Advice column: I’m under pressure of work – but worry about my job security
Dear Ash

Dear Ash,

Worried person in chair illustrationWith the ever-changing rules of COVID-19 I am concerned about the future of my position at my firm. There have been a number of redundancies recently, and although things seem to have stabilised I sense an atmosphere of tension, which has not been helped by the increased workload. There seems little in the way of communication in the office, and I appreciate that I should be grateful for having a job in the current climate but I can’t help but feel anxious about my future.

My work-life balance seems virtually non-existent as I’m under pressure to get things finished and I fear that if I don’t put in the extra hours then I will lose my job.

 

Ash replies

The anxiety and apprehension that you are experiencing is quite normal in the current climate. But you should be comforted somewhat by the fact that you are busy and that you are still employed.

The pandemic has shaken most people to the core, and future employment is a particular worry, especially as COVID seems to have severely impacted a number of key sectors. However, it is still important for you to strike a good work-life balance at least in line with pre-COVID times, for the sake of your continued wellbeing. Such a balance is even more critical since COVID has resulted in more encroachment on home life with an increase in homeworking.

Make sure therefore that you establish some personal rules in order to ensure an effective work-life balance. For example, ensure you take a one hour lunch break every day, and be strict about closing your laptop by a certain hour each day in line with when you would normally have left the office. We all require to work additional hours from time to time, but do not make this a habit as it will only result in others expecting this as the norm.

Also find some ways of chilling and relaxing after each day, whether it be through indulging in a good book or TV show or getting some exercise: any personal “me” time is critical to help you wind down. Yes, you have a job and are fortunate, but this does not mean that you need to feel guilty about carving out some much needed time for yourself – if anything this pandemic should allow us all to prioritise ourselves more!

Send your queries to Ash

“Ash” is a solicitor who is willing to answer work-related queries from solicitors and other legal professionals, which can be put to her via the email to the editor. Confidence will be respected and any advice published will be anonymised.

Please note that letters to Ash are not received at the Law Society of Scotland. The Society offers a support service for trainees through its Education, Training & Qualifications team. Email legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk

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