Boost your productivity: 9 Finnish work-from-home hacks
Back in 2019, Helsinki was named the number one city for work-life balance.
The decision was based on 20 different factors in Finnish life, such as work intensity, society in general, and city livability. Unsurprisingly, Helsinki also aced the happiness test by scoring a perfect 100. But 2019 was a different time, and COVID-19 has changed our working lives drastically. Still, it seems the Finnish still have a few things to teach us about finding a perfect work-life balance. So if you're alright about the idea of homeworking and are looking for some handy tips, here are a few good ones from Finland.
1. DEFINE YOUR WORK TIME
Balancing family and work life is easier in Finland than in many other countries. Even before so many Finns began working from home, working hours were flexible to enable more opportunities to spend time with loved ones. We mustn't forget that the importance of work-life balance isn't reduced just because we're working from home. Yet many workers around the world report putting in more hours since COVID. If you're one of these people, remember to switch off when your working day ends. If your working day ends at 5 pm, then 5 pm is when you should stop working.
2. TAKE A WALK IN THE FOREST
In Finland, there's a whopping 4,500 trees for every one person. It's a little wonder Finns are famously happy, as research shows spending just 15 minutes amongst trees makes us chirpy, more energetic, and less stressed. So if you're getting a touch of cabin fever while working from home, go for a woodland ramble and melt away the stress.
3. DRINK GOOD COFFEE
Finns are officially the world's biggest coffee drinkers and chug down a few cups on any given workday to keep themselves perky. So, if you love coffee, why not do a Facetime meeting with your colleagues and get jolly with java like old times. Even if you drink it alone, you'll find your concentration improves and your pandemic blues easing for a while. Whether you love or loathe working from home, it's evident that Finns tend to get the whole work-life balance thing right in every situation. So why not give it a go.
4. EMBRACE "SISU" MINDSET
"Sisu" is a Finnish term that embodies resilience, determination, and courage in the face of adversity. Adopting a "sisu" mindset can help you stay strong and focused during challenging times, such as the pandemic. Remind yourself of your strengths and capabilities, and approach obstacles with a positive attitude. Cultivate a sense of inner strength to tackle work challenges and maintain a healthier work-life balance.
5. SET BOUNDARIES FOR REMOTE WORK
Working from home can blur the lines between work and personal life. Establish clear boundaries to maintain a healthy separation between the two. Designate a specific workspace, preferably a separate room, to create a physical boundary between work and leisure areas. Additionally, communicate with your family or housemates about your work hours to minimise distractions and interruptions during critical work time.
6. PRACTICE THE ART OF "KALSARIKÄNNIT"
"Kalsarikännit" is a Finnish concept that translates to "pantsdrunk." It refers to the act of staying home alone, drinking alcohol in your underwear, and enjoying solitary relaxation. While this may not involve alcohol for everyone, the idea behind it is to embrace the joy of solitude and leisure time at home. Allow yourself guilt-free downtime to unwind and recharge without feeling the need to constantly be productive.
7. PRIORITISE MENTAL WELL-BEING
Mental well-being is crucial for maintaining work-life balance. Engage in activities that help you relax and de-stress, such as meditation, yoga, or reading a good book. Stay connected with friends and family through virtual gatherings or phone calls to combat feelings of isolation. If needed, don't hesitate to seek professional support from therapists or counsellors to cope with stress and anxiety effectively.
8. NURTURE HOBBIES AND INTERESTS
Finnish people often find joy in pursuing hobbies and interests outside of work. Whether it's gardening, cooking, painting, or playing a musical instrument, investing time in activities you love can bring a sense of fulfillment and joy. Schedule regular slots for your hobbies, treating them as essential appointments to ensure you make time for yourself and your passions.
9. HAVE A "SAUNA BREAK" FOR REJUVENATION
Saunas are an integral part of Finnish culture and are known for their relaxing and health benefits. Incorporate a "Sauna Break" into your work-from-home routine to unwind and refresh your mind. If you have access to a sauna at home, take a short break during the day to enjoy a session. If you don't have a sauna, you can create a similar experience by taking a warm bath or simply finding a quiet, warm space to relax for a few minutes. The "Sauna Break" will help you de-stress, improve circulation, and promote a sense of well-being, ultimately contributing to a better work-life balance.