By Jos Duncan Asé
We know that “time is money” but we don’t often think about time as love. People who are leaving their jobs as part of The Great Resignation might also be part of “The Great Time of Soul Searching” or “The Great Time Spent Caring for Loved Ones.” As we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic, employers have been seeking tools and approaches to support workplace practices and cultural shifts that help employees better assess their needs while caring for themselves and their loved ones. A reimagined workforce will likely include improved workplace practices and policies that acknowledge and support human needs and complex identities.
Love Now Media has been collecting career stories inspired by love through our series, Be. Do. Love. Those stories capture refreshing perspectives on work along with the obstacles, questions, clarifying moments, and decisions that have led the storytellers to where they are today. Learn more about the career stories that are redefining the way we work, live, and love.
As the Omicron variant surged this month, overlapping with downtime over the holiday and the new year, schools and work activities almost came to a halt. Our team struggled to manage personal obstacles, managing childcare, accidents, illness, and meeting deadlines. The most loving gesture I could offer was to suggest team members take the time they needed to recover, to recalibrate, and to breathe. This led to our team slowing down our calendar of activities. The deadlines that were a week out are now a month out; the project that was initially envisioned as a month-long project, is now three months; the quarter-long project, will now roll out over 10 months.
As a founder and the leader of the organization, I had a practice of working 60-80 hours per week, including weekends. The pandemic has led me to set boundaries to support my own self-love and self-care. I now set work hours. I start on time and I end on time. I monitor the bad habit of constantly checking email and Slack to see if I missed a pressing inquiry. During my time off, I’m sure to relax, to do things that bring me joy, and to fortify myself for the work I do.
I’ve also noticed that people are not only navigating the obstacles the pandemic has presented, but they’re likely navigating grief: the loss of people, loss of routines, social lives, connections they had before the pandemic. Sometimes they just need a little more time to complete tasks so that they feel whole enough to perform well. Time is simple and delicate but moments that matter can be massive and invaluable for people who just need a little more of it. As we look ahead to create the new normal for the workforce and our lives, the ways we handle time will be a key component in demonstrating love, support, and empathy for our colleagues.