Getting our work - life balance back after Covid-19


2nd Dec 2021 Life

Getting our work - life balance back after Covid-19
With remote work now an acceptable norm for most people, how are we all managing this global shift in life balance?
Getting your work - life balance correct is important. That can be no denying this. Scientists and psychologists were raving about this very fact, not two or three years ago. Back in the days before COVID-19.
When the global pandemic hit us, it changed the way the working world operated. Office life was unofficially over. Many of us assumed that we would return to this norm after the end of the virus. The longer things go on for, the longer it looks like there will be no end to the virus.
Although businesses have returned to normal across many areas of the developed world, there are those offices who decided that remote work was the future. How do you manage your work life balance when you are permanently working from home? Let's investigate.

Establishing the importance of a healthy work and life balance

Work life balance, sometimes abbreviated to WLB, has been an accepted part of building a successful career since the early 2000s. Scientific papers released in 2010 regarding understanding the need for a work life balance, begged that the inquirer established what work life imbalance was. It was only through seeing how imbalanced negatively impacted employees lives that you could understand the need for a balanced role.
When we are out of balance, it usually means we are bringing our work home with us. We are not logging out after hours. We go home and be still think about work. This lowers our productivity as employees and seriously harms our relationships in the home. As we know the best things in life are not things that are paid for, and no amount of work can fix damage done to mental health.

Achieving work life balance in a post pandemic environment

Now that we have established what it is and why we need it, let's examine some of the ways that we can hold on to it, even if we have to work from home.
According to mental health professionals[1], this is what a good work life balance means:
  • You have enough time to socialise with friends.
  • You have enough time to engage in hobbies.
  • You spend time with your children or with your spouse.
  • You enjoy your weekend off.
  • You do not worry about work while you're at home.
  • You get enough sleep, and you eat correctly.
To achieve work life balance, we must make sure that we are eating correctly, sleeping the required number of hours and that we are taking the time off that we need to recharge.
To make these changes within your own life, you must go to your employer and set clear boundaries. They can order you around while you are at work, but outside of working hours you turn everything off, logout of all digital accounts and you are no longer available.
First, this will feel like you're doing something wrong, but this is the way capitalism conditions us. We want to make more and do more so that we can better support the people we love. However, If you are missing out on time with the people you love because of how hard you're working, this becomes pointless. Fixing your work life balance means making it mean something again.
Banner credit: Office worker (jacoblund)
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