety are horrible diseases that don’t just impact the person going through them, but the people around them, too.

It’s not always easy to ask for help when struggling, so offering to support employees in an empathetic way can help them get back on their feet.

But remember: they didn’t get to this point overnight, and they won’t get better overnight, either. Plus, while one employee is improving, another may be in the early stages of these challenges.

That’s why it’s important to document your workplace accommodations for depression and anxiety somewhere easily accessible, so everyone knows what’s available when they’re struggling.

While you’re at it, why not make everything employees need easier for them to find? Workrowd enables you to centralize all your employee resources, programs, groups, and events, giving team members one-stop shopping in a user-friendly hub.

You can securely manage versioning, track participation levels, and leverage real-time analytics to ensure your workplace accommodations for depression and anxiety are meeting the need.

Sound like this could be useful for your organization? Great! We’d love to learn more and discuss ways to partner on elevating your employee experience. Visit us online or send us a note at to learn more.


The HR burnout is real: 10 ways to take care of yourself

While everyone was worried about employee productivity and quiet quitting, a tidal wave of HR burnout was brewing. In fact, 98% of HR professionals report feeling burned out.

Oof, that’s a worrying number.

Burnout isn’t one of those things that goes away on its own.

And, without making permanent changes to how we do things, it will come back, too.

When I interviewed burnout expert Becca Syme a couple of years ago, she said that the people who burned out more than once were the people who tried to go back to their old ways of doing things when they started feeling better. Despite those habits being the reasons they burned out in the first place.

So, how can you take care of yourself and recover from HR burnout? And prevent it in the future?

Embrace technology

Is there some technology you’re resistant to that could make your life easier? Is there anything you could automate? Or streamline?

Could you workshop ideas with a generative AI tool, to help you explain your thoughts more clearly? (But make sure you edit it to sound like you after!)

Could you use a tool like Workrowd to save you time by taking over the admin side of managing and measuring your employee initiatives?

Technology can help with so many tasks to stave off HR burnout. The more we embrace it, the more time we have for genuine human interaction (which also benefits our mental health).


If you feel you have too much work and not enough time, what could you outsource? Either to a colleague or a freelancer?

Your colleagues are there to support you.

And freelancers are there to assist you when you want to stay consistent but don’t need the help of another full-time employee. Sometimes offloading tasks is the shortest route to relieving HR burnout.

Get some movement in

Exercise gives us a physical outlet for stress, and therefore makes it easier for us to deal with it.

The more stressed we are, the more exercise we need to counteract it, according to Dr. John Ratey and Eric Hagerman in their book, Spark.

But something is better than nothing.

Even if all you do is walk to the end of the street, it’s still gotten you away from your desk and monitor, and stretched your legs.

Find what helps you disconnect

Time in nature is great for calming our minds.

Is there somewhere outdoors where you could take a walk on your lunch break?

Maybe you live/work near a beach and could walk there?

Or could you take a soothing bath—without your phone—to calm your mind and muscles? Disconnection can be key when you start to feel the strain of HR burnout.

Use your vacation days

Extended breaks are one of the most important elements of HR burnout recovery.

At the start of this year, I felt creatively burned out. I couldn’t even think about book writing, even though I’ve been doing it my whole life.

Taking a break from it (even though I loved it), and going on vacation somewhere totally disconnected, played a huge part in my recovery.

You don’t have to travel far, but a change of scenery and a week or two away from your desk can do wonders to help you recharge. (Just make sure everyone knows not to bother you about work-related matters while you’re gone!)

Be mindful

Mindfulness is all about focusing on being in the moment. What are you doing now? How can you do that to the best of your ability?

Techniques like circular breathing, moving meditations, or even fire breathing can help refocus your mind in just a few minutes. When you feel the HR burnout creeping in, try taking a few moments to decompress.


Make sure you have a well-organized to-do list. Everything should be listed in order of priority.

Also accept that, no matter how much you want to, you may never complete everything on your list. Using something like an Eisenhower Matrix may help you work out what you need to focus on and what you can outsource or abandon.

I write down all my tasks on my tablet every day, then I number the top three and make sure I check those off.

If something has been on my to-do list for more than a week, I consider how important it really is and if it’s something I should drop.

If it’s something that needs to be done but isn’t urgent, I’ll put some time in the calendar for it or outsource it.

