Surviving Burnout - Advice for Senior Executives in the UK Housing Industry

5 minutes
Tom Neely

By Tom Neely

It’s not been easy for senior executives in the UK housing market.

We’ve faced pressure from the 'Make it Right' campaign, spearheaded by Michael Gove. There’s been a media spotlight highlighting a range of issues plaguing the industry and arguably still a hangover from the pandemic. If that’s not enough, from an operational level there is still a shortage of skilled tradespeople, meaning delays and increased costs for landlords.And with so many senior leaders retiring in the sector, we seem to be losing a lot of knowledge whilst the workload continues to mount up. It’s no wonder that our industry is facing a burnout pandemic – especially amongst its leaders. From speaking to a number of senior executives in my network, I’ve collated five of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard about beating burnout and maintaining a high-level of performance within a leadership role. I hope you find them helpful.1. Understand your personal reasons for burnout.

Burnout is not just a result of long working hours or a demanding job, but it can also stem from personal issues and life circumstances. It's essential to identify the factors that contribute to your burnout and take action to address them.

One way to understand your personal reasons for burnout is to reflect on your values, priorities and goals. Once you have a clear understanding of what matters most to you, it becomes easier to recognise the activities, relationships or situations that drain your energy and leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Pay attention to your physical and emotional reactions to stress too. Do you feel tense, anxious or irritable when faced with a particular task or situation? Do you experience physical symptoms like headaches, fatigue or insomnia? These reactions can be warning signs that you need to take a break or re-evaluate your approach to work or personal life.
When you understand your reasons for burnout, you can start to take action.

2. Take time to innovate.

It is important to make innovation a priority to prevent burnout in the workplace. This will help you take a step back from the fast-paced, high pressure working environment you sometimes find yourself in. It will help you see things from a different perspective and will often lead to more efficient ways of doing things.
Don’t do this alone. Instead, create a culture that fosters creativity and encourages risk-taking. Allow employees to share their ideas freely, without fear of criticism or rejection. Some leaders have seen great results from creating cross-functional teams, bringing together people with different skills and different ways of thinking.

3. Prioritise self-care to stay productive.

Taking care of your physical, emotional and mental health is essential to beating burnout. Prioritising self-care means making time for these activities and treating them as important as your work. So, do what you love. Be sure to exercise, eat healthy, rest, sleep and spend time with loved ones too.
Dedicate 15 minutes a day to you. This won’t take away from your productivity. It will increase it. Take time to connect with yourself and pay attention to what you need. Whatever it is – incorporate it as a key part of your day (ideally not 15 minutes before bed).

4. Practice Mindfulness.

Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment. This helps us to become more aware of our thoughts and emotions. By practicing mindfulness, we can notice when we're feeling overwhelmed or stressed and take action to prevent burnout before it becomes severe.

One way to practice mindfulness is to set aside time each day to meditate, even if it's only for a few minutes. Focus on your breath and let your thoughts come and go without becoming attached to them. Another way to practice mindfulness is to engage in activities that promote relaxation and stress relief like yoga, tai chi or taking a walk in nature.

By practicing mindfulness regularly, we can become more aware of our emotions and take proactive steps to prevent burnout.

5. Seek Support.

The effects of burnout can eventually spill into every area of your life: home, work and social. It can even cause long-term changes to your body, making you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu.

So, seeking support is sometimes a necessary and important step to take. It can be helpful to talk to someone who understands what you are going through. This could be a friend, family member, colleague, mentor or mental health professional. Seeking support can help you to feel less alone, validate your feelings and provide you with practical advice and resources.

Final Thoughts

It's a challenging time for everyone in the industry. We need our leaders. Whether you adopt all these tips or just a couple, take care of yourself and your team.
I hope this article has been helpful and informative for you.

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss current trends within the UK housing market, feel free to get in touch by emailing me at

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