While the coronavirus crisis has revolutionised work almost over-night, as this campaign underlines, the danger for employees of digital presenteeism, combined with the stress of attempting to remain creative and productive in the midst of a global pandemic, are a potentially toxic combination.
Research from industry charity NABS revealed that 37% of employees are struggling with the new pressure of online presenteeism, with 35% citing long virtual video conferencing meetings as a stressor and 45% finding it difficult to set boundaries around working hours.
While research from LinkedIn in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation shows that on average Britons have been working 28 hours of overtime per month since lockdown began, the equivalent of four extra days.
While the campaign delivers light relief, it is also underpinned with an important message. The platform directs users to the Book of Man’s new ‘Life in Lockdown’ initiative, which is designed to help men and those around them navigate through the crisis. The site offers articles, advice and links to resources on how to safeguard mental health during the pandemic.
Mark Sandford, Co-Founder of The Book of Man, added that the ‘Sound the Excuse’ campaign underlines the fact that it’s OK not to be OK, and shares the important message that new ways of working are not always easy. He explains: “By addressing the issue of video call fatigue head on we hope this will shine a brighter light on the wider challenges of this new way of working.”
Light relief combined with laser-sharp insight and a long-term commitment by The Book of Man to support its community through the myriad challenges of lockdown. A welcome reminder that when it feels like you are just one more video call away from burnout, the best thing to do is get away from the screen. Creativity with a conscience.