Leave your work at work

If you work in an office and need to disconnect, leave your work devices at your desk or switch them off at the end of the day.

This is a lot harder if you work remotely, but it isn’t impossible.

Consider having a hard cut-off time so that you have a few hours where you can fully disconnect from work. Draw that boundary and reinforce it, even if colleagues try to lure you back into work outside of your specified hours.

Take regular breaks

Throughout the day, make sure you take some time away. This gives your eyes a break from the screen and your mind a break from thinking about work (in theory, anyway).

These don’t have to be long breaks. It could be to make a drink, get some food, or pick the kids up from school.

Taking frequent, small breaks is just as important as longer breaks.

They’re particularly important if you feel restless and can’t concentrate.

Sometimes the solution to a problem is simple, but you’ve been working too hard for too long.

You may well find that solution faster if you take a break now instead of forcing yourself to keep going when you can’t think straight thanks to HR burnout.

Talk to your colleagues

If you’re the type of person to put on a brave face, your colleagues may have no idea you feel burned out.

That’s why it’s important to talk to them about how you feel. They may have solutions you hadn’t considered.

And, as the old phrase goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. Sometimes just talking about your feelings can lower your stress levels and stave off HR burnout.


Burnout, regardless of the cause, can affect every area of our lives. It’s important to look at what caused it and take steps to ease the burden now and reduce the risk of it happening again.

It can feel overwhelming, but there are systems and people out there that can help. While HR burnout may be different in that people are often looking to you to also solve employee burnout, you still deserve the same amount of care to help you recover.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your workload while simultaneously connecting employees to more and better resources to fend off burnout, you’ve come to the right place. Workrowd has the tools you need to make everyone’s lives easier.

With one-click info and event sharing to all your important channels, streamlined processes for both you and employees, and automated data collection and analytics, you have more time to focus on the work that really matters. Or on yourself!

Visit us online to learn more, or write us at We’d love to chat.


9 surprising benefits of employee wellness programs

Most job candidates now look for, and prioritize, companies with employee wellness programs.

As well as helping you attract more—and better quality—candidates, employee wellness programs can improve employee engagement and retention by reducing stress and lowering the risk of burnout.

What are employee wellness programs?

Employee wellness programs are schemes focused on supporting employees’ physical, mental, and emotional health.

They should contain a variety of options to support different needs. This could include:

  • Discounted gym membership or an in-house gym
  • Meditation app subscription
  • Discounted therapy
  • Nutritional education
  • Exercise classes
  • Stop smoking programs

The benefits of effective employee wellness programs

So, what benefits could your business experience as a result of employee wellness programs?

1. Get access to a wider talent pool

87% of employees consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer.

Just offering one that aligns with your values, and that reflects what your target personas prioritize, can improve your employer brand. It’s a clear way to show the rest of the world that you value employee wellbeing and what your company culture is like.

2. Reduce absenteeism

Absenteeism occurs when someone takes time away from work for illness or non-illness related reasons, such as transportation or childcare.

If someone comes into the office with a cold, this can increase your absenteeism rate as they pass their germs on to others.

Educating employees on how to avoid spreading those germs to their colleagues (such as sneezing into their elbow, not their hand—or better yet not going into the office when they’re ill) is a simple way to reduce absenteeism. 

Introducing employee wellness programs reduces absenteeism by up to 19%. That’s a lot of working days that could boost your business.

3. Reduce healthcare costs

72% of employers saw a reduction in healthcare costs after implementing employee wellness programs.

And it makes sense—taking a proactive approach to health can reduce how much time, energy, and money we lose to managing existing and future health conditions. It can also help to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

4. Improve employee health habits

The reduction in absenteeism makes sense when you consider the difference preventative healthcare can make.

In his book, “Food for Life,” Professor Tim Spector says that diet could account for around half of common diseases. If everyone ate healthier, it could prevent or delay the disease burden of arthritis, cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and even infertility.

Despite this, the British diet consists of more than 50% processed foods. In the US, processed foods make up 57% of the daily diet.

Unfortunately, most people don’t know what makes something a processed food because we’re not taught it. So unless we actively seek out that information, how will we know how these foods could impact us?

Sharing with employees how to build healthy habits, and the benefits of those healthy habits, can help motivate them to take better care of their short- and long-term health.

Which means you get to experience all the benefits of their healthier lifestyles.

