The 45-year old HSBC Holdings contractor said that his first thoughts, as he realized that he was suffering from a heart attack, were of his impending meeting with his manager the next day.
As millions of people work from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent viral post on LinkedIn showcased the dangers of overworking even while not being in a regular office set up. Jonny Frostick's viral LinkedIn post, which has been viewed over 8 million times, talks about his experience of getting a heart attack while working.
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The 45-year old HSBC Holdings contractor said that his first thoughts as he realised he was suffering a heart attack, were of his impending meeting with his manager the next day. Next on his mind as he suffered from the near-death experience were funding for his project, his will, and then his wife.
Jonny Frostick is one among many of employed in the fast-paced and often highly-stressful world of financial services, where the motto often is 'work it till you collapse'. Frostick is a contractor overseeing more than 20 employees and handles regulatory data projects from HSBC Holdings Plc.
The long work hours and stress levels of finance employees have not been minimized even as the work culture has shifted to working from home. If anything, the move has destroyed what precious little equilibrium many workers had established between work-life and home-life. This has led to people working longer hours, poor work hygiene and generally elevated levels of stress and anxiety.
"Whereas before I would finish sensibly anywhere between five and half six, I’d be finding myself there on a Friday at 8 o’clock at night exhausted, thinking I need to prep up something for Monday and I haven’t got time and I started then to actually work weekends," Frostick on LinkedIn. "That’s my responsibility. I think that was probably for me where it was those blurring of boundaries.
This phenomenon is not limited only to employees in the financial services sector either. A study last year by the Martec group showed that there was a widespread decline in mental health, lowering job satisfaction, lowered job motivation, and increased stress levels of employees working from home across various industries. Work hours have also increased and there is a decline in the number of leaves being approved for workers as well, according to a different study by Your Amigos Foundation.
Frostick said he and his colleagues spent a disproportionate amount of time on Zoom calls and workdays stretched up to to 12 hours.
The added stress of working from home due to a pandemic has only contributed to a chronic problem shared by many workers across the world. The financial services industry is particularly notorious in this regard, as research has shown that there is a significantly high level of stress amongst workers in the sector especially those in top-level positions.
Frostick like many other working professionals wants to highlight the current work culture and the ‘new normal’ of work that has been influenced by the pandemic. According to Frostick the heart attack kind condition can happen with anybody and that needs to be changed.
His message has received over 2 lakh likes and tens of thousands of comments on LinkedIn.