As we are drawing closer to the end of 2020 (thank god), I think it’s important to reflect on the huge changes this year and how they have impacted people across the globe.
Many people have lost loved ones, people have been separated from family and friends for months on end, there’s a constant uncertainty and, of course, the economy and job market is reeling.
There’s not many good things to come out of 2020 apart from the baby boom that seems to be happening and amazing acts of kindness as people support one another in their communities.
We speak to people from all industries/sectors and many of the same issues are on people’s minds; people fearing for their jobs, people working extended hours, people still on furlough worrying about the future, and people who have been made redundant and don’t know what to do next.
That’s a lot, so it’s no wonder that all mental health organisation’s across the globe are seeing huge spikes in mental health issues such as stress, depression and even suicide.
One thing that we have spoken to a lot of people about, especially over the last 6 months, is mental health and its impact on peoples thoughts and feelings about work. We’ve written blogs about furloughed workers and key workers and how to try and maintain positive mental wellbeing, however, one thing we haven’t really spoken about is the impact on people’s work life balance.
Fear is a very complex emotion and at the moment many people are driven by it. Working more because people fear losing their job, working longer hours because people fear letting someone down, even the fear of being at home alone with nothing to do turns people back to their work.
We are in times where, undoubtedly, companies need their staff to pull together and try their best to help keep the businesses sustainable during this time.
But what does that create in workers?
Working from home had an impact on many - some people reported they enjoyed it as they had more time to spend with their families, they saved on travel costs and could establish a new routine quite easily.
However, a study released by an Irish recruitment platform, found that 40% of workers are working longer hours than they would in a standard working day. 21% say they cannot switch off from work, 12% feel that they are working less efficiently and 11% claim to have a heavier workload than usual.
So what can you do to create a better work life balance following the initial impact of COVID 19.
1. Set a log on and log off time.
2. Take an hours break in the day to go out for lunch if you can. Or move away from your screen and do something that doesn’t involved looking at another screen.
3. Switch off work emails during evenings and weekends
4. Set out non work goals you want to achieve.
5. Identify why you are working more hours? Out of fear for your job? Inability to switch off? Or simply because your work load is too much to handle?
5. Whichever reason it is, speak to your Manager about work load and your worries.
6. I know this sounds obvious but take up a hobby. Having a hobby non-work related can help keep you stimulated and positive.
If you are struggling with your mental health please reach out to someone. Visit this website created by the NHS in conjunction with various mental health organisations who can help you and be there to listen and advise.