April begins with a day that celebrates falsehoods - April Fools’ Day, and ends celebrating and acknowledging the importance of honesty.
Honesty is not only about telling the truth. It is also about being truthful with yourself and others about who you are, what you want and what you need to live your most authentic life.
For business owners, large and small, it’s about being honest in both our personal and professional lives to promote openness therefore empowering us to develop consistency in how we present facts.
How honest are we being with ourselves about living and working in lockdown?
During lockdown, how many times have you been asked the question, ‘how are you doing?’ And how many of us are being honest about how we feel?
Often we put on a brave face and lie. We turn to the British ‘stiff upper lip’ answer, saying that we’re ok or we’re just fine.
A study showed that, unsurprisingly, lying to other people can in fact have harmful effects on personal relationships, and being dishonest to ourselves may also have a negative impact on our well being.
People often find it hard to view themselves honestly and to willingly acknowledge their flaws and shortcomings. However, the ability to do this can lead to an increased sense of authenticity, happiness and life satisfaction. In business, it can promote and cement a reputation based upon integrity, ethics and value.
How does being honest compare to being dishonest impact on our mental health?
Telling even little white lies can affect how you feel and can incrementally lead towards unwanted stress. It is no different in business. Telling lies, or denying truth, can infect a whole team.
- Honesty is essential for teamwork and trust
- Truth always finds a way out, so own up, it’s easier in the long run.
- Sometimes not telling the truth leads to people creating their own perceptions of you, which may of course be completely wrong.
- Men in particularly are often unable to be honest about themselves, and find it hard to express their feelings, which can create mental issues.
- It’s far easier to say ‘yes I’m fine’, when you’re not. It is often seen as a weakness to admit to having problems. Again, this can cause unwanted stress.
- Talking with honesty about mental health problems in the same way you would about physical health problems should be supported by employers – with honesty and consistency.
How are Purple Lime staff managing life and working from home?
We asked the team members to give us, with complete honesty, their pros and cons about living and working from home during lockdown. Here are their thoughts:
*Angela, who is a co-founder of Purple Lime, is busy running the business, living at home with her husband. She is also supporting her family members’ needs remotely.
Pro: She has been sewing scrubs for front-line care staff and loving cycling on roads without fear of being knocked off her bike!
Con: The news on how many people are dying, not being able to see family and friends and not being able to see her hairdresser!
*Peter, our client director, lives with two secondary school-age daughters, a wife and a puppy.
Pro: Seeing his family for more than the hour before school/work and the couple or hours after school/work, compared to pre-Covid19.
Con: Missing the camaraderie and humour of the office environment.
*Hayley, our management accountant, who lives with a self-employed partner and one year old.
Pro: Actually managing to save money.
Con: Hates trying to juggle work and a child.
*Tom, an assistant management account, who lives with a working from home partner, and he is also studying.
Pro: Refreshing to get over an hour longer in bed.
Con: As his work space is the dining room table, he hates having to eat where he works, and has no escape.
*Charlotte, an assistant management accountant, who lives with a dog, and a partner who still goes out to work.
Pro: Enjoying the slower pace of life.
Con: Initially she found working and living in the same house hard, and hadn’t expected it to be so difficult to adjust. She also found remembering to stay two metres apart from everyone at the shop and using a one-way system difficult. Normally she has no method whatsoever, so found it much harder than expected.
*Edd, a management accountant, lives with his dog.
Pro: Having no alarm clock and waking up when he wakes up!
Con: Not being able to go outside apart from the daily exercise. He wants to go kayaking or hiking and make the most of the good weather.
*Julia, who lives with a husband who is in a highly pressured role; two children under eight who are home-schooled.
Pro: Video calling with friends and family a lot more than before.
Con: Locking herself away during her working hours.
*Angela, a Management Accountant , is working from home with her son who is at university plus another son and daughter both at secondary school.
Pro: The quiet, the community feeling, the four of us being around and having fun together (especially table tennis!)
Con: Missing interaction with friends & colleagues and especially missing spending time with my Mum and Dad.
We are all living very different lives for the moment and are having to deal with quite dramatic changes.
Take a look at your situation and think how you honestly feel about those changes rather than push them aside.
You may find that like the Purple Lime team, your pros are linked to being able to slow down and spending more time with the people in your household or pets you care for.
If you are a business owner why not ask your team to take part in a survey similar to this one – you might be surprised at what you find. Then take action to show your team that you care.