As an employee, we always want a good job, and then hopefully, a balanced personal-professional life. With COVID giving us work from home, we got to stay in touch with our families a little more, but the continuous extension of it has caused a bit of imbalance, which can be seen as extra consumption and/ intrusion in our personal space, resulting in the absolute killing of the required balance. The reasons could be intentional or unintentional. Many of us now really believe that how much ever convenience there is being at home, physical presence makes it easier to communicate and execute.
COVID may have taught us a lot of things, but achieving balance in work-life seems far from reach, given the misuse of the comfort we did from the employee as well as the employer’s end. The situation is definitely an odd one but we can’t let that make it so much to our head after all happy employee does not work all day and give good results but gives good results in the given or less time.
Mental health was so much important while we were physically doing the work, why are we not considering the same when we are at work from home, and when we are devoting more time than ever. Let us look at the reasons for what went wrong that killed WORK-LIFE BALANCE during COVID times.
We have the necessary resources to communicate, in fact, so much advanced than ever. Yet, miscommunication in meetings and discussions are more. And with the absence of proximity, remediation of errors becomes tedious and the whole process of rework extends. Isn’t it?
A bigger problem would be in the case of new hires. For both the manager or the employee, effort becomes double and triple- taking out time for training, balancing it with the ongoing work and handholding of the new ones. The result could also go as far as knowledge gap- the rate of transfer of knowledge to the junior reduces and hence the junior might not be able to learn at the required normal pace.
Multitasking is not everyone’s best skill. And while we are at the convenience of our homes, we try to do both the same time- taking out some time for chores as well as the work tasks. When we fail at one, the other suffers, and when we try to stretch for long hours and hence the imbalance.
A sad yet true effect of all this is the undue advantage everyone has got for calling anyone at any time. And it grew because of everyone. When one procrastinates, other assumes late working, and when we are all at just one ping away, it does not really matter. This can be easily called the complaint of the year and has caused a major imbalance in our schedule.
At home, mostly we don’t have a restriction to be on time of logging and also for logging out. This itself has many consequences: We ourselves become lethargic and the habit of not being in time prevails, which further leads to procrastination of tasks; Procrastination automatically allows us to work till late and we end up affecting our physical and mental health; The time table has disrupted, we can stretch at our own will, breaks are at a step away; Our work style has been affected- the absence of a schedule, the absence of formalities in proximity such as being dressed up, or the untimely breaks.
The solution still lies in our hands, productivity of us lies in our hands, even now. To put it simply, the work is ours, the life is ours, hence the balance too.
We might be blaming a lot of things including ourselves for the work-life balance situation during COVID, but if we could manage it within the office premises, we can surely do it now. Making effective use of technology, time, and our tactics with people and life, we definitely can.
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