“My mind is like my internet browser; 19 tabs are open; 3 of them are frozen; and I have no idea where the music is coming from.”
You have probably seen the above quote doing the rounds, and it’s very relevant to people working from home.
The pandemic changed our whole way of life, children were home-schooled, events were cancelled, meetings were conducted via zoom, and the majority of work was carried out digitally.
Now that things are coming back to some kind of normality, it’s clear to see that the work-life balance has been disrupted. Some employees are bombarded with emails, text messages, and the pressure to be always on, especially when it comes to social media.
Here are 5 tips to promote digital wellness
To discover more suggestions check out Tech Target: https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/feature/10-tips-to-promote-digital-wellness-in-the-workplace
The Library of Experiences of the Balance project constitutes a collaborative online space especially for women affected by the pandemic, where they can share their work-life balance related stories and needs.
As part of The Library of Experiences case studies will give insights into real life experiences of employed women, adult educators, learners and individuals in general working remotely and how the pandemic affected their work-life balance.
The experiences captured are those from individuals who had never worked in a remote format before Covid-19 and that in March 2020 had to adapt to this situation. It will be specially interesting to interview individuals who do not live alone and are responsible from other members of the family. How have they managed to balance work and private life?
If you are interested in further information of the case study, here you can access the case study template.
Momentum delivers over 50 vocational education training (VET) programmes and workshops and trains over 600 people per annum through classroom training courses and thousands of others through blended learning and online courses. Momentum also has a strong marketing division specialising in content generation, digital media and social media.
Momentum leads the Quality Impact and Evaluation on project BALANCE. Their quality system is learner-centric and based on the standards and procedures promoted by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the official accreditation board in Ireland for VET and Higher Education. As well as delivering training, Momentum is deeply involved in course curriculum and content development and has numerous new courses accredited or pending accreditation with QQI in digital, creativity and innovation. Some recent projects in the digital sector as well as well-being and female empowerment projects include Digital Crossroads, WeRin, Teach Digital, Include Her and Digital Balance.
The Momentum team is at the forefront of entrepreneurship education and policy contributions in Ireland. Momentum’s specific competencies relate to the design and delivery of innovative programmes for learners in digital and entrepreneurial skills development. They provide practical opportunities for adults and SMEs through the provision of training and opportunities to develop entrepreneurship skills which provide a route to business creation and business growth; while entrepreneurial thinking encourages innovation and resilience in all spheres, personal and professional. As our EU economy and society undergoes transformation, these qualities are important for all people and in particular project BALANCE.
Orla Casey – Founder of Momentum since 2003
Orla is an experienced entrepreneur and passionate connector of people. A business graduate who completed further studies in the areas of European Law and Economics and Marketing, she is a sought-after researcher and facilitator, regeneration specialist and application writer. Working with public and private organisations, Orla brings a clarity of thought and direction to the design and delivery of multi-million regenerative economy strategies and initiatives in Ireland. A mother to twins, she is an extraordinary multi-tasker who demonstrates strong leadership and support for her 24 staff.
Samantha Carty – EU Project Specialist
With a B. Sc. Communications, TU Dublin, a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing, and a Certificate in Psychology, Maynooth University, Samantha uses her skills and experience in communications and client services to proactively share and promote the work of Momentum’s Knowledge Alliances projects. Her work was recognised with a #SocialEUAward for Best Editorial Plan for Social Media Dissemination on WeRin, a project working to increase the share of female graduate entrepreneurs. Based in county Roscommon she loves to spend time with her rescue collie dog and her two daughters.
For more information on Momentum: Momentum - Business Consulting and Marketing Services (momentumconsulting.ie)
A survey has confirmed that the increase in unpaid care work and teleworking has hit women's work-life balance and mental health.
The Covid-19 pandemic prompted a surge in telework in many European countries. During 2020, the first year of the pandemic, telework increased drastically.
Teleworking percentage by gender in the EU
The highest share of the people working from home in the EU is in Finland (25.1%), Luxembourg (23.1%), Ireland (21.5%), Austria (18.1%) and the Netherlands (17.8%).
Increased work-life balance issues for women - facts and figures
The higher flexibility and autonomy associated with telework often result in more work and longer working hours, which affects the work-life balance. During the pandemic teleworking posed many challenges for workers when it came to the organisation of working time, work–family balance, well-being, and the physical work environment.
How women and men perceived work-life balance during the COVID-19 pandemic
The pandemic affected many people, but the latest data shows that women were affected more than men. Data collected in February and March 2021 shows that 7.4% of women and 5.7% of men found it hard to concentrate on a job because of family responsibilities. The numbers are even higher for people teleworking full-time, with small children at home (27% women, 19% men). Work is not the only thing that has been affected. About 31% of women and 22% of men who are teleworking full-time, with small children at home, said that their work prevented them from giving the time they wanted to their family.
