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PGC Digital: Gina Jackson describes practical steps to stop burnout | Pocket Gamer.biz

Burnout is an occupational phenomenon that occurs when an individual feels overwhelmed and emotionally drained, causing chronic workplace stress.

Speaking on the last day of PGC Digital #7, Safe In Our World CEO of Gina Jackson (OBE) presents some of the leading causes of burnout and strategies to combat it.

Safe In Our World is a mental health charity specifically for the video games industry, to create and foster mental health awareness across the industry.

The mental health issues that arise from burnout can cause a reduction in workplace efficacy, meaning it is an important issue to combat for individual employees and managers collectively. Jackson tells us that the top three issues that contributed to mental health symptoms in work were pressure, workloads and a lack of support in the workplace.

Too many priorities or targets to meet and excessive workloads that involve regular overtime – often “crunch time” – and not having enough flexibility to take leave can cause individuals great stress. So-called Impostor Syndrome can leave people feeling like they have to continue working overtime to make up for being out of their league, when in fact this is not the case.

Throw out burnout

To bring forward a more cohesive sense of agency and provide more support, Jackson suggests staff surveys or other feedback mechanisms, a four-day working or, setting boundaries for work and other methods of demonstrable change.

“The best response is to focus on fixing the workplace and not the worker,” said Jackson.

“We are obsessed about presentees, about sitting here and working all the hours, we are not obsessed with outcomes.”

“If we could look at what we produce and how we produce that rather than the number of hours we sit in front of a screen I think it will change things a lot. Flexibility will give us a sense of agency which reduces our stress.”

Jackson also considers the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and remote working have caused people.

“Coming out of this is going to be huge, it’s much bigger coming out of it than going into it, we have to take our time as it is going to really impact all of us,” says Jackson.

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