5. Get more engaged employees

Over 80% of employees whose employers are invested in their wellness say they enjoy work.

And, as we all know, when employees are more engaged, the business reaps the rewards.

6. Lower employee stress levels

Prioritizing wellbeing through exercise, meditation, or something else, reduces stress levels. 

And let’s not forget that when we show employees we value their mental health, they’re less likely to work to the point of stress or burnout. And they’re more likely to feel like they can talk to their manager if they’re having trouble.

7. Experience higher employee morale

Morale plays a big part in how effective employees are in their roles, and how they feel in the workplace environment.

If employee morale is high, it has a ripple effect on the rest of the business. It can improve your company culture and your employer brand, even boosting your customer service quality and reviews.

Investing in employee wellness programs, especially during times of transition, can ease the stress caused by significant changes and reassure employees who are struggling.

8. Increase employee productivity

Whether it’s hay fever, a mild cold, or an argument with a friend, there are lots of “minor” things that can impact employee productivity.

In the grand scheme of things, these issues may seem small, but they can feel gargantuan when someone experiences them. And they can have a huge impact on workplace productivity.

When employees are taught how to look after their physical and mental health, they have coping mechanisms in place that they can use when they’re having a rough day. As a result, they’ll feel more able to cope with difficult days and ask for accommodations if they need them.

And employee wellness programs really can make a big difference—84% of employers reported higher performance and productivity from their employees because of them.

9. Experience a six-to-one ROI

When you consider the increased productivity and lower absence rates, it should come as no surprise that the average return on investment (ROI) for employee wellness programs is six to one.


Investing in employee wellness programs can positively impact every area of your business.

In addition to growing your employer brand and company culture, it can also improve absenteeism and employee engagement, resulting in higher productivity and profits.

If you want to maximize the impact of your employee wellness programs, the first step is ensuring everyone knows about them! Providing access to important information, programs, groups, and events all in one place makes it easy for team members to get involved from day one.

Plus, with everything under one roof, you can easily track the impact of your employee wellness programs and compare across your initiatives. Sound interesting? If so, drop us a line at, or visit us online to learn more.


How to support an employee dealing with chronic pain at work

Chronic illness can affect every facet of a person’s life, or it can impact just one. It includes everything from fibromyalgia to Crohn’s disease to depression and everything in between. As a result, many employees have to manage chronic pain at work.

More than 50 million Americans live with chronic pain; that’s 1 in every 5 people. You—or your employee—may never be able to solve their health issues. That said, there are things you can both do to make their working lives more comfortable and support them in performing their job to the best of their ability. 

Dealing with chronic pain at work doesn’t have to hold someone back in being great at what they do. I should know, I’ve had chronic pain for over five years, and I do content marketing, podcasting, and book publishing. 

So, what can you do to support employees facing chronic pain at work?

Accept it’s unpredictable 

Many chronic health issues can flare up without notice. They can also get better in what seems like a magical way (although this is less likely to happen).

As humans, we really like patterns. So, we may look for them and feel frustrated when we can’t find them.

Or, if you do go through an employees’ absence history and find a pattern, it may be worth investigating or enquiring about what happens around this time. 

Stress exacerbates many health conditions, and work is one of the biggest causes of stress for most of us. 

Could it be that something is happening at work that’s elevating their stress, but they haven’t felt able to talk about it?

Gently raising the subject can make them feel comfortable discussing it with you. 

Perhaps there’s an aspect of their job that they could use some assistance with? Or, if they’re taking more time off than usual, are they working too much? Or too little?

Balance their workload

We often associate workplace stress with having too much to do. Not having enough to do or being under-stimulated can also be triggers, though. 

Our brains like novelty, particularly when we have conditions like ADHD. When daily life starts to feel too automatic, we grow bored, our brains switch to auto-pilot, our stress levels increase, and our work quality goes down.

Keeping the pace of work consistent and regular means employees know what their employer expects from them. It gives them a level of stability they don’t have from other areas of their life, like their health.

While you want the pace to be regular, you can still vary what they’re doing to keep it interesting.

Giving them a task that’s just outside of their comfort zone will mean they get to challenge their skills. They can focus on that and expand their horizons. This can be a great distraction from chronic pain at work. 

When we’re in a state of flow, working on something that’s somewhere between our current ability and a challenge, our brains are unable to process pain signals. So, for that little while, we get to experience a life without pain.

