Motivation & The Future of Work
Updated: Nov 11
Getting motivated can be a challenge at the best of times and while Covid-19 brings many challenges it also brings opportunities. It has never been more important to ensure each one of us gets some daily exercise, even it is 10, 20 or 30 minute walk, the important thing is to start!
Setting the smallest of personal goals can be enough to get things moving. Sometimes we defeat ourselves before we even begin through overthinking. The thought of putting on walking gear on a cold or wet morning can be enough to challenge the hardiest of souls. I have started back after many a false start and am beginning to feel the benefits of it.
Holding down a job and/or juggling family commitments means the window for exercise during the course of a given day can be really limited. I have started off with an early morning walk to try to set up the day with a positive start and get the system moving. Depending on work commitments and online meetings, a short lunchtime burst can really help and the third stage is a 45 minute evening walk, which at the moment is more of an aspiration than a reality but at least the goal is there. Having these three daily stages gives the kind of structure so many of us are missing as we are working from home. Regular exercise is proven to help our mental well-being and physical health and by extension our work engagement and productivity.
We have all heard the discussions around striking the right life-work or work-life balance while the old adage that a happy employee is a more engaged and productive employee certainly rings through for me. This could be the time where work patterns change for the better and we are fortunate to have a range of technological options we can call on to help make this happen. It is also important that employees do not lose that vital contact with their employer so some form of blended future working structure may be the way forward. Just as employers seek flexibility from their employees in terms of hours put in, tasks completed, additional work taken on, employees should also be able to seek some degree of flexibility from their employer. A mature working relationship, one of mutual respect and trust, is a two way street.
While Covid-19 has been a desperate challenge in so many ways, it has also given a unique opportunity to experience a way of working that so many have been advocating . Naturally there has been some reluctance around this, for example fears of a drop in employee productivity. However, we have seen with the proper structures in place, such as weekly check-ins or 'wellness' calls that work functions and task completion can easily be monitored.
This remarkable period we are all experiencing could be the time when we finally grasp the opportunity to develop a new way of working that drastically reduces both long commutes and office hours. Even introducing one or two days a week working from home could massively improve the happiness, motivation and well-being of those who up until now had to embrace the 9-5 working week.
It is up to us to work to together to develop a working arrangement that benefits both employer and employee (this can be done at both the macro and micro level simultaneously). Hopefully, we won't let this once in a century opportunity slip through our fingers and instead come out of a global pandemic living and working better than when we went into it. Now where are those running shoes!