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‘No end in sight’: Tech billionaire warns on growing mental health toll

Cara Waters | Sydney Morning Herald

…Select Wellness chief executive Martine Beaumont said Gen Z and Gen Y employees in particular were having trouble switching off during lockdowns.

Canva has designated every Wednesday as meeting free to help deal with the fatigue of staff being on constant video calls.

However, Mr Obrecht said there were limits to what employers could do to try to assist staff.

“We’re doing as much as we can, but we’re always striving for more and it’s still a tough time,” he said.

“The lockdown is without doubt impacting Gen Z and Gen Y more,” she said. “Their brains are just stuck in on position. When they can’t switch their brains off they are stuck in thinking modes and thoughts get stuck in negative space and they struggle to get out of that and it can lead to catastrophizing and anxiety.”

Martine BeaumontChief Executive, Select Wellness

As life speeds up and pandemic drags, burnout is biting hard

Wendy Tuohy | Sydney Morning Herald

Adrenaline “comedown” after the worst of the pandemic, when people coped because they had to, was a factor coming through in burnout research by workplace wellbeing organisation Select Wellness, said co-founder, Camilla Thompson.

“We’re dealing with people saying ‘extremely’ overwhelmed, ‘extremely’ burned – the word extreme, we’re hearing so much more,” said Thompson, whose clients include Optus, Westpac, Atlassian, Canva, Woolworths and the NSW government.

“What we’re seeing is people got through the pandemic in survival mode, and this year, people are crashing.”

While advocating for a “hope mindset” as the solution to the current wave of exhaustion, Thompson said people’s habit of overworking and not taking breaks, and the trap of doing back-to-back video calls – creating “video burnout because we use 30 per cent more glucose in the brain [in online meetings]” – meant “people are like zombies”.

‘People got through the pandemic in survival mode, and this year, people are crashing.’

Camilla Thompson

“Then for a lot of parents, you’ve got to give to your child, but you have nothing left in the tank. The word ‘hopeless’ has been used so much this year, particularly around there being no sense of control, particularly around the economy.”

Camilla Thompson

Author Camilla Thompson

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