By Thomas Hobbs | Journalist



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March 3, 2020 | 4 min read

Creatives are increasingly expected to do more with less and this means it is not uncommon for them to experience burnout. In fact, 75% of creatives globally have suffered from some kind of exhaustion or burnout over the last six months, according to a study Asana conducted on burnout in 2019.

A follow up study from Asana, it’s Anatomy of Work Index explored in detail how time is spent at work, and how this can contribute to workloads, motivation and staff retention. This study suggests that one of the reasons workers stay late is not having enough time to do their actual job and subsequently being overwhelmed with administrative tasks — well over half (60%) of knowledge workers’ time is currently spent on doing ‘work about work’ such as responding to emails and ‘pings’, or unexpected meetings.

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Asana Workplace Burnout Webinar Free

In this latest DrumCast, Asana’s head of global community Joshua Zerkel advises businesses on how to boost productivity

In this latest DrumCast, Asana’s head of global community Joshua Zerkel advises businesses on how to boost productivity by drawing deep into Asana’s research over the past year into how we spend our time at work, and what causes burnout. “The World Health Organization has classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon. And while our research shows there’s small differences from country to country, the overall trend is showing things are moving in the same direction of people increasingly being overwhelmed,” he says.

“We can see nearly half of the hours in a standard 40-hour work week are being spent on activities people don’t enjoy doing, and this puts them into a productivity black hole. Knowledge workers are spending their time chasing people for approval and switching between apps, but there are ways to piece together the work-flow and create a process that makes employees feel much happier.”

When asked what this might look like, and how to apply a more cohesive workplace strategy in the workplace, Zerkel goes onto suggest: “If you have six different tools to help with workplace management then you’re using far too many. You want to talk to Chris, you use Slack. You want to talk to Emily, you go to her desk. It’s exhausting! Defining channels is really important, and you need one system that’s going to make everything as simple as possible. There needs to be a joined-up approach.”

Zerkel says at his Asana office, which is based in San Francisco, there is a “no-meetings Wednesday” rule in action and claims this has upped the productivity of his workers and allowed them to get more done. “It’s a good example of how you really reduce the root causes of worker burnout,” he adds.

To find out more about how to manage workplace burnout and how you can make your team as creative and productive as possible, watch the full DrumCast above.


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Asana helps teams orchestrate all their work, from daily tasks to strategic initiatives. Millions of teams rely on Asana to do more with less. Start using Asana as your work management tool today.

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