Inspirational tips for life

Self

Welcome to our free self-assessments, starting with our virtual burnout self-assessment and finishing with our explanation of the different type sof digital intelligence (DI).

Parents’ Work-life Balance

Parents can choose not to mix up their personal and professional life. There should a consistent focus on spending more time with their children.

An unhealthy work life balance can make it even more evident in families. It will not just affect the mental state of the individual. For parents it can easily also affect their children. Proper implementation of a focused working style at work and consistent involvement in family life is important.

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Maintaining work-life balance

Enforcing a strict 9-to-5 culture seems unnecessary and lacking in empathy.

Many workers now also find themselves caring for children or relatives, not to mention dealing with the general stress of a deadly pandemic and the psychological impact of lockdown.

  • This has been difficult for many workers, especially as lockdown drags on, but in some respects it may be good to let the lines between our work and personal lives blur.
  • You may not have realized how many of your social interactions previously happened in the office; take the time to check in on your colleagues, rather than just checking up on them.
  • Stay close (from a distance) – Just because you can’t visit people in person doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch. In fact, you should make more of an effort to do so.
  • Arranging digital meet-ups requires more planning, which can be tiring. If you’re frequently making video calls and using instant messaging for work and with friends, it’s a good idea to put short breaks between the two. “If you don’t give yourself that signal, it’s possible that those social interactions will feel like work,” Dr. Balick said.

Burnout Self-Assessment

How is virtual burnout measured?

Virtual burnout is a global problem. This is mainly due to the prevalence of remote working. In particular:

  • Increased feelings of isolation during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021.
  • Overwork and extended periods of uncertainty and change.
  • Some researchers have refered to the VUCA world phenomenon.

Still, virtual burnout is a spectrum. Whilst most of us are somewhere on the virtual burnout spectrum, we explore how easy it is to misdiagnose virtual burnout.

So, what’s virtual burnout?

People use Virtual Burnout loosely as a synonym for tired. However, there’s a world of difference between those two states. Hence the need to have a scientific definition of burnout.

What’s a virtual burnout self-assessment?

The most popular assessment of burnout is the Maslach Burnout Inventory:

  • Has three separate measures which define burnout. Respondents get scores in all three areas along a continuum, from more positive to more negative. A burnout profile requires a negative score in all three.
  • Is not a measure of exhaustion.
  • There’s a tendency to think if you score negatively on one measure, you’re burnt out. However, that’s an incorrect interpretation of your Maslach Burnout Inventory results.
  • The Maslach Burnout Inventory’s three criteria are:
  • Exhaustion or total lack of energy;
  • Feelings of cynicism or negativity toward a job.
  • Reduced work efficacy. In other words how effective one feels in their work. Or ‘at work’.

Virtual burnout misdiagnoses

  • A number of Maslach Burnout Inventory respondents will meet the single criteria of the MBI’s Exhaustion.
  • The next largest respondent group is those Maslach Burnout Inventory respondents who aren’t fully engaged.
  • Then there is the MBI respondent group who have become cynical (about their working environment). These individuals may no longer care about their customers. Equally, in our opinion, whether their current projects are successful, or not.
  • Still, another respondent group can develop low MBI work efficacy.

virtual burnout self-assessment

The key point, when using the MBI, is that few MBI repsondents will have low scores in Exhaustion, Cynicism and Work Efficacy. An exhausted worker can enjoy their work still (hence score low Cynicism). Or feel that you still make a difference at work (Work Efficacy).

According to Maslach herself, there are three MBI profiles in between: overextended, ineffective and disengaged. Evidence suggests more than half of employees fall into one of these profiles, with a strong negative score in exhaustion, efficacy or cynicism.

In other words, whilst remote workers may not yet by virtually burnt out, they’re on their way.

Measuring virtual burnout

The World Health Oganization recently updated its burnout definition specifically because of the burnout impact of the modern workplace. Their more elaborate burnout definition is that virtual burnout is due to poorly managed workplace stress which then becomes a chronic condition.

virtual burnout self-assessment

First burnout symptom – Struggling with workplace stress.

