If there is anything this Covid19 lockdown, shutdown, meltdown has shown us, it’s the importance of slowing down and appreciating the little things in life. By not being able to stray too far from home and with most people working from the kitchen table in their undies, we’ve been able to notice life can run at a slower pace.
And most people I’ve spoken to say they’ve being more productive during this time than they would have being working from the office. Annika from accounts no longer rushes past your cubicle brandishing a clip board making you feel guilty that you’re not as busy as her and there are no inane meetings over whether the new stapler in sales needs a risk assessment to operate. Plus you’ve been able to sneak afternoon naps and knock off at 2pm to walk to the dog followed by a quiet tipple on the verandah.
Apart from productivity, it’s shown us something even more important. The positive mental health benefits of having more time for yourself and the ones you love.
Space to be
At my last real job, I negotiated a work / life balance package where I worked 4 days a week, Monday to Thursday and it was the best thing I did. It changed my life.
Having the one extra day a week allowed me to explore things I didn’t previously have time to do or was too bloody tired to do.
Firstly, I could use my Friday to get the washing and housework done, leaving the weekend free for projects around our 7 acre property or day trips to visit friends and family.
Then I was able to explore my creative side.
That one day gave me space. Space to breathe, to destress, to explore creative ideas, to learn new things, to chill and even to be bored. The space to be me.
And after a 3-day weekend, I was more refreshed and willing to face the following Monday in the office. It was a bonus for everyone.
The new normal?
As we tentatively emerge from Covid19 lockdown, this is the perfect time to change the way we think about work, life, play and creativity. They shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. We’ve seen how it can actually work and we’d be mad to go back to the way it was.
Do we want to reinforce the old work paradigm that fuels anxiety, depression and a sense of purposelessness?
Hell, no. Now is the time to create change and it’s in your hands.
If you had an extra day for yourself, how would you spend it?
If you want to a more expert insight into the 4 day work week concept and what organisations and businesses are already doing, check out this article from the ABC. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-08/four-day-work-week-could-learn-from-working-mums/12326078?