( Photo by The Packer staff )

After seeing in three short months the busy pace that produce industry professionals keep up — especially at the expos and conferences — it’s no wonder that there’s a high risk for burnout, no matter who you are.

Produce professionals are often tied to their phones 24/7, possibly more than those in many other industries. Regardless, burnout ultimately hurts a company.

But across the board, burnout strikes more women than men, said Cleveland Clinic health psychologist Amy Sullivan on Cleveland.com

Job burnout is a particular problem for millennials. BuzzFeed News reporter Anne Helen Petersen calls this group born between 1981-1997 “the Burnout Generation.”

It’s not because millennials are entitled, lazy and young. 

Millennials comprise 43% of work martyrs, compared to 29% of overall respondents, according to a U.S. Travel Association survey. 

The association defines a work martyr as someone who believes no one else can do the job while she/he is away, wants to show complete dedication to the company and job, worries about being perceived as replaceable and feels guilty for using paid time off.

I blame cell phones and laptops. I’m not alone.

“The always-on, 24/7 work environment has eliminated office boundaries and created the new challenge of making time to take time,” according to the travel association’s report.

Have you heard the axiom, “You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else”? It’s like the airplane oxygen mask rule.
According to a July 2018 Gallup poll, a company would do well to create a culture valuing personal time. Workers experiencing burnout are 63% more likely to take a sick day, are half as likely to discuss how to approach performance goals with their manager, 23% more likely to visit the emergency room, 2.6 times as likely to leave their current employer and 13% less confident in their performance, pollsters discovered.

Traveling to expos doesn’t mean your regular workday duties are suspended, so that adds to the pile. 

I know some business can’t wait and timeliness matters. But admit it: Some work can wait. 

Try these tips for avoiding expo burnout:

  • Balance work and play. That balance could be 80% work and 20% play with some mingling of the two. Set meetings at local attractions or during exercise.
  • Be present and mindful. Soak in the resort’s ambiance or the city’s local character by arriving early or departing later.
  • Bring your spouse or partner to the well-located expos. 
  • Take an hour for yourself — anywhere. 

For the record, I’m hanging on the lower edge of Generation X. Caught between two worlds, I have a desire for irreplaceability and a dollop of vacation guilt, yes, but I take my allotted time off anyway, and you can bet I enjoy the beauty of the moment

Amy Sowder is The Packer’s Northeast editor. E-mail her at asowder@farmjournal.com.

 
Comments
Submitted by Mark Lauman on Wed, 02/20/2019 - 14:24

I am in Hawaii right now to attend National Watermelon Growers Convention.
Don’t think there would be burnout if every conference, Convention and farm show were in Hawaii !!
Aloha.

Submitted by Mark Lauman on Wed, 02/20/2019 - 14:24

I am in Hawaii right now to attend National Watermelon Growers Convention.
Don’t think there would be burnout if every conference, Convention and farm show were in Hawaii !!
Aloha.