Reaching flow is how I managed to publish 19 books despite having chronic pain and fatigue (including particularly bad pain in my hands some days). 

Flow can really be a game changer. It’s a lot easier to experience it when what you’re doing requires much more than auto-pilot.

Trust what they tell you

There can sometimes be a cynicism toward people with chronic health issues. People assume we’re putting it on or playing it up for attention/benefits. 

In my experience, most people who have these types of health concerns are more likely to play it down because they don’t want to be a burden on the people around them. They probably already feel like enough of one. 

There are exceptions to this, of course, but in most cases, when an employee is coming to you for assistance or advice, they’ve spent days, weeks, months, or even years battling it on their own. They’re coming to you because they trust you and need your help. It’s only fair to return the favor and support them in addressing their chronic pain at work.

Be flexible

Flexibility is the key to managing a chronic illness flare up. Symptoms don’t always behave in a logical pattern, which means anyone struggling has to listen to their mind and body. It’s easier to say than do, but it does help.

This may mean:

  • regular movement instead of sitting at a desk all day;
  • working from a different location;
  • attending fewer meetings;
  • wearing noise-cancelling headphones;
  • turning off notifications at some times of the day;
  • or something else.

Find equipment to make their life easier

What sort of adaptable equipment could you use to help someone with their chronic pain at work? 

Could you get a stand for their laptop, so that they can adjust their screen’s height? A donut cushion to take the strain off their back? A more ergonomic chair? 

There are lots of accommodations you can make to employees’ workspaces that make it more comfortable and accessible for them. 

Sometimes all they need is a better mouse, or a desk that’s in a location closer to the bathroom/stairs.

Make meetings more accessible

Most meetings are neither accessible nor inclusive. They’re long, demand a lot of concentration, and require sitting still.

This is similar to classrooms, where teachers instruct us to sit still and listen to someone talk for long periods, then ask for our opinions. 

But if you’re struggling with any symptoms, whether that’s hay fever, pain, restlessness, or pretty much anything else, sitting still for any length of time will be challenging.

To make the discussion topic more accessible, consider sharing an agenda in advance, shortening the meeting, turning it into an email, or recording a short video instead.

If you really need the meeting, can you find ways to make it more accommodating with regular breaks? How about sitting those who need it closer to the door, or allowing attendees to doodle or fidget?


Dealing with chronic pain at work is stressful, and work is one of the main causes of stress in someone’s life. It’s only fair that employers make accommodations to help with this.

Small adaptations can make a big difference, especially when they come from someone’s employer. The assumption will always be that employers don’t care and are only out for themselves. That assumption will only change by setting an example within your business and providing employees with support when it’s needed. They’ll repay you with their loyalty and hard work.

If you’re looking for other ways to support employees dealing with chronic pain at work, ensuring they have a strong professional support network can make a big difference. From chronic illness/disability employee resource groups to wellness communities that can help them manage their symptoms, Workrowd puts real connection at their fingertips.

Giving employees a voice through a platform like Workrowd can help team members facing chronic pain at work feel heard and supported. Visit us to learn more, or send us a note at


6 best practices to keep your team from getting burnt out at work

Feeling burnt out at work is becoming all too common. Many of us who’ve experienced it have even gone through it more than once.

When you look into who’s most likely to get burnt out at work, it’s actually not surprising.

When someone is happy to work 9-5, or whatever their hours may be, they can finish their shift or close their laptop and be done for the day, disconnecting to spend time on other projects or hobbies.

Those of us who love what we do are more likely to wind up burnt out at work. That’s because we’re more likely to work longer hours and struggle to leave work at the end of the day. This means we work harder and push ourselves harder, forgetting to pace ourselves and factor in time for self-care.

People are also more likely to get burnt out at work when we’re neurodivergent or part of another underrepresented group. We have to constantly try to adapt to how the world works—which is usually not in our favor.

Masking, or covering, where someone tries to hide or tone down one or more of their identities, is also incredibly draining. It’s something a lot of people feel they have to do to be successful. Masking and covering take a lot of mental energy to sustain, too.

So, what can you, as an employer, do to prevent employees from feeling burnt out at work?

Here are a few starting points:

Set realistic deadlines

If an employee tells you something will take a month to do, don’t give them two weeks. 

