WFH or Living at Work? How to Practice Career Self-Care with the Three P’s
Lockdown, the pandemic, working from home, Covid-19, the threat of illness and even death have been front and centre since 2020. It’s safe to say, last year really was a doozy.
Here at Adeo Group, although we adapted and proved to our clients that we were able to be agile when the world was (and still is) in a state of flux, it wasn’t all commutes to the living room and informal loungewear. There were also friends and colleagues being furloughed, clients unsure of their next move, toilet paper panic buying, endless Teams calls, and waiting with bated breath for the next ‘Covid-19 Update’ from the government.
Working from home, however, meant that we had time to reflect on what’s important, spend a little extra time on ‘self-care, and feel relatively safe in our cosy little ‘home bubble’ from the scary reality of the outside world. But despite the self-care and easy work commutes, it’s safe to say that there has been a lot more pressure than usual in all aspects of life, which meant that often people weren’t acting as they usually would. Whilst this is understandable and happens to the best of us, this has sometimes meant that you can bear the brunt of a bad mood right there in your sanctuary.
Dealing with tricky clients, difficult meetings, or rudeness, in general, can be taxing at the best of times. In the office, you might get out of a particularly hard meeting and go get a cup of tea, brainstorm with your colleagues, and then leave and vent to your partner at home (we all do it). You can then come in the next day feeling fresh and ready to tackle the problem head-on.
When the same scenario happens in the comfort of your own home, it can all feel a little too personal. There’s nowhere to go at the end of the day and rather than working from home, it really can feel like you are living at work. A tough Zoom call can feel like it’s literally taking place right there in your living room and without the physical interaction, it can be all too easy to spiral and think that ultimately, you’re doing a bad job.
One thing to try to remember is The Three P’s, as they really help put tricky situations into perspective and can help you to keep a positive mindset in an otherwise difficult period. On a personal note, taking a moment away from my laptop screen to ask myself these questions really helps to reset my perspective. So, what are they? They’re simple, they’re just three things you ask yourself:
Is it personal?
Is this situation a personal ‘attack’ or judgement on my character or is this coming from a place of general frustration? This is work at the end of the day and I am part of a team that can deliver and this likely isn’t a reflection of who I am as a person.
Is it permanent?
Is this a permanent situation or will this come to a resolution eventually? We know that we can deliver this project and this situation will be resolved and we will move on.
Is it pervasive?
Is this indicative of a substandard work ethic or poor results across the entire client base? Do other clients feel this way? Do my colleagues or superiors feel this way?
If you ask yourself these questions the answer is more often than not a resounding ‘no’. No, it isn’t personal, this is about work and work alone, not about you. No, it isn’t permanent, a solution can be found and ultimately in an agency clients do come and go. Finally, no, your other clients are happy, your projects are on track, and your colleagues and teammates are supportive.
It’s encouraging to see that hybrid working is being implemented in offices across the country. Here at Adeo Group, we know all too well that working from home can be strenuous on people’s mental health. From not having physical interaction with people to being exhausted with endless Team calls – it’s been great to see everyone coming into the office three days a week. But it’s important to remember that when things get tough it can be easy to take things personally or feel like you’re not good at your job, or that everything is ‘falling apart’ if you’ve had a rough working week. This is especially true if you are working from home. So just remember to give yourself a break, take a deep breath and ask yourself the three Ps.