by Eleni Webber, Research Assistant, AmCham Belgium
Over the last month, we have seen offices, restaurants and schools close down. COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind. It has caused events to be cancelled and employees to work remotely. It is difficult to find things to do to keep the morale up. However, the team at AmCham Belgium is keeping its head high. While we are very busy finding new ways to engage with our member companies, we are also discovering new ways to occupy our free time and stay motivated during these strange times.
On the brighter side, a noticeable advantage to working from home is the amount of time we find ourselves given in the morning. A few extra minutes in bed, making a decent cup of coffee, not having to worry about professional outfits and completely avoiding traffic, we have been given an opportunity to take a break from our usual morning routines, which most times leave us stressed and rushed before the working day has even begun.
Once the morning is out of the way, it’s important to give the brain a rest. For some of us, it’s time to make the most of the surprisingly beautiful weather, go on walks around our local parks and green areas, soak up the sun and breathe in the fresh (remarkably less polluted) air. For others, it’s time to hit the (home) gym with a confinement-friendly workout or even to cleanse the mind and soul with meditation or yoga. This is also the time to get creative with lunch, especially if you’re cooking for others. Since going to the local sandwich shop or cafe is not an option, your inner chef tries to pull together something quick, simple, yet still tasty, which will leave you satisfied before going back to work.
Although we are working harder than ever before, we still find time for the essential things, such as spending quality time with the people we live with and virtually connecting with friends and family.
We’ve also been able to appreciate the simpler things in life, such as reading a good book, cooking nice meals, and even taking better care of flowers and plants, all things that we seem to be too busy for in our usual lives.
The confinement has given us the opportunity to discover new hobbies too, such as writing, photography, doing puzzles, learning a new language and, of course, applauding the frontline workers at 8:00 p.m. every evening!
Team members with children have really appreciated spending more time with them. Although they are full of energy and sometimes a distraction, they still offer a certain level of entertainment no adult will ever truly master. And let’s not forget about our furry friends, who are definitely happier they get to spend more time with their owners.
Although the confinement has come as a shock and has not provided the ideal working situation for most, we have managed to find ways to get through it. It’s important to remember that it’s not forever, as long as we respect the measures put in place. #Stayhome #Staysafe.