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Your Healthy Family: Signs of workplace burnout for 'National Work Like a Dog Day'

Posted at 7:50 AM, Aug 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-07 07:20:05-04

NAPLES, Fla. — The phrase "work like a dog" was inspired by the hard work of farm dogs back in the day, and now the work of police K9s and service dogs. Saturday is 'National Work Like a Dog Day,' and while being a hard worker is something to be proud of, it can also lead to burnout if you overdo it.

Fox 4 talked to the David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health in Naples about the signs of workplace burnout and the solutions.

If you have a 40 hour work week, that equals a total of three months of work each year.

"So 25 percent of our lives are spent in the workplace," Jessica Liria, the Centers' Prevention and Education Manager, said.

She said while "working like a dog" can have some big payoffs, it can also come at a cost.

"Actually, the American Psychological Association did point out that two of every three employees have reported more stress and more burnout since 2020," she said.

Not just because of the pandemic, but also the political tensions and relationship issues from lockdown. Now, financial pressures from inflation and the housing market mean we may have to work even more to make ends meet.

Liria said signs of workplace burnout include:

  • Lack of motivation to get to work
  • Low energy or morale at work
  • Lack of productivity
  • Becoming withdrawn or detached
  • Being more cynical or irritable
  • Changes in sleep
  • Not feeling rewarded

"We all want to get a sense of reward from our work and feel that we're satisfied in what we're doing. And when we're not satisfied in that any longer, when we feel like we're just in that monotony, that day after day, just that grind of doing the same thing, without getting those benefits, it makes us feel like 'What's the point?'" she said.
Liria said if you're a parent, that burnout can trickle down to your kids. She said the first thing to do if you're experiencing workplace burnout is talk to your employer: changes won't come without a conversation.

"Really kind of identifying 'These are my challenges. These are my struggles. This is what's leading me to feel this way.' And 'Can we work together to be able to come up with an outcome that will be more positive and a win-win in the end for everyone?'" she said.

Liria said it's important to catch the feelings of burn out early, before they really build up and lead to conflict or lashing out. The big takeaway is that it's OK to work like a dog, just don't work yourself to the bone.