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How to Avoid Burnout as a Tradesperson

Rhino Trade Insurance 10 April 2023

For professionals working in the trade industry, the times you work will fluctuate across the year. As a career that doesn't follow the usual 9-5, your expertise is generally called upon at any moment in the day. With this in mind, it's important to control your workload; remember to take regular breaks and avoid overdoing it, as you could suffer from burnout.

Figures have found that 1 in 3 tradespeople have taken time off to focus on their well-being and mental health, and with the trade industry exploding with demand together with the cost of living crisis, Rhino Trade Insurance wanted to focus on ways to manage your work and avoid that dreaded trade fatigue.

What is burnout?

Burnout is defined as physical or emotional exhaustion which goes hand in hand with a lack of motivation and lower performance on the job. It is a state of mind resulting from continuous stress, long hours and overworking.  

Tradesmen and women who perform at a high level of stress and tension can suffer from burnout. Sometimes it may feel unstoppable and can stem from someone feeling out of control of their work. It can also be due to their lack of independence from a never-ending workload. Ultimately, this will take its toll on your physical and emotional health, resulting in a breakdown. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) have determined burnout to be an 'occupational phenomenon' whilst also stating it to be a medical condition. 

How could burnout affect your trade business?

Tradespeople aren't alone here - sports stars, business owners, health care workers, police officers, and many more professions can feel burnt out from time to time. 

Suffering from burnout as a trade business owner can significantly affect how you work and interact with customers. Risks are always apparent in the trades; however, with your mind not entirely 'in it', one slip-up could cause a severe accident or damage that results in a major claim. Side note, this is another reason why having trade insurance is so crucial to your business - worried about the costs of your current policy? Check out what Rhino can do for you here

If you employ staff, they can even exhibit symptoms of burnout which will affect company productivity, increase sick leave or the likelihood of them looking for a new job. This will harm your business operations if you repeatedly have to find and train new staff members.

Fundamentally, burnout can stem from a poor culture at work or simply overworking yourself and your team, so it's vital to spot the signs when they first present themselves. 

The leading causes of burnout

There are various reasons for feeling burnt out; however, this Gallup survey found the top causes of burnout among bosses and employees: 

  • Non-stop workload
  • Never switching off
  • Time-sensitive jobs/ too much pressure
  • New technology, regulations and legislation without proper training
  • Unsure of your expectations
  • Not enjoying a work/life balance

We wrote about the importance of a work/life balance in the trades industry which you can read here.

Why tradespeople suffer burnout and how to avoid it

Tradespeople appear to be suffering from burnout due to the shortage of skilled workers in the industry. Figures show a significant skills shortage in the UK, so more and more demand is placed on fewer qualified tradespeople. As there is work in abundance that pays well, it can be hard to turn down, not to mention if it's a contract with a respected colleague or partner who you don't want to let down. 

With that said, even the most committed tradesman or woman will find it hard to be on their A-game 100% of the time. The trick is to spot burnout symptoms early. If you are feeling absent, stressed or unsatisfied with your work, then it may be time to regain control and build motivation so that you don't risk your business's livelihood. 

Consider the following:

  • Pace your workload and plan your time in advance
  • Reward yourself with breaks and downtime
  • Set working hours and don't deviate from them
  • List your companies goals and priorities and focus on them
  • Make clear distinctions between work and personal life

Reading these points may sound easier than in practice, but being fully on top of your business processes will help you regain your motivation and avoid future burnout. You have to take care of yourself and your well-being, and if that means switching off your work phone outside of the office, dropping your tools and having a tea break or spending a little extra time to schedule your workload will all help you in the long run. 

Wondering about ways to stay motivated in your trade? Find out here

But aren't breaks counter-intuitive?

Tradesmen and women should know the significance of downtime and recovery for maintaining their well-being. Having a better work/life balance will ultimately lead to a happier, more productive work day and a healthier individual. Older generations may abide by the stiff upper lip, keep calm and carry on logic, but today's tradespeople need to focus on recharging their batteries occasionally. Take a time out, have a break, reset and go again. You, your customers and your family will thank you for it. 

Why do tradespeople choose Rhino Trade Insurance?

Trade businesses have never been busier, and with more and more jobs needed to be done, now is the time to explore all of your trade insurance avenues. Whether you are new in the trades and need Public Liability Insurance, or you run a successful construction company that is constantly growing and needs to update its current policy, we have you covered. 

We offer affordable insurance and quality protection that provides your company with a safety net should an accident ever happen. Take a moment to speak with our team (0116 243 7904) about your needs - we can create a bespoke policy for you in minutes. We also offer a simple-to-use online shop so that you can get a quote instantly. 


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