• Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021
  • Last Update : 04:44 pm

OP-ED: Take a break

  • Published at 01:02 am October 19th, 2020
Work from home

The rush for productivity is having a significant emotional impact

While we’re busy doing online classes, the world is facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. According to experts, 2021 might not be enough to see a full recovery of the economy. 

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva stated that they expected a positive per capita income growth in more than 160 countries but, due to the existing corona situation, countries will experience a negative per capita growth in 2020. 

Moreover, organizations like the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) stated that about half a billion people might slip into poverty.

Big shifts in stock markets, slashed interest rates, increasing unemployment rates, deteriorating medical services, etc have made us wonder where the end is. 

From the aftermath of the financial crisis in the US from December 2007 to June 2009, we found that it took many years for the economy to recover and bring it back to the pre-crisis levels of output and employment. 

Now, the whole world is stagnant and looking forward to a ray of hope. Transcending borders, the worldwide overlap of supply chains has radical effects on agriculture, petroleum and oil, the finance industry, the manufacturing sector, and even on education. 

We already know that lockdowns are not efficacious for a country like Bangladesh where people need to go outside for their livelihoods. The lockdown crippled various sectors of the economy, leading to inadequate supply of goods, halted trades, and panic buying. 

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), 20.5% of the population lives below the poverty line and the pandemic contributed to their lot. The workers living abroad, especially in the Gulf countries, are suffering since they are losing their jobs and facing poor medical security. 

These are the only disarrayed consequences of the situation. For the first time, we as a generation are facing such a crisis where we are being locked between walls so that we can save ourselves. 

People nowadays are used to the “hustle culture” of society. In short, on a Friday morning, we need to grab our laptops and prepare for the next week instead of enjoying our coffee on the balcony. 

Increasing competitiveness, inadequate financial security, and rising income inequality have driven people to hustle hard to survive. As a result, this is causing much disturbance to our physical and mental health. We are worried about pending projects and files, not remembering that there is a life to enjoy beyond deadlines. 

We are in a hurry to make every second of our day productive, thinking that it will ultimately lead to a monetizable effort. However, the emotional impact of all of this is profound. 

Moreover, being productive is not so easy when we are surrounded by family members and engaged with household activities. An important part is that we often forget that we need to cultivate mindful productivity instead of rushing towards completion of tasks.

This is the time we should acknowledge our true value rather than focusing on intense work schedules. As we are in the middle of a global economic dislocation, the pressures felt at this time are more subtle. 

People are exposed to an overwhelming amount of news, with the majority involving negative circumstances. 

As a result, they are perfused with anxiety, leading to disrupted mental health. The mentality to overachieve even in the time of a global crisis should be reflected upon. 

No one should remind us that we are not utilizing all the "extra time" we are getting. It is high time we think out of the box and focus on what we actually like to do during this extra time. 

What we want is not necessarily what we need. We need to be at home and perhaps take the opportunity to get involved in activities we generally tended to skip while at work. 

We need to take a break and learn to appreciate ourselves.

Samnardth Tahiyat Salim is a student of Economics.

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