For a large number of us, working from home (perhaps once a pipe-dream) has been a reality for some time now. We’ve got our heads around the video calls, we’ve sorted our new uniform of comfy trousers and Smart Work Top, we’ve worked out how to juggle home-schooling and virtual meetings and we’ve got the new commute to our desk nailed.
The trouble is, we seem to be busier than ever. With colleagues on furlough, there’s more work to be completed for those of us left holding the fort, and it’s tempting to work longer hours, maybe leave some report reading until the weekend – after all there’s not much else to do, right? Before we know it we’ve clocked up a stack of overtime that we know there’s not a hope in hell of taking back or being paid for…. And there’s still more work to do. Stress begins to bubble. Resentment starts to fester. A migraine lingers at the peripheries of our vision. And we’re not nearly ready to log out yet because of a looming deadline… why can’t we just focus and get it done?
01. Working harder doesn’t always equate to higher productivity.
Success isn’t only about putting in long hours; it means playing to your strengths, acknowledging your weaknesses, and resting when you need to. We’re guessing your organisation wants you to be performing at your best. You need to look after yourself in order to do that.
02. Happiness is contagious.
Nobody likes a scratchy colleague, but when you’re stressed – especially when you work with others (even virtually) – it can rub off on other people, reducing morale and affecting the team’s performance. Fortunately, happiness is similarly contagious. So by prioritising your own mood, you’ll be boosting everyone else’s too.
03. Overworking leads to burnout.
The harder you push yourself, the more susceptible you are to stress – which will eventually have the same effects as prolonged physical strain: you’ll be forced to stop altogether. The 105 million working days lost to stress each year cost UK employers £1.24 million. Investing in your wellbeing can make a significant financial saving.
04. Tired minds make mistakes.
At best, this will mean some extra work for you or your colleagues as you repair the damage. At worst, tired mistakes can cost a company dearly, or even cost you a job. That makes it seem worth getting some rest, doesn’t it?
05. You’ll be setting an example for everyone else.
Competing over who works latest doesn’t do anyone any favours. Especially if you’re a manager, leading by example in how you manage yourself can encourage others to do the same, increasing overall productivity.
06. The answer could be out there.
If you’re on a project that makes it feel like you’re constantly hitting a brick wall instead of making progress, a change of scene could provide a solution, so log out and go for a walk. It’s amazing what serendipity has helped people achieve throughout history. At worst, looking beyond your computer screen will give your mind a refresher; at best, you could even have a eureka moment of your own.