Being @ Work: a retreat for changemakers & the orgs they lead
As the rise of burnout increases, we see more and more prescriptive measures. Eat healthily, get plenty of rest, meditate, try some yoga, etc. While taking care of ourselves and managing stress are indeed important, burnout is not strictly an individual challenge. It is a collective one.
Have you been down the road of burnout, maybe even more than once? It is debilitating, isn't it? And because it is largely framed as an individual issue, burnout can be socially isolating, leading to feelings of shame—even though it is a major global phenomenon. It makes no sense to peg burnout as an embarrassing personal failure when so many of us are experiencing it.
It’s time to rethink how we work.
We’ve all heard the saying “Be the change you wish to see in the world” (it's attributed to Gandhi, and even though he never said these words, they make a lot of sense). While values-oriented orgs are committed to change, the being part of our work tends to go missing: It’s easy to pretend that living wages don’t matter to our quality of life; we preach loyalty to the “higher cause” while negating our needs for rest and leisurely freedom; it’s easy to work to the point of illness and utter exhaustion. Why?
The simple reason is that we have yet to learn healthy ways of working. The industrial era is behind us, yet it still defines how we work—mechanistically, with an overemphasis on productivity (which we see being carried through to the robotization of work). Evidence is mounting, and it can no longer be ignored: The way we’re working is detrimental to ourselves, our missions, and for the whole of life on this planet.