Today, I want to write about a challenge that I encountered a couple of months ago. And in the current situation, I am sure I am not the only one who has been, or still is, struggling with this. I am talking about the difficulty of motivating yourself when working from home.
The world as we knew it has changed. A quickly spreding virus named corona has forced governments around the world to shut down businesses, to close schools, and to block borders in order to save human lives. The healthcare workers and other employees in critical sectors are working around the clock while other people have been layed off from their jobs or are worried about losing their businesses. To many, the fear of getting or spreading the virus is causing stress and anxiety. An increasing number of people have lost a loved one or are fighting the disease themselves.
The working population's mental health has recently been in the headlines in Finland. Big national media outlets such as Yle News and Helsingin Sanomat have reported on increased burnouts among the Finns and the most recent statistics by Kela (the Finnish Social Insurance Institution) show that mental health issues have become the most common reason for sick leaves.
Happiness at work is trendy right now. It is trendy to post images from an office with bean bag chairs and a pool table. It is trendy to share the pictures from a company holiday party or a lunch with the team. It is trendy to tell everyone on LinkedIn how much you care about your employees, their happiness, growth, and work-life balance.
The first few months of employment are crucial to a new employee's future at a company. Previous research has shown that employee turnover in the first 45 days could reach 20%. That means that 1 out of 5 employees quit within their first month and a half in the new job.
Since we spend most of our waking hours at work, how we feel during that time really has an impact on our overall well-being. Our professional and personal lives are not separate from each other and we cannot switch our mood like a light switch. If we are miserable for 8+ hours every day, chances are we feel drained and down in our free time, as well.
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” This quote is so widely cited all over the internet that you have probably seen it more than once and you already know who said it. That's right, it was Sir Richard Branson, the Founder of the Virgin Group.