For better or worse, society has cast men in the protector’s role for many years. The social contract dictates that men should be strong, brave, and look out for their families. You could argue this is true for women as well, with gender norms gradually changing.
Concerning men, though, most feel that they’re not living up to their responsibilities if they can’t bring in money. They want to provide for their kids and their partner or spouse. That’s part of what has made the pandemic so difficult: the widespread layoffs and inability to do that.
Some men are trying to return to work now, even though medical professionals have not eradicated Covid-19. If you’re one of them, consider these five factors.
If You Can Continue Working from Home, Do So
Many believe returning to work should be optional right now. That is to say, if you’re employed, but you used to work in an office, and now you work from home, you want to keep doing that. That’s because:
- If you return to work in an office, you have a higher chance of catching the coronavirus
- Working from home is so convenient
Many men who never worked from home before are finding that they enjoy it. You do not have to get up quite so early, and you don’t have to deal with traffic during the daily commute.
If your bosses are giving you the option to return to the office, but you can continue working from home if you wish to, you should seriously consider the second option. There is no point in undue risk if you can do the same job without possible exposure.
If You Do Return to Work, Take the Proper Precautions
If you do decide that you’re going to go back into the office now, only do so if you know your company protects you. That means:
- Allowing you to wear a mask
- Socially distancing from your coworkers
- Washing your hands and using hand sanitizer
If your bosses don't allow you to do these things for some reason, you need to talk to them about it. This pandemic is not something to take lightly. Those who have had Covid-19 report lasting effects, and you need to stress to your employer how vital safety is.
If Your Boss Won’t Listen, Look for Another Job
Some employers aren’t being reasonable about safety measures. That might be because of their political beliefs, or they might not think that Covid-19 is all that serious.
If that sounds like your boss, then you should think about looking for another job. That’s tough right now, with so many people out of work, but you don’t want to catch the coronavirus and risk infecting your family because of your employer’s stubbornness.
Don’t quit your job outright, but look for another one as you continue to work there. Hopefully, you can find something else and transition to the new position relatively smoothly.
If You’re Out of Work, Don’t Let That Define You
Some men fixate on making money for their families, and if they’re temporarily out of work, they become depressed. It’s easy to get that way. You want your children to be proud of you and your spouse or partner as well.
If you lost your position because of the pandemic, though, that’s not your fault. It’s the very definition of something that you can’t control.
You should look for work steadily, and while you do, try to let your family comfort you. They can boost you up during this time if you feel hopeless or sad.
If you keep at it, then you should find something eventually. The alternative is giving up, and that is not something you ever want to do, both for yourself and your family, who depends on you.
Take This Time to Examine Your Work Life
If you’re returning to work, and you’ve been working remotely for a while, then you might be glad to be back. You may have missed your coworkers, and you’ll be happy to see them again.
At the same time, maybe you find that you’re going back reluctantly. This time out of the office might show you that you don’t actually like your job very much. If so, then you may be ready to change careers. Life is too short to keep working at a job you hate.
If you do return to work, be careful, and take all precautions the CDC recommends.