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  • Writer's pictureGeorgina Sturmer

Is FOSO the new FOMO? Exploring the 'fear of switching off'

In the past few years, our boundaries and expectations have shifted beyond all recognition when it comes to our relationship with our workplace.  I spoke to The Big Issue all about the idea of 'FOSO': the Fear Of Switching Off. Click here to view the full article, and read on to hear what I had to say, about how a fear of switching off has the potential to lead to stress and burnout.


Boundaries and connectivity.  The rise of 24/7 connectivity, and the increase in home working has made it harder and harder for us to feel as if we have a solid boundary between our personal and professional lives.  We can be contacted wherever we are, at any time of day, leading to an increased sense of guilt if we are not ‘always on’.  


Financial pressure.  The cost of living crisis has increased financial pressure on us all.  This has lead to an increased sense of vulnerability and insecurity in the workplace.  So if we were already feeling under pressure to perform at work, this is likely to make us feel even more driven to work harder and for longer, in order to prove our worth and make ourselves invaluable.  This can lead to stress or anxiety, which if left unchecked can spend us spiralling into burnout.    


Hybrid work schedules.  Working from home and hybrid work patterns has given us a new sense of flexibility in our day.  We might have reduced our commuting time, or allowed us time in our schedule to collect the kids and spend time with them before returning to work in the evening.  But in many instances, it’s extended our work day, and increased the amount of time that we spend at work.  


Social media.  As well as allowing us to be connected all day long, social media has also blurred the lines between our professional and personal lives.  Our colleagues can see our personal photos.  Our friends can see our professional updates, particularly on platforms like LinkedIn which are increasingly stranding our personal and professional lives.  So when we are away from work, even if we switch off our work-specific communication channels, we are still exposed to updates from our ‘work world’ via social media, unless we choose to disconnect entirely.  


So where's the good news? Luckily, it's not all doom and gloom. It's becoming increasingly acceptable to talk openly about these topic. About stress, anxiety, boundaries, self-care, and the steps that we need to take in order to protect our emotional wellbeing.


Keen to explore more? In counselling we can take a deeper look at how you feel about yourself. Click here to contact me, or click here to book a 30-minute introductory call.



Is FOSO the new FOMO?  fear of switching off

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