Resiliency at work requires energy

The world of work has changed beyond return during Covid-19.  More and more employees are working remotely.  And even though lockdown measures might ease in the coming months, many won’t revert to a pre-Covid work place.  There are many reasons for this.  The biggest reason being that both managers and clients have seen that employees can be productive and effective working from home.

This has been disruptive.  And uncomfortable.  We weren’t necessarily geared for this.  As this is becoming the new normal, more employees are struggling to find a balance between the personal and the professional, seeing that both now occupies the same space.

Resilience is needed more than ever.  As burnout is looming, I have devised plans for various companies and individuals to cope with these new demands.  The biggest priority remains to protect your energy where possible.

First off, define your workspace.  We now eat, sleep, relax and work in the same areas.  Unfortunately, this had lead to what I call spillage, meaning more and more spaces are now occupied by work debris.  You need to have areas in your apartment or home where you can feel that you are not at work anymore.  Have a set place where you do all or the majority of your work.  Stick to that space.

Secondly, have some boundaries in terms of work hours.  Being able to work all of the time now means we are working more and more hours of the day.  Most often the difficult thing is switching off at the end of the day.  Or not quickly going back to do a last thing.  Have a cut-off date and stick to it as often as possible.  And where you do work late, or start earlier than required, take a break during the day to make sure you recover mentally and physically.

Thirdly, it is very possible to feel like to you are busy all of the day.  And then feel like you have nothing to show for it at the end of the day.  I urge customers to have at least one 90-minute session before lunch where you get your most important work done.  Make this distraction free.  No cellphones.  No meetings.  No communication.  This will make sure you feel like you got something done.  It lowers your anxiety.  Gives you some momentum.  And again, provide some level of predictability during these uncertain times.

My fourth piece of advice is to take a break a few times during the day.  Go and sit in the sun.  If only for 15 minutes.  Have an orange.  Watch a TikTik-video.  Chat to a friend.  Play with a pet.  Small breaks prevent you from overheating.  And re-energizes you for the rest of the day.

Lastly, we are moving less and less.  Some exercise during the day is of huge value.  It doesn’t have to be a heavy cardio session.  A basic walk for at least 30 minutes will help a lot.  Physically, of course, but also mentally.  There is some beauty in loosening up your mind.  Getting away from your isolated space.  And returning in a different frame of mind. 

Play with these ideas.  Try to make them habits.  Adapt them where needed.  But we can only be resilient if we have fuel in the tank.  Safe guard your mind space as diligently as possible.  And recover physically where needed. 

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