Work is always going to be a big part of your life. We all spend a good chunk of our time at work and for many, it’s a real passion (for others it may be a drag!).
2020 saw most of us spending a considerable amount of time working from home. For some, this was great, providing a new balance around work, removing the need to commute, and finding more time for family, friends, fitness etc. I fell firmly into this camp, I loved it.
Others, however, hated it. They missed the office, the connection with colleagues, and perhaps the ability to escape the house after a few months of cabin fever!
What was really interesting to see was, that despite having more time at home, many Aussie workers felt they were working more than ever before. That work-from-home life vibe gave way to a sense of being chained to work and the time you saved commuting simply became extra work time.
What that all led to was a sense of burnout by the end of 2020. With so many people reporting that they felt flattened by the end of the year, it was no surprise to see people thinking about a career change.
I felt a little burnt out myself. We had a bumper year at Referoo, which was great…The challenge for me was that I felt I was working more than ever before, despite being at home. I’ve got young kids, so I was up at 5.30am with them and found myself logging on to work. Ditto in the evening; same thing again, work seemed so easy to pick up as my office was also my home. Great for productivity but the question remains: Is it good for you?
The resounding answer from most quarters has been: No!
Simply put: You need a break. Numerous studies show that taking time out from work and not chaining yourself to it, will actually increase your productivity. Add in lower stress levels and generally being a better, healthier human being, and it seems obvious.
So why do we do the opposite? Work pressures, deadlines, workload, never ending meetings, lack of travel options during a pandemic… it can be a variety of reasons. That’s all well and good but, ultimately, you decide where you spend your leave/down time, so you have the power to control this.
A great example is getting out of the city for a break. I have family outside of Sydney and during the last year I’ve taken breaks up there. Being able to work from home during COVID has meant I can work anywhere. So going away and still working during business hours was easy. But being out of Sydney changed my routine and allowed me to get more downtime.
Simply giving yourself a chance to take a breath makes a huge difference to your productivity. We have a very experienced team at Referoo and it lets us work together to ensure we all get some downtime away from work. But it’s worth recognising it and making it part of how you work together.
Working in technology means we actively seek tech to make our lives easier. There are plenty of sales tools out there that help you manage sales activity, such as prospecting, giving you the ability to shift some of the work on to technology.
Tools like Referoo help you manage reference checks, as an example, meaning you can free yourself from chasing down referees and filling out references manually. Instead, the software does it for you.
In the end, you need to find out what works for you. I miss the social aspects of the office, so 2021 will be a mixture of working at home and in an office environment for me. But I’m committing to making sure I fit time in for a break too. My advice is to do the same; your work and the business will be better for it!