This creates additional pressure, especially if they’re a people pleaser. That additional pressure is subconsciously (or maybe consciously) draining. They’ll end up with less energy to work on the project because they’re so busy worrying.

Sure, they may meet the unrealistic deadline, but is the damage to their physical and/or mental health really worth it?

Offer flexible working

You know something that really didn’t help when I was becoming burnt out at work? Forcing myself to get up early.

I’m just not a morning person. When I do get up early, I like to take things slowly.

Businesses that don’t offer flexible working are increasingly missing out on talent, as it’s now one of the deciding factors for many people when they’re looking for a new job.

Flexible working has many benefits, from allowing employees to work while caring for children, to helping them better manage their health conditions.

If someone is getting burnt out at work, allowing them that extra hour in bed instead of commuting into work can make a bigger difference than you may think. While sleep won’t solve everything, it will restore their energy. Spending time on crowded public transport or waiting in traffic will have the opposite effect.

Encourage hobbies outside of work

Part of enjoying what you do can mean studying it outside of work hours. For instance, staying up on the latest trends, learning a new programming language or social media app, etc.

However, it’s important that we all disconnect from work sometimes. Having hobbies unrelated to work can help with this.

You could encourage these by asking what people like to do and setting up channels or krowds for popular hobbies, like gardening, cooking, or even watching TV.

Set clear boundaries

Boundaries are really important when it comes to preventing people from becoming burnt out at work. Being unable to disconnect is part of the problem. If someone feels like they have to reply to that email or chat message from their boss, or they might lose their job, it doesn’t set healthy boundaries or show them respect.

I get needing to jot an idea down so that you don’t forget it. It’s something I do all the time. But instead of messaging outside of work hours, could you write it on a note-taking app? Or schedule the email to go out during work hours, so that you’re not disturbing someone’s disconnection time?

It’s rare that things are ever as urgent as we convince ourselves that they are. Most things can wait until morning.

Offer support

Can you offer discounted therapy through your employee perks program? Or a meditation app? Maybe another wellness-focused app?

There are lots of small ways that you can offer support. These include app partnerships and discounts or sharing your own story so those experiencing something similar feel less alone.

It’s also important that managers are open to listening. They need to understand how important mental health is and pay attention when their team members tell them they’re struggling, their workload is unattainable, or maybe something is happening in their personal life that’s making things particularly challenging for them.

Be patient

Burnout—and the period as someone is creeping up the hill, unaware they’re about to fall off a cliff—can happen without us noticing. It also changes how someone thinks, feels, and works.

So, if you notice a change in how someone works, rather than feeling annoyed with them, be patient with them.

Instead of jumping to conclusions, ask what’s wrong. They may not have noticed that what’s happening in their personal life is affecting their work life.


Burnout is a serious health problem, and it’s on employers to prevent it from happening to their employees. Setting unrealistic deadlines, disrespecting—or not setting—boundaries, and expecting work to be someone’s life are all negative things employers can do that put their employees one step closer to getting burnt out at work.

It’s up to employers to set an example. You don’t have to make grand gestures. Simply drawing clear boundaries, being realistic with deadlines, and paying attention to what could be impacting employees’ wellness can all help to prevent employees from falling off the burnout cliff.

Another opportunity to protect your team against becoming burnt out at work is to ensure they have strong connections with colleagues. Workrowd can help by making it easy for people to tap into all your employee groups, programs, and events from day one. Supportive relationships can go a long way towards keeping employees engaged, well, and happy in their roles. Send us a note at to learn more.


9 ways to boost health and wellness in the workplace

Championing health and wellness in the workplace is key to attracting and retaining top talent. When your employees are healthy, physically and mentally, both your team and your business benefit. Employees are more productive, more engaged, and they’re less likely to call out sick.

There are some simple steps you can take to boost health and wellness in the workplace. Here are just a few of them:

Invest in a mindfulness/ meditation app

Many mindfulness/meditation apps have company plans where you can buy licenses in bulk for your employees to use.

Investing in an app like this shows employees you understand the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, and that you want to encourage them to take time out of their day to care for themselves.

Have open communication

Open communication is at the heart of any healthy relationship, and that includes working ones.

Supporting employees with open communication shows them you value their opinions and you’re not going to brush them off based on their position in the hierarchy.

Frustration is a common emotion many of us feel at work. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to express this instead of bottling it up. It’s much better for our physical and mental health and can prevent problems from getting worse.

