Do we burnout at work because of perceived incompetence of colleagues?

Hit ’em with the horns:

In a qualitative study, we asked 238 employees in a variety of industries to explain why they would or wouldn’t accept help from a coworker. From their responses, we identified five key reasons people avoid being helped: preferring to be self-reliant and complete their work on their own, wanting to protect their image, not wanting to feel obligated to return the favor, not trusting their coworkers’ motives, and believing that their coworkers are incompetent.

OK, so let’s parse this out for a second.

  • 238 isn’t a huge sample size, no.

But we need to find the elephant in this little room now. That would be burnout.

Burnout is pretty normative, right?

For sure. Emotional burnout from work is normative, and work stress has been on the rise for decades.

The main reason is always framed up as “work just keeps piling up.” OK. Got it. Some of that is compete bullshit because people need to be seen as busy, especially because they fear their future job might be taken by a machine.

But now … think on this differently.

What if “work keeps piling up” is because you don’t trust co-workers?

That’s what this study seems to be saying, right?

We’ve all had lazy co-workers.

But another way to consider it is this:

Maybe your co-workers aren’t lazy and all the systems and psychology of work are designed wrong.


How to burnout less

Delegate more.

Cultivate actual friendships at work.

Get off the cross.

Have some semblance of priority management.

Take walks, get out of your run of just meetings and calls.

Understand the 52–17 ratio.

Short one, but you’s welcome.

Happy weekend.

Blogging, largely about work and how to improve it. How I make (some) money:

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