Maybe unsurprisingly, taking a long weekend off work did not actually make me more willing to go back to work today. I’ve been reading (and posting) a lot about burnout and the effects of the pandemic, so this Charlie Warzel newsletter, in which he argues for companies enacting a lighter workload for the summer seems like a brilliant idea. From It’s Time for a Summer Slowdown:
All of us are emerging from the darkest days of the pandemic with a good deal of unprocessed trauma and a bone deep fatigue. It’s been described as burnout or hitting the pandemic wall. Some of it is the result of existential depression, and some of it is a sense of isolation or languishing. Organizations have tried to acknowledge the difficulty of the moment — while also expecting their employees to continue working, with little to no fluctuation in actual productivity.
…The last year of remote work has required a concerted effort to ignore the giant Covid-shaped elephant in the room. There were very, very few formalized HR policies to address the dull ennui of extended quarantine or the particular type of anxiety that accompanies a year of worrying a grocery store run could leave you or a loved one in the ICU. And so privileged remote workers labored (safely) on, through exposure scares and terrifying push notifications and attempted coups and insurrections. There was work to do — and very little else.
But for those who’ve been vaccinated, components of pre-pandemic life are returning: hugs, extended family, indoor dining, and all kinds of glorious, time-wasting bullshit. In other words, perfect excuses, after 15 months of isolation, to not be productive.