Although it’s rarely thought of in this context, open communication is an important strategy for boosting health and wellness in the workplace.

Encourage exercise

I’ll be honest, I hate exercise. But I do it because I know it’s good for my mind and body.

If you have a fast-paced, stressful culture, encouraging employees to exercise can help them work off that stress. This way, they can think more clearly, make fewer mistakes, and get more done.

Exercise helps us to grow new neurons and bridge gaps between existing ones. This can improve conditions like anxiety, depression, and ADHD.

It can also reduce how much time employees take off for back pain. Chronic back pain is one of the main reasons millions of employees don’t make it into work each day. 8% of US adults experience back pain, with 83 million working days lost every year because of it. 

A regular yoga practice is a cheaper, longer-term way to solve this. It can provide greater pain relief than painkillers and reduce how much time employees take off sick.

Host regular expert talks

Regular talks from experts on health and wellness in the workplace can introduce employees to new ideas and experiences they may not have considered.

New studies in this area are emerging all the time. Bringing in industry experts to share what’s new can help your employees improve their fitness, nutrition, and even sleep quality.

While we all know things like exercise, nutrition, and sleep quality are important, many of us don’t understand why. Most of us aren’t taught these things in school!

Sometimes understanding why and how something affects us can be a motivating factor for embracing it. I started exercising regularly when I discovered the significant impact it could have on my brain’s short-term productivity and long-term health, for example.

Offer wellness days

Employees in the US really don’t get much paid time off compared to employees in the EU. 

Wellness days mean that if someone’s child is sick, or they’re sick themselves, or maybe they have a dentist appointment, they’re not wasting a vacation day for something that isn’t their fault.

Wellness days can also be good if you wake up one morning and just can’t face the world.

Make sure not to question too much about why someone needs a wellness day, though. If they’re feeling depressed, let them have the day and don’t try to be their therapist. Someone who’s depressed needs moral support and someone to listen. They don’t need a therapy session from someone without any formal training who’s trying to “help.”

Post reminders

How often do you post in Slack, Teams, or Workrowd about health and wellness in the workplace? Are you regularly sparking conversations around the topic?

Inviting conversation on these subjects shows employees it’s a priority for you.

Seeing others discuss health and wellness in the workplace also encourages employees to think about their own wellbeing. Even if they’re not an active part of the discussion, reading what others have to say could still have a positive influence on them.

Set up a wellbeing channel

Why not take things a step further and create a wellbeing channel or krowd? Everyone can share resources they’ve found useful and find new information they may not have considered before.

Seeing the discussions every day will act as a subtle reminder to do something for their own health and wellbeing. Even if that’s just checking to see what others have posted.

Offer volunteering opportunities

Allowing employees the opportunity to take a few days out of the working year to volunteer for a cause that’s important to them can improve their physical and mental health. It can also lower stress levels, improve mood, and even strengthen muscles.

92% of HR executives also believe that volunteering can improve employees’ leadership skills. In addition, it can offer a creative way to see who the next leaders within your business could be.

Set an example

In many companies, health and wellness in the workplace is just a fancy idea used to lure in new hires. So, it’s important for you to set an example.

Do you talk about your own journey? Do you talk about the things that affect you? Are you setting an example with your actions as well as your words?

There’s a difference between getting personal and getting private. You don’t have to tell your colleagues your life story, but sharing interesting articles, podcasts, or videos on relevant topics shows them it’s an area you really do care about.

The more you set an example, the more likely employees will be to follow your lead and prioritize health and wellness in the workplace.


With so much going on in the world right now, it’s important we do what we can to look after health and wellness in the workplace.

Of course, we have to prioritize our own health and wellbeing, but employees should know their employer values theirs, too. When employees know that their employer values them and their health, they’re more likely to stay and refer their network for future roles in such a positive working environment.

If you’re ready to take health and wellness in the workplace to the next level for your team, check out Workrowd. Our one-stop shop makes it easy to market, manage, and measure your initiatives, from group exercise classes to mental health employee resource groups. Drop us a note at to learn more.


How to support employees who are feeling lonely at work

It’s been a tough couple of years for socializing. From pandemic lockdowns to remote work, building and maintaining relationships has become more difficult than ever. Unsurprisingly, this has led to many more people feeling lonely at work.

