‘Give me 5 minutes, I have to get groceries before it gets dark. Logging off for lunch, as you must help your spouse in preparing meals. Where are my headphones dad? My classes are starting in the next 2 minutes. Can you please mute yourself? I can hear a lot of background noise.
These are some of the instances that the world is dealing with in the new norm of working.
The on-going pandemic outbreak has changed every aspect of our life. Be it health, businesses, economies- everything has become volatile. The world is currently grappling with a health crisis which has led to organizations, businesses rethink their working models and how they operate. Due to this lockdown, employees have started working from home. In a way, we are all forced to now move or adopt this as it has become the new normal. Digitalization has become key in a very short span of time.
As the world is moving towards remote working which will be the new norm, the balance between work and life will also become the new trend. Balance is about combining the aspects of both life and work in a way that both are easy to maintain. It has, therefore, become imperative for companies to establish healthy protocols. Employees must establish protocols to create a perfect balance.
When I started working from home, I faced a few challenges in the initial days. It was hard for me to disengage with my work even post the working hours. The constant chatter of family distracted me every now and then due to which I wasn’t able to give my 100% at work. Since the lockdown has been extended- I made it a priority to convert one of our guest rooms into my office. I follow the schedule that I normally would before the pandemic. I freshen up, have breakfast, spend time with my kids, dress up formally and keep distance with my family during working hours. I started disengaging with work post the working hours. I started helping my kids with homework and my bond with them became stronger. My efficiency at work also increased as I gave my 100% attention to work during work time.
Giving time to family is crucial. Relationships with family, friends, and loved ones are the greatest source of inner satisfaction. If the career is damaging personal relationships, both areas will ultimately suffer. Making personal relationships a priority will in turn increase effectiveness on the job.
I remember- a very hard-working colleague of mine spent most of his time working towards his professional goals. He was quite thrilled to work from home as he would get enough family time and be more involved with his children. While working from home, he realised that he clocked more than 12 hours every day. He found it difficult to disengage with work even after working hours. Being at home and not giving enough time to family led to some troubling times. It was becoming more difficult to focus on work due to on-going stress at home. His productivity declined significantly which troubled him further. He decided to speak with his manager regarding the issue. His manager advised him to take a few days’ leave and be with family. One he re-joined, the manager helped him prioritize his work and he started wrapping his work on time and could spend enough time with his family. His efficiency and productivity started getting on track again. He started planning his schedule and gave equal importance to work and family due to which he became a valuable asset to the company again.
The process of achieving the work-life balance may look overwhelming. However, if people manage their time efficiently, they will have a positive and drastic impact on their lives. During such unprecedented time, it becomes all the more crucial to manage time better and talk about challenges and roadblocks with people they trust. By spending time with family, finding new hobbies or even registering for online certification courses will help them in bouncing back stronger with a clear view on managing work-life balance.