Lockdowns were certainly a shock to the system when they first started and required some readjusting, particularly for those who found themselves working from home (WFH). Totally unprepared, millions of workers had to improvise by using ironing boards as desks, or hunching over low kitchen tables that would have triggered alarm bells if the occupational health consultants were present.
When it all started, many would have questioned whether they could ever be happy with their new setups – after all, there were no ergonomic chairs, no conference rooms to retreat to for calls, and no in-house WeWork-style cafes serving your favorite tall, non-fat latte with caramel drizzle. But when it became clear that lockdowns were not just short-term circuit breakers to defeat the virus, people did what they have been doing for centuries – they adapted and made the best out of their situation. Gradually, the new WFH setup started to have its advantages – in came real plants (as opposed to the plastic ones in the office); mid-morning jogs around the neighborhood became routine, and the lack of after-work drinking sessions has turned out to be great for people’s health and time for other activities.
PRPioneer.com, the leading resource for public relations news, conducted a survey of 4,500 employees and found that nearly half (45%) of Marylanders say they have achieved the ‘perfect work/life balance’ (compared to a national average of 44%). When broken down by state, this figure was highest in Alaska, where 70% of employees say they’ve found the perfect balance between work and personal life. Comparatively, it seems those in Louisiana, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island still seem to be struggling with achieving this balance, with only 20% saying they’ve effectively done so.
So, what hobbies and activities have Marylanders been partaking in during lockdown? When asked, a quarter (25%) said they’ve spent time on home improvement and gardening, while 23% have been reading more. Another 19% enjoyed cooking more and 17% spent quality time with family, while 13% dedicated more hours to exercising and 3% made the most out of having more time for a proper breakfast.
Furthermore, over a quarter said they’ve become more self-sufficient during the lockdown, doing things they may have never done before like starting a herb garden, growing their own fruit and vegetables, baking from scratch, and learning new DIY skills.
‘There’s no denying the difficulties brought on by lockdown but with the fast-paced nature of life as it was, there’s also no question that slowing things down has been beneficial for many of us as employees, parents, students, and people in other walks of life,’ says Jamie Ellis for PRPioneer.com. It’s refreshing to see that so many of us have taken these extra hours spent at home and translated it into using our time more mindfully and personally by doing enjoyable activities we never had the time for before.’