While the World Health Organization highlights that burnout syndrome is more than stress, stress is the core of the concern. Coping encompasses the methods utilized to moderate stressors. A key difference between stress and burnout is that stress may be moderated by coping, whereas burnout develops out of unsuccessful attempts to cope with workplace stress over time.

virtual burnout free self-assessment

Second burnout symptom – Finding work draining.

  • When you are experiencing burnout, you may find yourself to be exhausted or depleted from work.
  • In a severe situation, this level of energy is disproportionate to what you have experienced typically.
  • For example, you might recall a time in which you invested the same amount of hours…
  • Yet left feeling invigorated from your efforts.
  • however, if you are experiencing burnout, a typical shift may be more mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting than in the past.

Third burnout symptom – No longer enjoying your work.

  • Workplace stress is minimized if you still find your work fulfilling.

Fourth burnout symptom – Negative work feelings.

  • When you think about work, notice the emotions that arise.
  • Do you find that you are inundated with negative sentiments and cynicism? Burnout causes
  • Difficulty in recognizing and connect to positive sentiments pertaining to the workplace.
  • Being flooded with intense, negative emotions.

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Fifth burnout symptom – Lack of self-belief in doing your job effectively.

  • When your workplace stress becomes chronic, you experienced a decrease in your self-efficacy.
  • You may find yourself beginning to doubt your abilities, even for tasks in which you have previously demonstrated competence.
  • Further, this reduction in your assessment of your own abilities may impede in your motivation, functionality, and productivity.

Is burnout a global phenomenon?

This is a global phenomenon. Hence, why we are developing a new assessment survey for measuring career specific virtual burnout.

virtual burnout free self-assessment

Maslach and Jackson (1981) define burnout in terms of 3 dimensions. These are emotional physical exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (DP) and loss of purpose in job or life resulting in reduced desire for personal accomplishment (PA). Often executives have all these symptoms but feeling so bad becomes just a way of life which means those people also don’t realise how ill they are before it is too late.

More recently, Gardener (2021) has modernised the energy concept. Professor Gardener claims that focussing on being aware and reporting on mental, emotional, and physical states builds quotients in these areas that lead to better recognition of imbalance and improved usage of these areas (Marenus 2020). Gardener (2021) refers to three energy zones being relevant when working on burnout – mental (IQ), emotional (EQ), and physical (PQ). Here, IQ relates to intellect quotient, EQ refers to emotional quotient and PQ is the Physical Quotient.

What is Digital Intelligence (DI)

Certainly, digital intelligence is more important than ever. Digital intelligence describes the combination of social and cognitive skills that will allow a person to face different challenges impacting both their personal and/or professional lives.

  • The mere knowledge of using smart devices cannot be any more termed as being digitally knowledgeable.
  • A person should be fully confident and comfortable when using a smartphone or computer.
  • Only then, the individual can be termed as digitally knowledgeable.
  • In the future, digital knowledge will be one of the most important determining factors for judging the technological capability of a person.
  • With willingness and determination, an individual can effectively build a knack for liking digital platforms.

However, it is never too late. In the current times, a lot of bad things are going on the internet that might affect kids and even adults and a popular one among them is cyberbullying.

One can protect themselves from such threats with effective digital knowledge about the device or the platform that they are using.

Steps to attain digital intelligence

Citizenship – digital citizenship

This factor deals with using the technology and the different media platforms safely. For kids who fall under the minor category should be using digital devices under the supervision of an elderly person.

Creativity – digital creativity

An individual who is willing to be digitally creative will focus on creating new content and invest time in the ideas that they have to turn into reality. All these can be done through the usage of different digital tools.

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Entrepreneurship – digital entrepreneurship

A person should be using the different digital skills to solve different technological problems on a global level.

Digital Security

Once a user has gained effective level of digital intelligence, they should consider digital security. More details will follow in due course.