The changing definition of work-life balance
The new age office
‘A room, set of rooms, or building used as a place for commercial, professional, or bureaucratic work.’ The definition of ‘office’ in the dictionary might not have kept up with the changing times, but organizations today are striving to make their workplace the ideal environment for employees to flourish. The archaic concepts of rooms, cabins, and hierarchies are now redundant. The modern offices now comprise of chatty colleagues, music, bean bags, exciting experiences, personal-interest groups, open spaces and cutting-edge technology that gets work done more efficiently and less stressfully. Modern workplaces are fluid, casual and where ‘work-life balance’ is championed. With a blended workforce in place, modern offices in the form of coworking spaces are more responsive to workers needs and not tied down to physical locations.
9-5 desk jobs have become redundant and been replaced by flexible work timings. With the increasing complexity of work, extensive travel requirements & hyper-connectivity facilitated by technology; the lines between work & life are blurring more than ever. Traditional workspaces are unequipped to cater to the work-life balance needs that restore sanity to the insanely hectic life of today’s workforce. Coworking or Flexible Workspaces are filling this need gap and providing the perfect milieu to today’s generation of workers to thrive at work as well as life outside of work and balance the two well.
Importance of work-life balance
In order to ‘get it all done’ at work and home, people are torn between juggling workload, managing relationships, family responsibilities and squeezing in their interests. This leaves them stressed with plummeting productivity.
Work-life balance is one of the most often used jargons in present times, however, it is not a new concept. It does not mean splitting one’s time into an equal number of hours for professional and personal life, which is unrealistic and far-fetched. It is about striking the right balance between work life and personal life. Personal time is often misunderstood by family time. While time with the family is essential, it is necessary to have some ‘me time’ as well. Spending time on hobbies & experiences, doing what one likes, and time used on self-care is also personal time. Several studies over the years have highlighted the need for a healthy work-life balance that includes time with family as well as the pursuit of personal interests. This aids in increasing productivity at the workplace and makes work more rewarding. In constant pursuit of striking the right balance, companies today are encouraging employees to take up activities like walking to work, working near home & introducing facilities like paid time off policies, gyms & creches at the workplace. Mobility and flexibility is being inculcated in every step of the way. The core idea is to satisfy the need for ‘Achievement’ and ‘Enjoyment’ as far as possible within the workplace itself.
Coworking spaces - The right solution
The rise in remote work and supporting the coworking industry is evolving the way people work and perceive work-life balance. Coworking has become the new phenomenon of urban life. Collaborative workspaces are tastefully designed to cater to the needs of employees that range from millennials to Gen Z. Graffiti walls, snooker tables, curated experiences, events, collaborative communities, meeting pods, health & fitness avenues, brightly lit cafeterias fostering conversations over coffee & food are hard to miss at coworking spaces. They are focussed on providing the members with a strong work-life balance and to feel at home even while at work. Moreover, coworking spaces have the potential to serve as platforms for collaboration across disciplines, sectors, and demographics. The flexibility and mobility available allow members to choose the ‘where’, ‘how’ and ‘when’ of work. They provide an atmosphere for hyper-focusing and maximizing time and effort. Apart from a wide range of activities to choose from, members can take advantage of social opportunities to de-stress and pursue personal interests.
With a large number of new age workforce preferring the revolutionary style of working and thousands of workspaces evolving to fit the needs, enterprises are putting a lot of thrust on offering the work-life balance at work itself. Coworking spaces are designed in a way to not only soothe the eyes but also ease the employee into a work setting that is comfortable yet motivating. If people are only viewing a coworking space as a space to work, then they’re missing a big part of its value.
A significant portion of today’s workforce prefers to work for an organization that offers the perfect mix of professional and personal life. And organizations, on the other hand, are determining the best way to appeal to them by compensating in terms of community initiatives and engagement activities. There’s a lot more to offer and it’s only growing as ‘work-life’ balance is not losing its buzz anytime soon.