Devan Moonsamy 

Working from home may seem like the dream but many women feel this may not be the ideal work situation for them. From balancing the long working hours to overseeing the online classes that have been rolled out for the kids to dealing with family members who might have contracted the coronavirus, it might be becoming difficult to keep it together. 

The pressure is intense. Meeting deadlines and concentrating in a zoom or teams session becomes difficult when your child is fussing in the next room. Working from home has been seen as a viable means for so many with claims that they feel like they can get so much more done at home without the office distractions. But for many others working from home means factoring the balance of managing work and life at home. 

However, the balance might make one feel worn out. 

The constant anxiety of does it sound unprofessional if my child screams mid-meeting? Will I be getting a warning for the noise levels around my house? What about the household chores when will I get you that? The constant anxiety can definitely throw you if your game. 

As we commemorate women’s month let us explore ways in which we can avoid the burn out and mental exhaustion for women who work from home. 

– Start by planning your day as you would if you were going to the office. This means laying out the uniforms the night before, preparing the kids lunch as well as meal preps. The trick is to presume a normal work day despite it being from home. By continuing with your routine prevents you from being overwhelmed and will help make the day go smoothly. 

– Prioritize your work tasks to the most important first and move down the list. This way you can attend to the important aspects first before dealing with the anxiety of not being able to meet deadlines. 

– Work is work and no matter how difficult the situation, always remain professional. If your child is throwing a tantrum in the room next door then ensure you inform the meeting attendees. If you are hosting then take a 5minute break step out and help your child. 

– It is important to be open with your manager. If you can’t manage the tasks because of the time at home and responsibilities ask for flexibility in terms of your working times. 

– Have a conversation with your partner so that they can also assist you at home when you are working and they are not. 

– If working from home is overwhelming try to speak to the office to get more days at the office. Working from home may not be the dream for everyone and it often results in frustration if you find that you are crippled by technical difficulties. 

The idea of woman working has always had attachments to it from breaking the vision of her being a housewife and child bearer to now leading companies and organisations. The challenges are endless. Coupled with the blow from Covid-19 and the battle of keeping it together in the workspace will have an impact on your mental health. 

If you are unable to cope with being overwhelmed and need the assistance for your mental well being then you should get the help. Contact the inhouse therapist or even seek to speak to a therapist outside the confinements of your home to get peace of mind. If this still burdens your mental well being resort to an activity that will keep your mind at ease such as yoga, reading or even going for a run. 

There are no guarantees that this will work but what it can do is help you to revaluate the way in which you spread out your tasks and help you in addressing the challenges of balancing work and home life. 

Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute, a South African TVET College. He is the author of Racism, Classism, Sexism, And The Other ISMs That Divide Us, AND My Leadership Legacy Journal available from the ICHAF Training Institute. 

The ICHAF Training Institute offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan specialises in conflict and diversity management, and regularly conducts seminars on these issues for corporates. To book a seminar with Devan or for other training courses, please use the contact details below.

Tel: 011 262 2461 | 083 303 9159 |

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