EXC 3677 The Sustainable Career: Burnout, Boundaries, and Balance in Business

EXC 3677 The Sustainable Career: Burnout, Boundaries, and Balance in Business

Course code: 
EXC 3677
Department: 
Communication and Culture
Credits: 
7.5
Course coordinator: 
Yanique Fletcher
Course name in Norwegian: 
The Sustainable Career: Burnout, Boundaries, and Balance in Business
Product category: 
Bachelor
Portfolio: 
Bachelor - Summer School
Semester: 
2021 Spring
Active status: 
Active
Level of study: 
Bachelor
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

This is a summer course for summer 2021.
Maximum 50 students.

In today’s always-on, plugged-in business climate, many of us are pulled by the perceived 24-hour demands of the job - whether we actually are working extra hours or whether our thoughts are constantly about work. In many business sectors, stress is implied in the job description. Employees at all levels are being asked to do more, in less time, and with fewer resources.

However, when under constant stress, do you make high quality decisions, communicate effectively, cope with mistakes, and model good workplace behavior? Are we good colleagues? Do we contribute to a positive work environment? Perhaps, the reality is more that we avoid or postpone difficult tasks, communications or decisions, and sometimes even lash-out at colleagues or subordinates. A key question to ask is, do we effectively manage the stresses of the job (or school, or life for that matter)? When we are overwhelmed and stressed are we the best or worst version of ourselves? And, in that moment, are we the people our organizations and colleagues need us to be?

2020 has ushered in a new set of stressors with a global pandemic and concerns of a global economic downturn. This truth coupled with the realities of modern day work life require that those in and entering the workforce be able to cope with the stresses of life and work. According to the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work, “around half of European workers consider stress to be common in their workplace, and it contributes to around half of all lost working days. Psychosocial risks arise from poor work design, organization and management, as well as a poor social context of work, and they may result in negative psychological, physical and social outcomes such as work-related stress, burnout or depression.”[1]

This course seeks to serve as a preventative measure or an intervention helping students to develop awareness, increase stress coping resources, build resilience and gain skills necessary to avoid burnout, set boundaries and find balance in business.

[1] European Agency for Health and Safety at Work https://osha.europa.eu/en/themes/psychosocial-risks-and-  stress

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

After completing the course, students should have knowledge of:

  • Acquire understanding of positive psychology interventions, and their work-related implications
  • Learn theories and key studies on emotional intelligence
  • Learn the philosophical basis and modern applications of mindfulness
  • Understand the principles of establishing relationships and networking
  • Learn the fundamentals of scientific studies on happiness and well-being
  • Demonstrate an understanding of key theories and techniques for compassion and self-compassion
  • Learn the basics of mindfulness and the theoretical mechanisms supporting it
  • Acquire mindfulness-based tools and techniques
  • Acquire tools for assessing strengths and understand how to employ these in order to achieve lasting wellness in your career
  • Learn essentials of cognitive biases and how they affect your outlook and behavior
Learning outcomes - Skills

After completing the course, the students should be able to:

  • Identify cognitive biases that negatively affect personal decision making, and find ways to mindfully navigate “cognitive bias minefields”
  • Critically explore scientific research on happiness and well-being to achieve better integration of behavioral change
  • Critically evaluate, practice, and incorporate selected principles of positive psychology into your own life and career
  • Develop resilience to cope with job related stress
  • Integrate mindfulness philosophy and practices into daily life for a better and more productive work life
  • Develop and rehearse ways to cultivate compassion for co-workers and colleagues to support a healthy workspace
  • Apply techniques to foster self-compassion
  • Be able to establish relationships and network in professional settings through the practice of optimism
  • Identify your key strengths, and incorporate them into your career plan
  • Regulate patterns of thinking to better work with both positive and negative experiences and moods
General Competence

After completing the course, the students should be able to: 

  • Reflect on different life events and understand how to regulate thought processes through different life cycles
  • Bring the overall course content together to foster compassion for self and others to build teams and enhance organizational climate 
  • Reflect on the course experience to understand and be able to address the “why” across different context
Course content

This highly participatory and applied course will focus on scientifically-validated strategies for excelling at work, while leading a complete, balanced, and sustainable life. Teaching will be interdisciplinary and draw on research from philosophy, sociology, and psychology.

The following course concepts will be discussed in light of the increasing digital and mixed realities (offline and online) of our work and educational environments. These changing and restricted conditions can trigger stress and require that we learn how to organize our overlapping work and private spaces.

Teaching and learning activities

Class sessions will be divided into lectures (mixed with discussions) and workshops. You are expected to be an active participant in lectures, discussions, workshop and in-class exercises. Part of your assessment will be based on in-class exercises.

Week 1

  • Science of Happiness
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Gratitude and Optimism
  • Mindfulness

Week 2

  • Self-compassion
  • Strengths
  • Expectations
  • Cognitive biases

Week 3

  • Reference group
  • Forgiveness
  • Networks and Connections

Week 4

  • Adversity and Resilience
  • Your why
  • Sustainable habits
Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Qualifications

Higher Education Entrance Qualification. This course is suitable for students in all disciplines.

Covid-19

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.

Required prerequisite knowledge

English

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Activity
Form of assessment:
Class participation
Exam code:
EXC 36771
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
25No 4 Week(s)Individual Information on ItsLearning in the beginning of the course
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
EXC 36771
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
25No4 Week(s)Individual Information on ItsLearning in the beginning of the course
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
EXC 36771
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
50No 4 Week(s)Individual Portfolio - information on Its Learning in the beginning of the course
Exams:
Exam category:Activity
Form of assessment:Class participation
Weight: 25
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration: 4 Week(s)
Comment:Information on ItsLearning in the beginning of the course
Exam code:EXC 36771
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight: 25
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration:4 Week(s)
Comment: Information on ItsLearning in the beginning of the course
Exam code: EXC 36771
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:50
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration: 4 Week(s)
Comment:Portfolio - information on Its Learning in the beginning of the course
Exam code: EXC 36771
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
ECTS
Total weight: 
100
Student workload
ActivityDurationComment
Webinar
45 Hour(s)
Classes and workshops.
Teaching on campus/digitally.

Prepare for teaching
45 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
30 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
60 Hour(s)
Examination
20 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 
200

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.