The current pandemic led to almost all organisations adopting work from home or WFH overnight. The overnight adoption of this model left no doubt in one’s mind about the workability or suitability of this model. Now that this essential question has been answered, the next set of questions involve creating a work life balance, while working from home.
WFH did bring along with it, its own set of problems. Right from infra challenges to connectivity issues to the various uncertainties wrt job roles and security. For many this was the first time they were working out of homes. Adapting to new way of working, the social isolation, fear of being left out of the corporate loop were some of the issues that were brought to the fore. Contrary to our belief, technology can only do so much in helping us connect with each other. It doesn’t help understand the vibe or the intention of people that we’re interacting with. Consequently, the lockdown proved to be a tremendous reminder of the importance of human interaction. Something as simple as eye contact, a burst of shared laughter, a spontaneous idea towards the end of a heart to heart chat – all went amiss, almost instantaneously.
On the brighter side, the lockdown allowed us an opportunity to reset our work life balance. Time that was spent commuting to and fro, translated into that many minutes spent with near and dear ones, pursuing personal interests or simply taking some time out for oneself. That being said, we’re all still learning to walk the tightrope of work-life balance. While it may be a little tricky, a few self-imposed rules can help us achieve the discipline required to make WFH a success at the same time reclaim our work life balance.
To this end, first and foremost, have a designated workplace. It is easier said than done, but regardless of space constraints at home, we could all try earmarking a space for work – creating a desk-like setting and work from there. In non-working hours, simply avoid sitting in that space, to create a mental note that we are now home with our loved ones.
Creating a routine, prioritizing tasks for the day, can also prove to be instrumental. While it may not be possible at all times, the more we stick to the set priorities, the better. With smart phones so handy, most of us find it difficult to stop checking and replying to emails. An evening ritual helps create a distinction between office hours and personal time. For instance, scheduling an online yoga class, or the dinner prep time, can make the transition easier. Lastly, get some me-time. Take a step back and contemplate on the steps that can truly help make a difference, and start from there. For what it’s worth, slowly but steadily, the blurred work-life balance will become clearer, bringing in the much-needed element of balance in one’s life.