Experts in the Media

Craig Johns – ABC Breakfast Radio Perth

Workplace culture and leadership expert – CEO & Managing Partner of Speakers Institute Corporate

Is ‘burnout’ a choice?

Does the sight of your calendar fill you with dread? Are you struggling to balance your work demands with your resources? Are you exhausted both emotionally and physically?

Workplace culture and leadership expert Craig Johns spoke to Breakfast’s Dustin Skipworth and ruffled a few feathers along the way suggesting “we all have choices” when it comes to burnout.

“When it comes to you know, our feelings of exhaustion, or the places we work out, we all have choices,” Mr Johns said.

It might feel like a buzzword but burnout is not a new concept. Burnout is widely thought to be coined by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in the 1970s.

Defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as having three main symptoms — exhaustion, loss of empathy and reduced performance at work — it’s more than simply feeling tired.

But is it a choice?

Most listeners disagreed with Mr Johns’ conclusions, citing financial pressures, being overworked and undervalued as main contributors to burnout.

But Mr Johns said there were ways you could help manage your stress load.

“We need to look after and manage and own energy. We’ve got to give our brain a chance to relax and unwind a little bit, which we’re not so good at as human beings.”

“That’s not sitting on a phone and scrolling through social media, or watching Netflix, that’s not really relaxing,” he said.