‘Maybe I should just stop and enjoy my life’: how the pandemic is making us rethink work

Covid has upended lives. For some it has meant adjusting work-life balance, for others re-evaluating the working grind itself

When the pandemic struck Australia in March 2020, academics began losing their jobs in droves. Within a year, 20% of people employed in tertiary education had lost their jobs. And every day for 18 months, union organiser Frank Gafa would take their calls.

“I was day in, day out sitting in my house talking to people on the phone who were losing their jobs,” the Wailwan and Wiradjuri man says. “It was pretty intense and I didn’t really acknowledge it … that’s actually pretty traumatic to sit and listen to people’s trauma.”

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