This isn’t just bad news for those individuals, though; it’s also bad for business. According to research done by Gallup, when women have a best friend at work, they’re twice as likely to be engaged as those who don’t. And the social aspect is a “major reason” why two-thirds of women work.

It’s not surprising when you consider that 32% of adults worry something will happen to them and nobody will notice. The same proportion feel they have no one to turn to.

Our working lives can play a huge role in how lonely we feel. Colleagues can become an important part of our support network. Not connecting with them on a social level can be isolating and lead to feeling lonely at work and in life.

What can you do to support employees who feel lonely at work? Let’s take a look.

Encourage open communication

When you can’t talk to your colleagues about your feelings, it’s hard not to feel lonely at work. 

One way to combat this is to support an open culture where conversations about mental health are welcome and encouraged.

The less someone feels able to discuss what’s on their mind, the more isolated—and therefore lonely—they’re going to feel.

Leaders within the organization set this example by how they talk about their own experiences. You don’t have to go into graphic detail, but letting employees know you really do understand can go a long way towards convincing them you’ll listen.

Educate employees—and yourself

The sad truth is that most of us aren’t taught how to look after ourselves or others through traditional education. This is despite it being an important part of having happy, healthy relationships.

It’s therefore important to do what you can to educate yourself and your employees around managing mental health. It’s also critical to know what to look for in others. 

The more employees who are trained on what to look for, the more open people will be about mental health. They’ll also be more able to spot signs in their colleagues and offer them the help they need.

Not only that, but they’ll be able to spot the symptoms in themselves. From there, they can explore how to mitigate and treat those feelings.

Have a buddy system

Buddy systems can be really good to help new employees navigate what can be complex hierarchical and social structures within a business. It ensures they have someone to talk to without worrying about asking their boss too many questions. Having even one person to go to can make a big difference when it comes to feeling lonely at work.

Encourage employees to create ERGs

Employee resource groups are a great way for employees to meet their colleagues. This is especially important in larger businesses where they may only regularly deal with members of their immediate team. Employees will be more likely to meet people they have things in common with through ERGs. This can make it easier for them to form friendships and not feel lonely at work.

Show employees you appreciate them

A little appreciation goes a long way. Show employees you appreciate them with a simple thank you, a small gift, or a shoutout in a meeting. The impact on people’s confidence may surprise you.

Hold regular retreats

Regular, in-person retreats can be a great way for remote teams to get to know each other. They can even help in finding solutions to complex problems.

When organizing retreats, be mindful of who’s going and what’s involved. Say you have a wheelchair user, the last activity you want to offer is rock climbing with no alternative. That will definitely make them feel lonely at work and even less like their colleagues understand them.

It can help to have a wide variety of socializing activities during the retreat. That way, there’s something for everyone.

 Try to include employees when asking for ideas, too. They may well come up with things you hadn’t, and they’ll feel appreciated just because you listened to their ideas.

Organize social activities

Activities don’t just have to be for retreats. You can do smaller ones every so often, too.

These could be online, in person, or a combination, depending on where your employees are based.

Everything from a book club to a quiz night can help employees to bond.

Let them be themselves

Most businesses are afraid of letting employees be themselves while talking about the business on social media. This then translates into employees being wary about how they talk about work to their colleagues. And reinforces feelings of isolation and being lonely at work.

Some employees may also come from a background where they’re not accepted for who they are. This could be because of their sexuality, race, religion, disability, or something else. 

Encouraging employees to be themselves—and embrace that—will grow their confidence. This can then help them find more like-minded people who really do understand them. 

They’ll also feel more comfortable in their role and want to stick around because work has become much more than just a job for them. 

And that’s something that a lot of people really want.

They’re not just looking to pay the bills. They want to make a difference in the world, and spend time with people they actually like. They want to work smarter, not harder.


Feeling lonely at work is a bigger issue than many business owners realize because we simply don’t talk about it. And if we don’t talk about it, that means it doesn’t exist, right?

Ah, if only.

It’s only when we talk about something that we realize how prevalent an issue is, and we start to consider what we can do about it.

And, as we’ve explored in this post, there’s plenty that businesses can do to support employees who feel lonely at work.

Providing a dedicated space for employees to connect, whether they’re remote, hybrid, or on-site, is important. If you’re interested in how technology can help your team members build real, authentic connections, drop by We’ve got a suite of tools to boost engagement and retention, and support anyone who feels lonely at work. Write us at to learn more.