The pandemic makes it hard to talk about other things, and speak to optimism and positive things when many people are sick and passing away. And with this, of course, is the concern by many about the impact to the economy, jobs, schooling and how to rebuild. But in any crisis there will be positives also. How to action them?
What type of work of the future will there be and how will it be different as a result of this pandemic. McKinsey offers a good updated overview of how the pandemic develops and what the possible business scenario’s look like here.
The pandemic has impacted everyone, where ever they are. And yet, maybe due to the sheer size and scope of the situation, or due to life disruption of vast populations of people, within this destruction, that there may come a moment for creativity, positivity and rebirth of some sorts. Humanity will be called to reinvent itself with a new way of looking at the world, one which takes the lessons of this pandemic for future planning at every level of life.
Work life balance
The risk of falling sick or worse, or possibly even loosing your job weighs in to the equation. But also, companies have significantly increased arrangements to work from home. As a consequence, commuting is reduced to a minimum. Rush to reach the train, traffic jam worries, they’re gone for many. It could easily add a couple of hours to your day. There’s more time to have breakfast, diner. You can put time into cooking. We have seen a run on DIY stores, and people working those home improvements lists that have been overdue for so long.
Consider the importance of art and creative development. This is a great moment to pick up some online music lessons, or art classes. Try coursera.org as a starter.
These are things that might shift that balance, that -as we know- tends to bias to ‘work’. Let’s action the positives.
Many of us have been put in a situation where contacts with colleagues are reduced to a minimum. Your work place has become the kitchen table, or your home office. There’s hardly any ‘little disruption’ anymore. A colleague stopping by for a chat, impromptu meetings. It’s replaced by your partner, kid or the cat asking for attention. More quiet moments may arise. Moments to reflect on your job, career, life.
There’s time to make your mind up and think of new possibilities and ways to reinvent oneself. Happy where you are? Feel appreciated? Time to move on? Talk with your friends, parents, grandparents and wise guides interested in making positive social change, like one finds in groups like Rotary International.
The long term
Yep. That thing you never got time for. The time you cut back in commuting, the more quiet work environment might call for some longer term thinking. What is it again you’re trying to accomplish in this job, this year, the next 5 years? Consider doing some personal visioning and journaling with a six-month, 1 year and 5 year scenario plan. This MIT checklist to set an effective career plan might help.
Your friends and colleagues most likely are in similar situations as you are. Having a bit more space in life might call for that extra attention you’d always wanted to pay to your colleague(s), your team, and your teachers and classmates. What about setting up one on ones, and prepare those calls well. Check in with them how they’re coping. Talk about the things you appreciate about them, and how you could improve things going forward. Find a quick guide on giving feedback here.
Coming home late, business trips are put in the fridge. You will have more time to have breakfast, lunch, diner with your partner, your family. There will be ample opportunity to deepen the relationship with them. And that could be small things, like help with home work or struggles at work, worries about Corona. Check this quick guide on helping others, like your family, cope with anxiety and stress as a consequence of the coronavirus. Nice ways to action the positives.
Being confined to your house, or neighbourhood at best, might make you appreciate that neighbourhood much better. Greeting your neighbours, albeit from a distance, could create some bonding you otherwise wouldn’t have had.
The community is being reinvented at the moment.
Take a look at local businesses. They tend to be key in making the community thrive. Did you know that about 45 percent of every dollar of revenue spent at a locally-owned business stays in the local community? Check this wonderful blog at Groom & Style and you’ll start changing your shopping habits.
Your health is easiest served with sports and good food, apart from that mental balance as discussed earlier. It may still be a challenge to go visit your sports club, so watch it to find sufficient movement in different ways. Try running, biking or walking. Start a home fitness routine. Online yoga and YouTube work outs. Go walk the dog, even if you don’t have one. Build a daily or bi-weekly routine to make sure you move.
Watch to have healthy food. Go check on your eating habits and find opportunities to improve. Check this help guide for healthy eating for inspiration.
Make this time become a health project for you.
Why not take the chance to work on your health, by building a program that combines healthy food and good movement.
Turn it into a positive
These are awkward times. We are surrounded by uncertainties. It is still unclear how this will all work out, and when we will be back to ‘normal’. What’ll be the impact on your job? How will the economy develop? Try to balance these concerns with using the extra time constructively. Let’s action the positives.
We got a choice. We can continue the busy jobs and fill the extra time with more work. We can also take the criticality of the situation as an argument to push our work life balance the right way, at least during this crazy period.
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