A recent BBC Capital article, How Faking Your Feelings At Work Can Be Damaging, introduced me to the concept of emotional labor. The term emotional labor refers to the work you do to regulate your emotions to create “a publicly visible facial and bodily display within the workplace”.
Whoa! Do you find yourself doing this often? The article goes on to say that studies have found that burnout can relate more closely to how employees manage their emotions during interactions, rather than the volume of interactions themselves. Those who report regularly having to display emotions at work that conflict with their own feelings are more likely to experience emotional exhaustion.
Now you have emotional labor to add to all the other labors work asks of you. It is worth paying attention to. Emotional labor can clearly have a negative impact on your life balance and fulfillment at work.
I say this both lightly as well as seriously – perhaps your organization should pay you for the emotional labor involved in your work!
photo: DavidRockDesign, pixabay.com
You are not a machine, you are a vital, creative and in-motion human. Do you give yourself the replenishment you need to keep going? Better that you do, or burnout and discouragement can occur. Without refreshing yourself periodically how can you stay productive? In reality, you cannot.
What refreshes you? Do it often.
photo: Tama66, pixabay.com
Much too often, I hear from managers that they are in an organization that is working them to death and, at the same time, communicating that they are dispensable. There’s a major disjoint in this. An organization is asking more of a manager, often way beyond reason, and at the same time is refusing to recognize the extra (and often extraordinary) contributions the manager is making. The dispensability message may be subtle, but is heard clearly by managers and employees. No additional income, no recognition, “bottom line” justifications, more time, less resources, we can find someone else if you cannot do it – a recipe for burnout and frustration. The tactic is weighted significantly in the favor of the organization, at the expense of their employees. Something is radically wrong here.
Are you in a situation like this? Best to evaluate the toll it is taking on you and what your options are. Save yourself. There may be no one else watching out for you. Be confident of your value, set boundaries and don’t let anyone run you into the ground. You are worthy of more than this.