As we head into 2022, I’m sharing my predictions and hopes for wellbeing and burnout at work in the new year.

I’ve split them into two sections: 1) Predictions for employees and 2) Optimistic hopes for employers. Both have a role to play in creating work that’s anti-burnout.

Predictions for employees

High pay stops being a strong enough motivator to work in a constant state of burnout.

Our desire to downsize our relationship with our job reshape how work gets done.

We get serious about voicing when we’re at or nearing personal capacity. We set and stick to a threshold of work. And we expect our leaders to honor that.

We actually take our allotted PTO.

More of us stop checking email and slack outside of hours.

We start creating regular/daily Do Not Schedule blocks to reserve time for focused work.

Hopes for employers and leaders

Companies try to get back as close to ‘the way things were’ and top talent continues to quit. They realize the old way is to control slackers and it punishes the large majority of employees.

Leaders realize the new baseline is a reasonable amount of work, recognition, and ability to log off.

Companies finally start judging our success on work output, rather than an arbitrary number of hours we’re in front of the computer.

Companies go big on adding meditation apps, rest and recharge days, and other wellbeing perks. They realize this, in some ways, is gaslighting employees. What we’re actually asking for is recreating the culture so it’s anti-burnout.

Leading companies do the tough work to solve burnout at the root of the problem. Their employee engagement, happiness, retention, and business results go up. And they have top talent lining up outside their door asking for jobs.

Leading companies will host focus groups to create workplace norms for hybrid work. They present these as an employee wellbeing manifesto or employee rights for wellbeing.

We as a people have changed. We want our experience at work to change too.

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