This year has added extra levels of stress to the lives of most people in ways that they simply wouldn’t have believed possible twelve months ago. The coronavirus pandemic has caused illness, bereavement, job losses, and so much severe disruption to day to day routines that is unprecedented in modern times.
Even so, some clouds can have silver linings, and you might be one of those people who have tried working from home for the first time. While legions of freelancers, contractors and self-employed workers have already discovered that home working can offer many advantages, the pandemic lockdowns around the world have given many others the chance to find out for themselves.
Whether it’s avoiding the daily commute, being able to plan your working day to suit other aspects of your life or simply just being able to enjoy being at home more, there are plenty of reasons why a better life/work balance has been glimpsed at by more of us than ever before.
So if you are one of those new converts to the WFH lifestyle, how can you keep the balance as lockdowns are lifted, and the dreaded return to the workplace might be inevitable?
One of the unpredictable outcomes of the COVID-19 event is just how much it has changed our lives for good. Things like wearing a mask in public places, social distancing, and changes to the way we shop and socialize may fade over time or be with us over the long term in varying degrees.
However, when it comes to the way we arrange our working lives, there are already some significant changes that are certain to have lasting effects.
Sadly, people have already lost jobs, and many more are likely to do so in the coming months. It is something that is hard to deal with at any time, let alone in the midst of a society-wide pandemic. Likewise, some people have made the decision to move away from cities to live in more rural locations, either accepting a longer commute that might happen less often or totally rearranging their working set-ups.
If you are one of the people who have been able to find some positives out of the past months, you might well be taking the chance to make long-lasting changes that will benefit you in terms of having and maintaining a better work-life balance.
Dealing with stress
Moving to a new house, changing jobs, unemployment, financial pressures, family illness, and much more are all factors that have been impacting lives during the pandemic. It’s no wonder that stress levels for many of us are through the roof, and that different ways of dealing with the accompanying mental health problems are being sought.
It’s almost impossible to find a delicate balance between the demands of life in general and working commitments at the best of times, but at the worst of times, it can be nigh on impossible.
Fortunately, there are many new solutions that simply weren’t available in the past. So-called ‘digital clinics’ are providing online therapy services that offer discrete and inexpensive help for dealing with stress and anxiety.
This Wellnite Review explains how same-day doctor consultations, therapy, and medication can all be obtained through an online platform accessed from the comfort and convenience of your own home.
Friends and family
If there is a permanent move away from the centralized office towards a more frequent and commonly accepted method of working from home, it can only work if the positives outweigh the negatives.
Obviously, saving both time and money on commuting is a big advantage of a WFH lifestyle, but one thing that worries some people is that it could lead to social isolation and a lack of human contact.
For those with young families, this is anything but a problem, as the real challenge is making sure that the ‘work’ side of the equation doesn’t get unbalanced too much by the ‘life’ side. However, some may have genuine concerns about losing the opportunities for social interactions that a traditional working lifestyle brings.
In fact, working from home can open up a whole new vista of social activity, whether it might be using local stores more often, through to having more time to engage in neighborhood activities, and even just giving the opportunity to get to know the people who live around you in the community a little better.