Allies and Exhaustion
Good morning, everyone!
I hope that this Tuesday is finding you well?
Last week I wrote to you discussing the benefits of remote working. A 1-minute read which seems particularly relevant to me today.
My eldest son woke up in the middle of the night with a temperature and a headache. Pre-Covid times, I would have given him a good dose of Calpol and sent him back to sleep, relatively certain that if he was poorly, one day at home on the sofa would see him right. But, in these interesting times that we are now living in, I was unable to fully go back to sleep. Tossing and turning, worrying about the implications of what it would mean if he had Covid.
Such thoughts included;
- Caring for a little boy suffering
- The whole family remaining at home until we got the results of his PCR
- Two of us sharing the broadband and getting frustrated when Microsoft Teams freezes on us
- A three-year-old running around in his boxers, feeling 100% fine but unable to go to pre-school (because really that wouldn’t be fair or right) jumping off things he really oughtn’t be
- Rearranging our new bed which is due to be delivered and built
- Rearranging the weekend’s social plans
- Working my hours around all the above
- Worrying about how long we would be out of action for as it is probably highly likely we will all catch it off him
And I must admit that I am exhausted (mostly I must admit because the afore mentioned 3-year-old decided last night of all nights that sleep was for the weak and he was out of bed practically every hour, on the hour!) and whilst I sit here, in my stretchy leggings, hair unkempt and no make-up on (typical home working attire!) I must admit that I feel a little bit blessed.
Blessed because if this had happened a few years ago, on top of all the concerns I mentioned above, I would have had to organise childcare on the hoof. My exhaustion wouldn’t even be acknowledged, and I would be spending a lot of time and energy papering over the cracks and pretending that all is fine. Burning myself out to deliver the unachievable in difficult circumstances. Instead, I was given friendly acknowledgment of my situation and told to take it easy. To not stress and to focus on my children.
I would like to think that generally, most organisations now support situations like mine. There has been, because of the pandemic, greater understanding and empathy nurtured in the workplace. One of my LinkedIn ‘friends’ posted recently about the Family and Carers Alliance that her organisation had set up which enabled her to find support when everything got just a bit too much for her. She was able to find some support and was reminded that she wasn’t alone. She had allies at work.
It is almost as if the pandemic has made organisations realise that their employees are so much more than the work they turn out. There is a realisation that they are more and there is a need to support all aspects of an employee to make them whole and healthy.
What have you put in place to help support staff with remote-working and the effects of the pandemic? Do you think you have created any allies?
Please email me and let me know any success stories, it would be great to share them.