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Burning out, and “Burning in”

The key to wellbeing is less rather than more; building in space for silence and creativity.

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We do more, take on more, work more hours, deliver more. So often, leaders see low engagement numbers and turn to their Engagement Managers to offer more: more yoga, more mindfulness, more meditation, more coaching. But at the end of the day, this is counter-productive, leading to more stress, higher workloads, longer hours. The key to wellbeing is less rather than more; building in space for silence and creativity.  

An invisible, little-known phenomenon that affects high-functioning teams and is just as dangerous as burnout; it's called "Burn In". It's when we do it to ourselves, perpetuating an unsustainable state of perpetual over-delivery.  

When we return to the office, we’re back in traffic again, chatting with colleagues, subject to unplanned interruptions and new impromptu mini-projects. Our office days stretch well into the evening as we catch up on missed mails. Our workloads spiral upwards as we catch up in the evenings, and find we are not the only ones.  

One element to reduce this risk is conscious workload reduction. This does not mean less productivity, but eliminating admin, rituals, political and “busy work” to create space for quality results, more creativity and joy that only time can allow.   

“Flow” contributes to increased job satisfaction and improvise our mental, physical and emotional well-being which naturally translates to higher levels of engagement and lower churn rates. The average workday, chock with meetings, incoming fire of communication, expectations and deliverables, needs to be carefully choreographed to create that all-important, critical ingredient for achieving “flow”: silence.

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Speaker, author, trainer and coach, Fiona is a specialist of the Human at Work, leadership and the integration of AI into our working lives. She focuses on positive culture and engagement for large multinationals.

Fiona is the author of the Comic Books for Executive Series and produces a regular podcast and video series called “Working Humans”. Her latest book, “The Handbook for Post-Covid Engagement” won at the UK Business Book Awards and received a Goody Award for thought leadership. Her new book is entitled “AI Powered”, due for release this year.

Fiona spent many years in the corporate space in HR, in the area of internal communications and employee engagement. She has been Creative Lead, Senior Visual Communicator, Innovation Advisor, Explainer and Storyteller for some of the largest multinationals in Europe, in Vienna, London, Budapest, Brussels and Amsterdam. In 2020 she achieved a master’s in business management and AI concentration.

Today, Fiona is a highly effective visual storytelling and stand-up comedian in training. She weaves solid, serious, research-driven advice with laughter and fun, guides for improving our working lives at any organization.

Fiona Passantino

Speaker, author, podcaster, thought leader. Expert on the Human-AI connection: engagement, communication, culture and AI integration.

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