Thanks to technology we’re almost unlimited as to what we can do when it comes to work. By that I mean that we can work at any point in time during the day because we’ve got electric lighting and because we’ve got the mobile devices and personal computers that allow us to do so from almost anywhere. We don’t have to wait for the sun to come up, we’re not limited to only working with/selling to those near our physical location, and for so many things we don’t have to work the same hours as others.
It also means we’re more on-demand and have more expectations placed on us. People expect to be able to get help at any point in time, bosses expect to be able to reach you if something changes or happens, and it’s easier than ever to bring work home because so much of work is done over email and apps.
So if we’re being asked to work longer hours or be more available, doesn’t that mean we should be getting something in return beyond our normal paycheck? Shouldn’t there be a level of flexibility or some other benefit for being willing to blur the lines between work and home (or eliminate them almost completely)?
What got me thinking about this today was a headache. I get them occasionally and sometimes they’re bad enough that I end up needing a nap on top of a pill to make it go away. But today I was not working from home and it wasn’t really acceptable to just put everything to the side and take a nap, and I know many can identify with the desire to have just 30 minutes to themselves for either picking up kids or eating something or taking a walk or a nap. I’m fortunate enough that I do work from home a lot and can take a break in the middle of the day, or work very late or very early or whatever hours I need or prefer, but that’s not the case for everyone.
If we’re really going to do this working-almost-all-of-the-time thing, isn’t it time that we remember that our bodies and minds need a break? That while much of our world has evolved to support us in doing this our bodies still need food and rest? When was the last time you took a break at work and didn’t work straight through the day? Yes, there are a couple of more progressive companies that do have workout rooms and nap rooms and it’s not frowned upon to use them, but that’s not the case for most.
So today I’m inviting businesses to step up and make sure their workers are cared for, and encouraging you to make sure you’re caring for yourself (whether you work a traditional job or you’re working as a parent): eat the foods that properly fuel your body, get rest when your body asks for it, and spend time with people who rejuvenate your heart. Are you caring for your body and mind’s needs?