Time to spare?

by Anna Foster October 12th, 2020

So, 2020 has seen a huge change in the culture of work because of Covid19. This alone has created issues around work/life balance as now you are working where you live, and it is even easier for your job to creep further into your life resulting in potentially long-term issues. We are however saving time – less time sitting in traffic, no time waiting for trains, sitting on trains, walking to work.

We wanted to find out if you were working longer hours or using that commute time differently.

Some of the people we work with will commute up to 2 hrs per day so what is happening to that time? That was the question in our poll last week.

Your answers definitely matched our internal survey. The team at Hasson Associate have tried to use the time to help manage their work/life balance and improve mental and physical wellbeing during Covid19.

Damon keeps his routine of leaving the house every morning by enjoying a nice long walk through a nearby country park, or a swim at the local leisure centre before returning to his desk at home. Sinead and Catherine too enjoy a walk early doors, along with the Furry Associates Ruby and Betty in tow. Abi finds that having an early morning run helps clear her mind for the day ahead, whilst Nikki often takes an energetic spin on her exercise bike, then enjoys some cooling down time in the garden (weather permitting!). Charles often fills his freed-up commute time with reading, running, or catching up on a few home chores before starting his working day.

Four out of seven employees at Hasson Associates have children under the age of 12, so the usual morning chaos of getting ready, making packed lunches, and leaving the house by 7.30 in order to make the train has been thankfully eased what with working from home. Being a parent myself, it has been a joy to take my children to school every day (since it has re-opened!) and to collect them in the afternoon too. I know they too feel more content and excited knowing that I am more involved, so we have a much happier and more relaxed household in that respect.

Our new ‘evening commutes’ have been just as rewarding, with some of us working on improving our cooking skills in the kitchen, practicing some yoga techniques with the help of YouTube and when the weather was good, the summer evenings where spent pottering about in the garden.

Working from home has been a huge challenge in so many ways. On reflection we took for granted physically being in the office, enjoying the daily banter, the ease and speed of getting questions answered across the room, the open discussion leading to new ideas and inspiration, shared team excitement…. but we have learnt to adjust and have done so with great spirit.

So, whilst we are having to sacrifice all the benefits of working together in the office, working from home has allowed us to open our minds, lift our spirits and mental wellbeing in ways which the London commute could never allow.

The broader concern for those who are not able to travel to an office is that the working day becomes longer especially as we move into the darker days of winter.

We would urge everyone to create boundaries between work and life and share that information with colleagues. It is then important for all of us to respect those boundaries for long term job satisfaction and employee satisfaction.

Try to strike a balance of both face-to- face and remote working and you could finally achieve that work/life balance.

Finding working from home challenging? Here are some helpful tips:

Mind.org:

https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/coronavirus-and-work/tips-for-supporting-yourself-and-your-team/

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

Tool Kit:

https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/toolkit/coronavirus-coping-with-the-challenges-of-working-from-home/