How in the world do you achieve work-life balance when the world has changed due to the pandemic? Your assumptive world has been shattered and professional life has changed. For that matter, so has your personal life. For many, the workplace has moved to the kitchen table. For others, the hours spent in the actual workplace have increased, limiting time spent appreciating one’s nonwork life. Metaphorically, you need to navigate the new workplace landscape, without falling into the crevice caused by the pandemic. Your sands have shifted. Move cautiously to achieve work-life balance as you climb over the sand dune or drown in quicksand.
Some professionals know that they are drowning in quicksand when they experience stomach aches, headaches, eat too much, or abuse alcohol or drugs. How would you know if you are drowning in quicksand?
When Two Worlds Collide
Your world revolves around life at work. A workplace functions as roles and responsibilities spin into each other. Job content is where you have control over your job performance and autonomy, which helps you do your job well. On the other hand, job context is where the organization has the control, such as being responsible for working conditions and salary. Working arrangements are in place as well as employment relationships. The world also revolves around nonwork life, home, family, and friends. If you do not have work life balance, job performance will suffer. In the perfect world, you are engaged in work life and nonwork life with minimal conflict between your role at home and at work. However, this is often not the case. The stress of two worlds colliding can be overwhelming.
Work-life balance is:
- a concept that focuses on calculating time working with what you need to accomplish in your personal life, without sacrificing the quality of your job performance.
- achieved when organizations create flexible work arrangements for their employees.
- a personal preference that helps you make the balancing act of work and home life more manageable.
Remote Working and Flexible Working Schedule
Remote working is where the employee works at home or another place that is not considered the usual place to do one’s job. There has been an increase in remote working. For many, their job is no longer a traditional fixed place. This detaches many employees from an organizational workplace to a remote working environment, usually one’s home. This shift is linked to a commitment to one’s job, more job satisfaction, and job‐related well‐being. Work flexibility is a family-friendly policy that offers control over working time duration and location of work. It departs from the customary time and place of the job and is not about reducing working time. Work flexibility offers time variation to work, place to work, and job share.
If your organization offered work flexibility, how would you put it into practice?