‘Nearly 90% of workers say their work-life balance is getting worse’.
(Harvard Business Review of 1,500 people across 46 countries).
In a fascinating exposure of potential ‘inhumane’ working culture 13 Goldman Sachs employees recently exposed striking workplace culture – five hours sleep a night, harsh treatment by senior bankers and the negative effects on their physical and mental health.
The group mocked up a presentation to share the situation. ‘This is beyond the level of ‘hard-working’, this is inhumane/abuse’.
Reports have shared that, ‘Goldman is far from the only firm where staff are reporting burnout, as the pandemic blurs work-life boundaries’.
Out of ten how exhausted are you? It’s a Friday as I write this, so I am going to say 9/10. Another question, how exhausted are you just by your work? Interestingly I find that most working people don’t segregate their work and home life when they reflect on their work-life balance or level of exhaustion. They just pretty much blame work.
I am not saying that a 95-hour week isn’t excessive, it is after all working the equivalent of 7 days a week for 13 hours a day, but I do believe that for most of us we have a choice. I choose to regularly do a 75-hour week. In the pre-covid days when I was travelling and jet-lagged whilst travelling a lot I chose to work more, so probably pulled in a good 95 hours. Am I exhausted, yes. What gets me through working so hard when I need to? Tactics!
I wanted to share a few of these simple tactics this week to help to support your mental health and those of others when we are so busy and up against it. The challenge for many right now is that working from home means that we are packing more in, and therefore generating more work as well as a few extra kilos! Before I do here is my challenge;
The greatest enemy when you are working so hard is wishing that you weren’t.
Let’s name it, resentment. And here comes that word again, ‘choice’. You may not be able to choose to not work, but you can choose not to feel resentment about it. The minute that you do the stress increases. The exhaustion mounts and our behaviours can be challenging, especially to those that we live with. If we all choose, then resigned ourselves to the fact that there is a lot to do. We then open up the focus to get on with it.
Here are some of our top tactics to support yourself when you need to do lots of work!
- Stop thinking about when you can switch off. Instead, engage your focus on the tasks at hand.
- See your working world as an opportunity to be you and express yourself and your talents. Not just something to pay the bills.
- Rub out the line between work and home, when the pressure is on the line can feed the resentment.
- Pause now and again and bring your personality to the experience. Let go of conformity and the need to impress and just be you. It’s exhausting to play a role!
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Checking out pictures of friends on Facebook having a great time and not working isn’t going to help you. Focus on the feelings of achievement that they are missing out on, stay focused.
- Feed your energy – not with cream cakes – with positivity. Staying light and positive using up less of your batteries. Being negative and having a moan just takes up more time, energy and focus.
I am a firm believer that life can be what you make of it. Work is one of the greatest opportunities to express yourself, be you and make a difference in your life. So we have to work hard at times, if nothing else this will allow us to really notice when we pause and enjoy the simple pleasures all around us.