Fighting Employee Burnout Through Office Design


Fighting Employee Burnout Through Office Design

In today’s fast-paced and demanding work environments, employee burnout has become a significant concern for employees and organizations. Addressing this issue requires a holistic approach beyond traditional wellness programs and focuses on creating an environment that supports employees’ well-being. One powerful tool at a company’s disposal is office design. By strategically designing the workspace, companies can reduce employee burnout and foster a healthier work culture. This article explores design principles and strategies that can help organizations create an environment conducive to employee well-being.


What is Employee Burnout?

Employee burnout is an occupational phenomenon and syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Characterized by WHO as having three dimensions, burnout can include:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job.
  • Feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job.
  • Reduced professional efficacy.

Furthermore, burnout can affect individuals across various industries and job roles, and it can severely impact both the employee and the organization.

Employee burnout can have consequences for individuals and organizations. From an individual perspective, it can lead to mental health issues such as chronic stress, depression, and anxiety. When employees grapple with internal challenges brought on by burnout, it can reflect and manifest in other aspects of their life, including work. On an organizational level, burnout can result in reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, higher turnover rates, and decreased employee engagement, leading to financial costs and negative work culture.


How to Approach Employee Burnout?

Addressing employee burnout requires a multifaceted approach that involves recognizing and addressing the underlying causes of stress. Organizations must prioritize employee well-being, create open lines of communication, promote healthy work-life balance, and foster a supportive work environment that actively combats the stressors of burnout.

Here are three strategies and measures to help mitigate employee burnout through the work environment.


1. Foster Social Connections

Work relationships play a crucial role in employee well-being. As humans, we crave social connection, and people feel more trusting, more able to express themselves, and satisfaction when strong work relationships are forged. Workplace design can play a significant role in helping employees to create these necessary work relationships. Communal spaces and gathering areas can encourage social interactions among employees. This can include open lounges, collaboration zones, cafeteria-style lunchrooms, and breakout rooms.

Furthermore, these spaces allow employees to form connections and build support networks within the workplace. These connections and relationships create a sense of belonging and a positive work environment. When employees feel connected and supported by their colleagues, it can help combat feelings of isolation and burnout.


2. Provide Restorative Break Areas

Integrating dedicated spaces where employees can take short breaks and recharge are great ways to fight employee burnout. Companies can consider adding a dedicated relaxation or meditation room with comfortable furniture, soothing colours, and lighting. Additionally, the space can include a prayer or yoga mat, meditation cushions, and lounge furniture, creating a more relaxing and peaceful ambiance. When employees have these restorative break areas, they can return to work feeling recharged, boosting productivity and job satisfaction.

3. Encourage movement and activity.

People cannot perform at their best when they are out of fuel and have lost their connection to work. Encouraging staff to incorporate movement throughout their day can be valuable in addressing and preventing employee burnout. Regular physical exercise is a natural stress reliever, helping employees manage and cope with work-related stressors, thus reducing burnout. Incorporating spaces that encourage physical activity within the workplace is a great way to start. Consider adding sit-stand or treadmill desks to allow employees to alternate between sitting and standing, promoting movement throughout the day. These flexible workstations allow employees to stay active and avoid prolonged periods of sitting. Another option is to have an on-site fitness facility equipped with treadmills, stationary bikes, or elliptical machines that can motivate staff to engage in physical activity during breaks, before or after work hours. Furthermore, companies can encourage teams to take outside or walking meetings for gatherings that require less visual focus.



To conclude, by incorporating these strategies and design elements, employers can create a workplace that supports employee well-being, reduce stress, and help to mitigate the effects of burnout. Engaging in conversations and generating new ideas to improve the workplace demonstrates a commitment to health and well-being, fostering a positive work environment. When companies actively involve staff through employee assessments and diligent data collection methods, it helps create a better data set of information about what kinds of space are most beneficial for employees. At Aura, our highly trained designers are dedicated to researching and implementing innovative design strategies proven to enhance productivity, cultivate a strong company culture, and improve health and wellness.

Contact Us and take the first step toward transforming your workplace. Speak to an Aura workplace expert today.


Recent Articles

Commercial Office Leasing Guide


Key Considerations Before Signing A Commercial Lease

Discover the ultimate guide designed exclusively for decision-makers, providing insights and tips before signing commercial office lease.