What’s more frightening than listening to a ghost story? Working with a ghost.
No, not a ghost in the afterworld sense, but rather an alive and breathing co-worker who lurks in the corners and listens in on private conversations. We all know those sneaky characters — and many of us have lived to tell the tale. In fact, according to a survey recently conducted by Randstad US, many employees admit they occasionally transform into the kind of monster that could send chills down their coworkers’ spines.
Step into any workplace today and you’re bound to encounter at least one (if not more) of these types of employees:
3 out of 5 check or post to social media.
More than half (55%) shop online.
Almost half (45%) don’t leave their work station during lunch.
40% play pranks on coworkers.
More than one-third (38%) listen in on private conversations.
15% take naps.
11% watch Netflix at work.
9% help themselves to coworkers’ food in the breakroom fridge.
5% consume alcohol.
2% of workers treat themselves to 5 or more cups of coffee every day.
Scary as these characters may seem, they’ll turn back to normal when the sun goes down and they exit the floor for the day. That’s because these spooky behaviors are actually signs of burnout — a natural human reaction to stressful environments or long work days. It’s not uncommon to feel exhausted, stressed, distracted, unmotivated… like a slow-moving zombie.
While your first inclination may be to “hocus pocus” yourself to a tropical island, there are more attainable options that will boost your productivity and overall happiness at work.
1. get a good night’s sleep
Too little sleep can contribute to high stress levels, which can lead to burnout. Finding the time to log the necessary 7–8 hours of sleep is critical to your overall health and performance on the job.
2. give yourself small breaks
Stretch your legs, go on a walk or call a friend for 10 minutes. Scheduling mini breaks throughout the day keeps you from being tied to one specific task and can help recharge your batteries.
3. find a creative outlet
Pick an activity outside of work that flexes the other muscles of your brain. Whether it’s cooking, knitting, reading or painting, a personal creative outlet will keep you engaged and motivated while on the floor (and let your mind rest when you’re not).
4. ask for help
For some, it’s hard to admit that you need help on a project or task, but taking on all the responsibility doesn’t get you to a solution any faster. Being supported by a team of people, or even just one person, can eliminate many day-to-day bottlenecks that cause stress and burnout.
The most important thing to remember is that, if you feel yourself turning into a creature with fangs, you won’t be banished to a tomb for eternity. You have the opportunity to reset and fix any taxing situation — before mass hysteria sets in amongst your coworkers
Sometimes all it takes is a quick swish of a wand (and some sleep) to bring back the magic of your job.