To find out more on how Covid-19 has affected women’s work-life balance, click https://www.eureporter.co/politics/european-parliament-2/2022/03/09/teleworking-unpaid-care-and-mental-health-during-covid-19/
Since the start of the pandemic, women have been most likely to feel worried about missing friends and family (44%), anxious and stressed (37%) and generally concerned about their future (33%). There is a consistent view among women that the measures enacted to stop the spread of the pandemic have had a major impact on their own mental health.
We were reflecting on the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on women. Two years on, we are in a better place when it comes to the pandemic. But now is the time to apply some of the lessons we have learned from that experience.
For example, work-life balance should not be a choice between a successful career and a fulfilling family life. The pandemic has reminded us all of the value and benefits of time with family. Parents should be able to feel like they can continue to have a better balance in their lives, and the government is committed to introducing measures to support this.
The impact of the (short and longer term) socio-economic effects of COVID-19 fall disproportionately on women. Women are much more likely to work in sectors which have been negatively impacted by Covid such as personal or retail services, and in addition they are also burdened with pastoral, childcare, and domestic labour. Women also experience significantly higher levels of guilt in relation to work and family life balance, compared to their male counterparts.
The Balance project aims provide high quality and appropriate resources to empower women themselves to share and validate their pandemic experiences and create a hands-on guide, made up of practical materials for resilience and learning to work better within our new digital world. Our project shifts the support burden solely from women, by empowering employers and workplace leaders to take ownership and support their staff in a meaningful way. By creating new upskilling pathways Balance ensures that women are more prepared to deal with the stresses and requirements within our modern world. Not only this but Balance supports those in leadership roles, empowering them to create a culture of support.
We promote a proactive approach, flexible working coupled with dynamic support to ensure the health and mental well-being of staff is not compromised. By affecting change at a leadership level, we aim to ensure high levels of integration and engagement with our resources. The Balance strives overcome the obstacles of pastoral needs for leaders, encouraging a healthy working-life balance for all, and preventing digital drain on staff.
For Managers and workplace leaders who now hold a responsibility for the success of a team who they no longer share an office space with daily, the is a clear need for materials to aid them in the supporting of progressive and effective working. But possibly more urgently is the pastoral management of their staff, in ensuring a reasonable work-life balance, recognising the “at home” stresses which many staff, especially women are subject to. For remote working staff, women specifically, there is a clear need to reduce the pressure on staff, by empowering them to be more “aware” of their digital imbalance, but also by upskilling those surrounding them to support them in a meaningful way.
The European E-learning Institute (EUEI) is committed to providing high-quality learning experiences and innovative educational programmes which engage learners from a range of sectors and socio-economic backgrounds. EUEI is committed to promoting social cohesion, inclusion, and sustainability across Europe, making them a perfect fit for the Balance Project.
Our experienced team of trainers, researchers and technical experts are uniquely placed to guide educators from VET, HEI, Adult and Youth sectors to harness the opportunities that innovative and collaborative e-learning and digital tools offer for learners.
We specialise in the delivering of high quality, responsive and innovative projects to educators and learners in the topics of pedagogic approaches, entrepreneurial competences, digital skills, inclusion, and sustainability.
Meet our Climate Champions at EUEI working on the SFEC project
Canice Hamill- Managing Director
Canice has worked in the field of lifelong education for over 20 years and is recognised as an expert in instructional design and the development of e-learning solutions for education and training. A former trainer and lecturer, Canice utilises a holistic approach to creating innovative, interactive learning environments and works closely with tutors, trainers, and development teams, emphasising the importance of empathy and user experience in every learning solution.
Our Logician -Innovative Inventors with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge
Catherine Neill- European Project Manager
An experienced EU project manager, Catherine is an integral member of our team. She is an effective communicator and has a strong background in areas of Inclusion. The oldest of 5 children Catherine quickly learned how to lead the pack, utilising organisational skills alongside her passion for helping others, she is committed to making the world a more accessible, sustainable, and friendly place.
Our Protagonist -Charismatic and inspiring leaders, able to mesmerise their listeners.
Aine Hamill- European Project Officer
Aine plays an important role in the learning design and subsequently in evaluating the effectiveness of our eLearning products on completion. Aine is always keen to engage with her creative side and implement the newest digital tools, pedagogies, and trends into our e-learning solutions. She is passionate about finding effective and relevant ways to engage learners from all walks of life.
Our Defender-dedicated and warm protectors, able to implement ideas and “create order from chaos”.
Including our key role in the initiation of the SFEC project we will also work tirelessly alongside our project partners to deliver the highest quality project results as possible. Within the project EUEI will develop the project website and be responsible for the technical realisation of the materials.
Learn more about EUEI here:www.euei.dk