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5 things managers can do to stop the return-to-work burnout wave from hitting their teams

5 things managers can do to stop the return-to-work burnout wave from hitting their teams

Ask your employees for their feedback.
aldomurillo / Getty Images




Future-of-work researchers are worried about a "burnout wave" hitting the US workforce.




Executives and middle managers can prevent it, if they're willing to listen and keep experimenting.




Bosses should avoid micromanaging in-office and remote employees. Autonomy is key.




See more stories on Insider's business page.


A "burnout wave" is on the horizon.Ariane Ollier-Malaterre, a professor at the University of QuA©bec in Montreal who studies the future of work, uses that term to describe a potential increase in burnout symptoms - exhaustion, disengagement from your job, and reduced productivity - among employees returning to an office.Reports of burnout across industries like finance, consulting, and tech have increased. In an Insider survey of 1,000 employed Americans, 72% of respondents who said they were going back to an office after working remotely reported feeling burned out. That compared with 60% of those who had been going into an office consistently and 65% of those who were working in a hybrid setup.Ollier-Malaterre and her colleagues are worried about the tension between workers' desire for flexibility and autonomy and employers' inclination to micromanage and meddle. They worry, too, about employees taking on two shifts: one in the office, and one when they get home and start answering emails and calls.
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