Fall has always felt like the time of new beginnings to me. I guess I always associated it with the excitement of back-to-school. Yes, I was one of those kids who actually liked school and was excited to go back after the summer. Well, guess what... This fall, I HAVE gone back to school and I am SUPER excited about it!
Earlier this year, I started a new hobby. Not crossfit, brewing craft beer, or some other trendy, cool hobby. No, I started knitting socks (which, I think, is VERY trendy and cool).
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.
Like almost any Finn, I love watching ice hockey. The World Championships every spring are of course a must, but this weekend I went to see my 11-year-old cousin play in the local league (okay, I've been there two weekends in a row now, I can't even go get a cup of coffee during the game because it's too exciting, and I got my cousin's autograph - I might be becoming their biggest fan).
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.