‘Stay home, flatten the curve,’ it was the way we walked into lockdown, and through our quarantine life. It was as well the way to make us conscious about our ‘homes’ and our work-life balance. Something we should not forget when we walk our homes out again.
For many families, however, the same disbalance of this rat race just continued at home. Teleworking is beautiful, less emissions and traffic jams, less time, energy, and fuel spend in commuting, less hassle going out and about, and for some even increased productivity.
This all changes if you have a few toddlers at your care. As they are supposed to ‘work from home’ as well, various parents started combining the role of teacher with the one of full-time employee. Both commitments clashed. Moreover, in most families this battle was largely fight by the mother figures, whereas the father figure could pursue his career commitment. Turning back the times.
So, how could we solve this dysfunctional disbalance inherent to our rat race society? Let’s have a look at the Scandinavian countries, where the scarce daylight during winter forces people to be more at home anyways. Still, Denmark scores among the happiest countries in the world.
Year after year, the Danish people score among the highest if not the highest itself on global happiness indexes. Besides having high trust in government and being a fair wealthy nation, the main reason for their even self-perceived happiness is the culture of ‘Hygge’.
Hygge is the cultivating and valuing of high-quality intimate relationships. They create it by organising cosy family nights around the firepit, or having a good coffee with a friend for instance; non-spectacular activities with a spectacular result: happiness. Therefore, to the Danish, hygge is a fundamental part of well-being.
But there is more. Danish claim to prioritise life above work. As a result, they score higher than average on any work-life balance index. Imagine, only 2% of the Danish reports to work regularly long hours, compared to 13% of other OECD countries, Two-thirds of their day goes to non-work activities. They have time to enjoy life and social relationships, while they enjoy greater flexibility at work as well, such as working from home and flexible starting hours, while guarding the lunch break as a designated break in which they can catch up with colleagues rather than overworking. On top of that, they have 5 weeks of paid leave guaranteed, and longer maternal and paternal leave than many other countries.
Hence, if an overall better balance between work and family, in combination with higher valorisation of intimate connections is the key to happiness, why wouldn’t we all prioritise family and real connections, or ‘life’ above work?
If in times of corona the cracks of our system became visible, work-life balance was an obvious one, so let’s use the Danish glue to fix it.
This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read
- How this too shall pass
- how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
- how you can contribute to this battle,
- how gratitude lights up the dark,
- how united we will stand strong
- on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis
- how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands,
- how being calm can get us through the storm.
- about Love in Times of Corona
- how to discover your own talents
- why we need stories to hold on to
- how you can be creative and innovative.
- how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
- how to listen to the sound of silence.
- How breath taking Corona really is.
- discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us,
- about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
- about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
- about the position of nature in this entire story
- about nature bouncing back
- about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
- about the game to play
- about star gazing in dark times
- About looking for Meaning
- About how Music Connects
- about what Easter and Corona have in Common
- About the Shark and the Turtle
- About the Irony of Distance
- Why to Hold on
- Fake News
- about The Big Unknown we live at
- about Feeling Alive
- About turning obstacles into opportunities
- about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life
- About where we should go from here?
- About coping with incertitude
- About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget
- about history’s most important message, echoed by corona
- How one country could rule them all
- About how to prevent the next Green Pandemic
- about how we are experiencing a new episode of our history books
- about when the poppy flowers
- about what’s in a number
- masks off, how a friend in need is a friend indeed
- What’s Next. after we flattened the curve?
- how will our personal story look like in a post-corona world?
- why we should never let a good crisis go too waste.
- How Spring can happen in Autumn
- How to unlock the lockdown
- Why education matters
- How we can give meaning to the meaningless deaths. (rethink health care)
- The remarkable marketability of health, or not?
- the remarkable rewards of health
- The queeste for global health care
- Health Heroes
- Pains and Gains
Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark times.