Work-Life Balance and COVID-19
People throw the term “work-life balance” around a lot and it basically means have the ability to separate your work life from your personal life. More importantly, it means that you are able to have a reasonable amount of time for your personal life.
Many people struggle to find that balance. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the quarantine might be making an existing problem significantly worse.
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Have you noticed that you’re working nonstop these days?
Due to the quarantine, many companies have shifted their employees to work remotely. When you first think about it, this is a great idea. You People will still get to do their job, get paid, and do it all from the comfort of their home (did somebody say “no commute”?!?!). With all of that extra time saved due to not having to get ready in the morning, commuting, etc., you would think that people would be finding themselves with more time on their hands. Time they could spend on hobbies, exercise, etc.
Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case and more Americans are working longer hours than before? Why? There’s no excuse not to work.
Prior to COVID-19, it was easier to pack up and unplug at the end of a long workday. Back then, people had dinner plans, appointments, or other obligations.
Now, people don’t have any plans to make or keep, and they don’t have anywhere to go except for the occasional supermarket or take-out run. There’s nothing to keep people away from their computers or compel them to get up from their desks. There’s no traffic to beat, bus to catch, or kids to pick up from school. So, people are working longer and harder than before. As a result, they’re getting close to burnout.
Much of this might be fueled by talks of COVID-19 starting a global economic recession or depression. This has led to people putting in longer and harder hours as a way of self-preservation. See, if layoffs occur, people think they might be less likely to lose their jobs if they’re hitting deadlines and answering emails at all hours. The problem is that this willingness to please and the perceived need to be available at all hours due to having no excuse not to could be hurting Americans physically and mentally.
You still have a right to work-life balance
It’s understandable if you feel that, due to the flexibility you’ve been given to work from home, you should be making up for it with longer hours and always being available. In reality, that is a huge amount of pressure to put on yourself—especially given the fact that fear and anxiety related to COVID-19 might be occupying your mind more than you’d prefer. Sure, work can be a nice distraction, but don’t push yourself so much to the point that you don’t have time to take a walk, catch up with friends/family, watch a show online, or read a good book—whatever it is that brings you joy.
There’s a good chance that a lot of that pressure you’re feeling to do well on the job is coming from you, not your employer, so it’s important to remember that and keep your unreasonable expectations to a minimum. Now’s a time to function in survival mode, and there’s nothing wrong with not going beyond, so if your work-life balance has been nonexistent since this whole crisis began, set some boundaries and stick to them.
More than ever before, we all deserve a break.