I interviewed 22 leaders about their leadership lessons during and beyond Covid-19 and summarized 7 key insights from these interviews. The sixth one is: Protect your physical and emotional well-being.
The health of all employees was the primary objective of leaders at the outset of this crisis. That remained important, but later on the mental and emotional well-being of leaders themselves as well as employees in general was added as a concern.
Sufficient sleep is of the utmost importance. Sleep well. Make sure that your nights are long enough, otherwise it will be hard to keep the quality of your work high.
Take care of your physical well-being (exercise, nutrition). When you are at home that might be even more difficult than at the office, especially because engaging in video calls all day is exhausting. Also be aware of what you need emotionally and psychologically (social interaction, live contact) and what the needs of the team are. Take time to reflect and to recover.
Employees find it harder to distinguish between work and private life when working from home. That can be an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. An advantage because the distinction can be viewed as an artificial one, only in place since the Industrial Revolution. A disadvantage because some people feel stressed because their working conditions at home aren’t ideal, or they feel lonely, or they have to juggle meetings with looking after small children. Putting structure in a day and sticking to an adjusted routine with working hours and breaks might help. Switch off your phone and your laptop or tablet sometimes to prevent yourself from working continuously.