How To Prevent Burnout When You Work in Construction

How To Prevent Burnout When You Work in Construction

The construction industry isn’t exactly known for being relaxing. You have to deal with project deadlines, undergo long and laborious shifts that take a toll on your body, and you might even have to work in harsh or dangerous conditions.

When many people think about career burnout, desk jobs come to mind. While there’s plenty of pressure in the corporate world, it’s important to understand that it can be just as common — and more dangerous — to experience burnout in construction.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the signs of burnout so you can know what to look for, as well as how you can prevent it in this industry. Whether you’re working as part of a team or managing a group on a project, being able to prevent burnout in the construction industry will keep everyone focused on their mental and physical health — and will result in a job well done.

What Does Burnout Look Like?

The signs of burnout might look a little different in the construction industry than in a typical office setting. However, the basics are the same. Some of the common signs include:

  • Lethargy;
  • Feeling withdrawn from your work;
  • Reduced personal efficiency;
  • Difficulty sleeping;
  • Weight fluctuations.

Burnout can also take a toll on your mental health, leading to excess stress, anxiety, and depression. All of these things can end up damaging your work life and putting you at a greater risk of injury or accidents. In an industry that already has a high workplace accident rate, it’s essential to reduce those risks as much as possible.

If you notice that you’re starting to feel indifferent about your job, you’re exhausted, or you can’t seem to stay focused on your tasks at work, there’s a good sign you’re dealing with burnout. Being able to recognize those symptoms as quickly as possible could end up saving your job — and potentially your life. Once you know you’re struggling with burnout, you can take active steps to manage it.

How To Manage Burnout

If you’re already feeling the effects of burnout from your job, one of the best things you can do is take time away from work. If you’re not able to take time off for a lengthy vacation, make sure you’re taking frequent breaks throughout the day. Stay hydrated, get off your feet from time to time, and make sure you’re socializing with others on your team rather than isolating yourself all day.

If you’re in a leadership position, consider it your responsibility to help manage worker burnout. Start by simply observing your team and paying attention to any of the common signs listed above. Talk to your workers. Ask how they’re feeling from time to time, and you’ll get a better idea of where they are physically and mentally. You can also help to mitigate burnout by:

  • Defining job descriptions;
  • Recognizing your top performers;
  • Prioritizing health and safety;
  • Offering benefits.

Everyone on your team needs to know the value of their work and that you’re prioritizing their mental and physical health. When you establish that kind of environment on every project, you’re more likely to have a team that’s willing to stay loyal to your company and complete their jobs more effectively and efficiently.

Lifestyle Changes To Prevent Burnout

Burnout can be extremely damaging to your mental and physical health. It can have a negative impact on both your professional and personal lives. While there are things you can do to manage and overcome it, the best thing is to try to prevent it as much as possible.

One of the best ways to do that is by focusing on a well-rounded, healthy life. That might require you to make a few lifestyle changes as a construction worker, but once those changes become habitual, you’ll be much happier that you put them in place.

Start by looking at your daily routine. It’s important to have some kind of structure in your day for the sake of your mental health. Structure provides stability and security and can reduce stress and anxiety. It also offers a sense of comfort and relaxation.

Additionally, make sure you’re taking care of your body by nourishing it properly. Construction work typically requires a lot of physical strength and stamina, and it’s essential to fuel yourself properly for an active lifestyle with things like:

  • Berries;
  • Nuts;
  • Leafy greens;
  • Whole grains;
  • Eggs;
  • Lean meat.

Your daily routine should prioritize sleep. Because you’re likely on your feet all day doing physical labor, your body needs time to rest and heal itself. Without the proper amount of sleep, you’ll risk feeling fatigued and might be more prone to accidents and injuries at work.

Finally, focus on your mental well-being. Find small ways to combat stress every day, whether it’s five minutes of mindfulness or writing in a journal. The more proactive you are about your mental health, the easier it will be to fight the effects of burnout.

There’s no denying that working in construction is always going to be labor-intensive. You might not be able to control how long your shifts are or how much work needs to get done. However, as you can see, there are small steps you can take to recognize, manage, and even prevent burnout from happening. Putting these ideas into practice will keep you healthier, happier, and safer on the construction site each day.

Author: Amanda Winstead is a freelance writer in the construction industry