IT Worker's Post Goes Viral After He Opened Up about How Overworking Contributed to Heart Attack

An IT worker has gone viral after sharing a post about how overworking caused him to suffer a heart attack. He shared his new perspective on life and approach to work-life balance.

An overworked British IT worker is opening up about the devastating impacts of overworking and how he had a near-death experience that changed his perspective about life and work.

When Jonathan Frostick had a heart attack on Sunday evening, little did he know it would become a teachable moment not only for him but many others worldwide who didn’t have an adequate work-life balance.

A photo of people working at a communal space on August 24, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

A photo of people working at a communal space on August 24, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

In a candid LinkedIn post, Frostick shared the story of his plight, recalling that he was seated at his home desk at 4 pm when he realized that something was wrong. The IT Delivery lead wrote:

“And then I couldn’t really breathe. My chest felt constrained. I had what I can only describe as surges in my left arm, my neck, my ears were popping.”

The 45-year-old explained that at that moment, rather than have his life flash before his eyes, all he could think about was work. He listed the thoughts in his head, noting that the meeting with his manager the following day was paramount.

Frostick opened up about how working from home amid the pandemic made the lines between work and life quite blurry.

Frostick also thought about how he would secure funding for a project, his failure to update his will, and finally his wife in the hopes that she doesn’t find him dead. After getting to the bedroom, his wife was able to dial 999.

Upon making it to the hospital and getting stabilized, Frostick had some thinking to do and realized he needed to change his approach to achieving work-life balance. He then listed new life principles to go by.

Among the things listed was a refusal to be on Zoom calls all day, losing 15kg, spending more time with family, and making sure every day at work counted for something impactful. 

In an interview, Frostick opened up about how working from home amid the pandemic made the lines between work and life quite blurry. He mentioned finishing work around six before COVID-19.

However, when he transitioned to remote work, he would still be at the desk at 8 pm by Friday and sometimes had to work on weekends. Frostick was careful to mention that his employer HSBC wasn’t responsible for his plight.

A spokesperson for the company in response to Frostick’s post released a statement wishing a speedy recovery. The firm noted that they recognized the struggle to achieve work-life balance and made it a priority.

A man suffering burnout syndrome and sleeping at his desk. | Photo: Shutterstock

A man suffering burnout syndrome and sleeping at his desk. | Photo: Shutterstock

In 2019, the World Health Organization updated its handbook of disease and revealed that it would soon classify burnout as an official mental health syndrome. They noted it would be in effect in January 2022.

WHO described burnout as chronic stress from the workplace with symptoms like energy depletion, feelings of cynicism to work, and reduced efficiency at work.

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