Prior to the pandemic, work was not working – and it was having a major impact on our mental health, physical wellbeing and general experience of adult life. One in six workers were dealing with work-related stress, anxiety or depression at any one time and stress, in particular, takes a physical toll, leading to sleep disturbance, headaches gastrointestinal problems and elevated blood pressure or risk of cardiovascular disease. During the pandemic, this has unsurprisingly spiked, with 60% of UK workers reporting symptoms of burnout during the pandemic.
Whatever way work changed for you in the past year and a half (be it JobKeeper, working from home or on the front lines), it has given many of us pause to reflect on how we can make work better.
For some, that's a change of career or even quitting work altogether, while for others that means pushing for more radical change, like a four-day work week. But one thing we can all do, no matter what job we have, is set clear, healthy boundaries between ourselves and our work. This will not only make our day-to-day experience of work better but can also help ease the overwork and stress that so many of us still reckon with.