Now We SFH And WFH, What Do Weekends Really Mean?
When Friday draws near, we usually think of TGIF and look forward to the weekends for a bit of downtime. But with SFH and WFH becoming the norm now, are the weekends still as sacred and untouched? Will emails and Zoom calls come to a halt just because the weekends are here?
We are still working if we are online all the time, even if we aren’t physically in an office. Current times have forced us to reassess the 5-day work week, since there is little to no difference between Sunday and Monday now.
Recently, people have started saying that WFH actually translates to "working all the time" now. It is true to a certain extent. Fixed boundaries for what are defined as leisure and work have been blurred now that work "follows" you home.
Remember what it was like working in the office? The 9-5 routine with an hour’s lunch break. If somebody needed you, they either set an appointment ahead or waited till you came back from lunch.
In this new normal, say goodbye to all that as your personal space and time are intruded upon by a simple text message or email. There’s no excuse not to reply to a quick email or phone call, now that we’re all so efficiently connected.
More likely than not, your mind is preoccupied with work all the time since it’s so easy to get a hold of you. The worst part: all this follows you into the weekends as the convenience of staying updated means work is by your side, weekday or weekend. Sibeh xiong.
Furthermore, now that we have restrictions on going out for leisure activities, people spend less time outside and more time at home. It’s unlikely you would be busy on your phone at a picnic outdoors or hanging with friends and family. This means you’re more inclined to check your laptop or phone for any work updates instead of being outside and away from the virtual office.
It also creates the notion that with nowhere to go and nothing to do, you have to be doing something - and the easiest way to fulfil that would be to check your phone or Apple watch. And chances are, walao there’s work.
Moreover, just because you aren't in the office doesn’t mean you don’t need one. Many of us have transformed some part of the house into a makeshift office space for work. This makes it near impossible to disconnect as you’ll probably walk past that area dozens of times a day.
Also, when you first set up that work space, you definitely tried to make it as comfortable and conducive as possible. Ironically, while this helps you be more productive when working, it also means you find it harder to unplug since you’re way less distracted compared to being in the office.
With no gossipy colleagues and a well-stocked pantry, you’re so focused that work is the main thing on your mind all the time. And with nothing else to do when you’re cooped up at home, the natural reaction is to open your laptop, settle down in your snug work space and read some of - ok, all of - your emails. (And if you're doing that, you can almost be sure your boss is doing the same!)
We've now entered September. Chances are, you've spent half the year SFH or WFH. If you're still adjusting and struggling to find a balance, here's your first must-do: set aside time to destress and let loose.
COVID-19 hasn't changed the number of days there are in a week. (Even if it doesn't feel like it, there are still seven.) And if you find yourself working on the weekends, take the breaks elsewhere: for instance, go for a 15-min walk, or take a 30-min nap, or perform this gif 10 times (then do it 10 times more):
Learn to disconnect now and then, separate work and leisure, and, most importantly, give yourself a chance to relax and lepak.
Newsflash: The work never ends. (And for those of us fortunate enough to have a job during this period, we really ought to be thankful we even have work to do.) But guess what? it doesn’t mean we should let our work have a hold on us 24/7 or worse, get the better of our health.
It's just work, guys.