Much was spoken about the resilience of workers during the pandemic. Many needed to quickly adapt to working from home, facing technological challenges and losing the camaraderie that comes with working in the office. Parents were also juggling work with home-schooling meaning they adapted their hours to manage everything.
More than two years later and hybrid working is now much more the norm, which can be helpful for working parents.
It is worth considering, however, some of the pitfalls that can arise from this relatively new way of working. Having resilience enables us to develop strategies to deal with change, but how can we better develop it in ourselves and how can organisations better support people to become more resilient?
It can feel quite lonely working from home so it is important to stay connected with others. That could be by scheduling online meetings, attending training or joining a networking group. Staying connected socially with others will help your sense of perspective during challenging times.
Organisations still need to be doing more to make at home workers feel included. A Work Trend Index survey commissioned in 2022 found that 43% of remote workers say then do not feel included in team meetings, yet only 27% of companies had created a new hybrid meeting etiquette. Addressing this will lessen the psychological gap that can be felt between those at home and those in the office.
Working from home can blur the boundaries between home and work. I recently saw a LinkedIn post from a Meta employee who had received a grant to create a beautiful home office space, which is ideal but not always practical for everyone. Wherever you choose to work, it is also important to switch off from work and avoid digital overload.
A day in the office often feels quite structured and it is easy to lose that when working from home. Take advantage of the flexibility to do the school run or do some exercise but then structure your time at home so you can balance work deadlines with home needs.
Having a positive outlook helps us adapt to change. Things don’t always go to plan but seeing these times as learning opportunities helps us to develop greater resilience for the next unexpected hiccup. Sharing learning can also help to reinforce this, and will increase your level of connection with others.
Self-Awareness and Self Care
A report published by McKinsey & Co in May 2021 opens with the sentence “working mothers are a resilient group, accustomed to juggling work responsibilities and family time with aplomb”. This may be true on the face of it, but a separate McKinsey & Co survey on the employee experience found remote-working mothers showed much lower levels of well-being than remote-working fathers.
We should all ensure that we are taking care of our own needs and well-being. Getting enough sleep, exercising and eating well all help but take time to be aware of when you aren’t feeling quite right and might need to take a break or reach out for help.
Developing resilience, whether you are working for yourself or an employer, will help you deal more effectively with stressful situations and be able to more quickly adapt to change. Changing from being full-time in the office to working from home or hybrid is a big shift. There are undoubtedly many benefits but it is best to be prepared for some of the challenges which could arise.
If you would like more support in working out how to balance your home life with your career, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
July 19, 2022