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Bank IT worker's heart attack prompts viral post about "spending all day on Zoom"

Going back to the office safely post-pandemic
Returning to work safely after the pandemic 04:27

Jonathan Frostick, who does information technology work for financial services firm HSBC, wrote on LinkedIn that his first thought while having a heart attack was "this isn't convenient" for a meeting with his manager the next day. His second thought: "How do I secure the funding for X (work stuff)."

His wife was fourth on the list of concerns, following worries about updating his will. But since recovering in the hospital, he said he has re-evaluated his goals, outlining his overhauled goals in a post that's gone viral on the business-focused social network. 

No more days packed with Zoom calls, for starters, the U.K.-based worker wrote. "I'm restructuring my approach to work," Frostick continued. "I'm really not going to be putting up with any s#%t at work ever again — life literally is too short."

Frostick's post is striking a chord at a time when the boundaries between work and home life have all but disappeared for millions of white-collar workers. With more than 203,000 likes and more than 10,000 comments on LinkedIn, people are posting their own experiences with work, health setbacks as well as sending him well-wishes. 

Frostick updated his post to say that he's "up and walking."

"I never expected this post to hit home the message it did — but I'm pleased as it has seemingly helped a lot of people," he wrote early on Wednesday. 

A spokesperson for HSBC said, "We all wish Jonathan a full and speedy recovery. We also recognise the importance of personal health and well-being and a good work-life balance."

The spokesperson added, "The response to this topic shows how much this is on people's minds, and we are encouraging everyone to make their health and well-being a top priority."

12-hour days

Frostick, who didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, told Bloomberg that his work days stretched to 12 hours, with him and his colleagues spending long amounts of time on Zoom. The 45-year-old, who has three children, said he took responsibility for blurring the line between work and home life. 

"Whereas before I would finish sensibly anywhere between five and half six, I'd be finding myself there on a Friday at 8 o'clock at night exhausted, thinking I need to prep up something for Monday and I haven't got time, and I started then to actually work weekends," Frostick told the publication. "That's my responsibility. I think that was probably for me where it was those blurring of boundaries."

Many people have developed a love-hate relationship with Zoom during the pandemic. While it makes remote work possible, it can also lead to burnout, with Citibank CEO Jane Fraser last month designating Fridays as a Zoom-free day to battle video-call fatigue. She also urged workers to set "healthy work boundaries" and avoid scheduling calls outside business hours. "[T]he blurring of lines between home and work and the relentlessness of the pandemic workday have taken a toll on our well-being," she said in a memo to employees.

In the meantime, Frostick said in a LinkedIn update that he has an excellent manager, and added that he wasn't forced to work on weekends. 

"Yes I shouldn't have, but I wasn't forced to. I am deeply passionate about what I do. I'm a (fortunate) living example of getting the mix wrong," he noted. "You are in charge of YOUR life — make changes."

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