NO – Post the COVID19 pandemic spread, we have forgotten how to use this word in the office. Let’s find out how we can positively enforce it and bring our chaotic office life back to order!
This work from home stage is not going to go away so easily, it has already had far decrementing effects on our work-life balance than having positive ones. (Many people might differ here, but it is for the majority of people who are still feeling overwhelmed with the work from home concept)
When the lockdown started, everyone was elated, we thought staying at home and working will be the perfect way to spend more time with our precious family members, finish some long-drawn projects that never saw the light of the day as we were so busy with our office work.
But come May, June and now even after we have stepped into August, we find ourselves riled up into the quick-sand called Work from Home. The long hours, no break time, no demarcation of leaving office and coming back home, sleeping patterns taking a hit, these are just a very small trailer of things yet to come (if not addressed effectively).
Now that it has been established that a lot of organizations have approved that a majority of their staff to work from home, we can easily estimate on the minimum side, that around 40-50% of office going workforce will be tucked in their homely abode until December 2020, and if things move the way they are moving, until further notice. Additionally, most organizations are looking at cutting down on the real estate expenditure to avoid paying rentals on their leased offices. Hence, for those employees who have been enabled to work at home, probably might not return to the office until very necessary.
Let’s look at how WFH has caused a change in our daily routines and led to the majority of us feeling burnt-out:
So are you feeling burnt-out? Well looking at the above list, anyone will be!
The trick lies in saying NO at the right time when you are right at the edge of saying YES!
We have instances where one would have felt like going that step ahead and would have said a ‘Yes’, just because they were unable to say ‘No’. It can be an instance in the office, or even for that matter at home, where your supervisor or family member asks you to complete a task. If you feel that the work can wait to see the next day’s light, please say ‘No’. You must understand this WFH situation will not go away tomorrow or day after, it is here to stay. If you burn-out, you will not be of any use to anyone, even for that matter, to yourself.
We all are worried about these times in the job market, where the employer holds an upper hand in keeping you or firing you. But believe me, when I say employers do not make irrational decisions, they know when an employee is genuinely trying to provide the best to the organization while pushing back at times to balance his/her work life.
In the WFH scenario, it has become imperative that you compartmentalize and prioritize your work to achieve the committed quality and timelines. Below are some basic guidelines you can follow to avoid burning out in the process of balancing office and home commitments:
- Fix an outer limit to start and end your office day
- Sit in an area earmarked as office space in your house, even if you have a small place, please keep an area with a table and a chair for office
- Invest in a table and a good ergonomic chair: While a lot of companies have allotted budgets to get essential furniture for employees who have to work from home, even if your company has not, this will go a long way
- Take your lunch breaks and eat lunch on time, even when you are alone at home. Sit in a different area from your designated office space, and if you are with family, eat lunch with them
- In the evening when it is your time to shut shop, please close your work laptop or equipment and take a complete break by going out of your house for a walk, in and around your community or home. This way you will be taking a clear break from whatever you were doing, and it will help your mind to switch off from the hyperdrive office mode and relax a bit
- Self-preservation is not selfishness, please understand this difference. Start with some ‘Me time’ before you get into the family mode
- Eat dinner, spend time with family, read a book, listen to music, watch a movie and if extremely necessary you can still take that odd office call or go online, but it’s essential to take the breaks and relax your mind right after office hours
As we all step into a #RenewedSociety which will see the emergence of Renewed Purpose, Renewed Focus, Renewed Vision, Renewed Bonds, and Renewed Urgency, we will also need to work harder. The trick is to strike the balance, and not burn out in the process.
The ball is now in your court… hit it or leave it, it is entirely up to you! But don’t quit the game…