Work life balance has gained a new definition in today’s world due to the new upcoming changes in society and the industry. In the previous time period the boundaries between work and home were pretty much clear. But in the present, the scenario is much more different. Today work invades a person’s personal time and sometimes the things happening in personal life invade concentration at work place which has led to an increase of stress and anxiety related issues among the employees. Humans, being social animals, seek inclusion in the society which makes them feel that they are part of a society and a circle gives them a sense of security and belongingness.
In the present times, the concept of work life balance has started to gain importance especially after the post-COVID scenario. Now the company’s have started to shift their focus from the number of working hours and time taken by the employees to finish the assigned task, to the quality of work and the mental health of their employees. The industries are now focusing on the increase in productivity, efficiency of the workforce which directly helps in increasing the profit for the company and a better relationship between the management and employees.
Concept of Work life balance
Work-life balance refers to maintaining equilibrium between one’s social life, work, career development and personal time. The term basically states to look at work as employees' dedication to productivity for a particular task and outside that to focus on hobbies, sports, interest, family and friends. The goal is not to take a lot of time out of employees' social time nor compromise on the quality of work. Today industries are mainly focusing on increasing the productivity of their employees and reducing mental stress and anxiety. Additionally, industries are now promoting healthy competitions among the employees themselves so that the employees can focus on themselves too and add zeal to the company by putting their best foot forward.
Poor Work and Life Management
COVID has also been a reason for many emotional conflicts, distresses and divorces. Many of the families weren’t used to spending so much time with each other which led to internal conflict. Due to a lot of free time many of them didn’t have a lot of friends to catch up with and spend time with, which led to emotional distress and depression. Because for most of their lives they spent their major share of time working which made them lose contact with their friends and dear ones. The sole and main reason behind this was poor work –life balance.
It mainly resulted into these notable outcomes:
Fatigue - Due to poor work life management a person has to juggle a lot on his plate which can lead to fatigue and tiredness that affects the work quality. Person might not think clearly while working which reduces productivity on the individual and industrial level. Consequently, this could take a toll on one’s reputation or could end up into monumental mistakes which may lead to a situation that can get out of control.
Poor health - A lot of workload and pent up emotions can adversely affect a person’s physical health. E.g. it can cause high blood pressure and diabetes as the common ones to occur due to poor food habits.
Stress and Anxiety issues - Due to pent up emotions that find no release, a person might develop mental health issues like stress and anxiety which can even lead to depression , frustration , exhaustion , lack of interest , motivation and morale to work.
Lost time with loved ones and friends - If a person doesn’t draw a proper line between work life and personal or social life one might miss a lot of important events and milestones happening in their closed one’s life. Which can lead to losing the feeling of inclusion and security. Which may lead to insecurity because after a while it becomes too difficult to catch up with all the lost time and all the emotions are piled up which can harm relationships with the other.
It is really important to have an appropriate proportion of work and life. Any of them less or more can lead to slacking and not taking job seriously or it can lead to the vicious cycle of pent up emotions –frustration-exhaustion- anxiety- stress- health issues-depression. And the cycle goes on which feels like a hamster running on the wheel.
Gain a better work-life balance:
It is always going to be challenging to manage work life balance. But by setting some limits it can result in individual growth which in the long run will help in achieving industrial growth and development.
Setting limits - If a person doesn't know where he/she has to set limits it can leave them with a lot of work load and no time for relationships and themselves.
Manage your time - Make a proper schedule and try to manage things accordingly. Try to manage things that are already on your plate before taking new tasks. Don't overschedule yourself.
Prioritize - Decide your priorities! Know what is beneficial for you and arrange your schedule accordingly. Cut or delegate the activities that don't interest you or if you can't handle it.
Learn to say 'NO' - It is important to know when to say 'NO' to something even if it is in a workstation or generally. There is no gain in taking anything more than what you already have on your plate and in pleasing people.
Be Prepared - Try to do things in advance before the due date by proper time management and teamwork. It can reduce the last moment anxiety and stress.
Post-COVID has left researchers with a question mark of increasing turnover ratio! A few also called this the ‘Resignation Period’. Because of COVID-19 people were accustomed to work from home. Which in a way proved to be a good thing for a lot of them. Many people covered up their lost time with their loved ones, learned new skills and got interested in establishing their own start-ups.
Steps taken by industries:
The industries have adopted the ideology of work life balance. Because of which they have proposed many new schemes;
Google has started its 70%-20%-10% scheme- In which the employees have to dedicate 70% of their time towards the task assigned to them by the company in their given department. The other 20% of the employees have to go and work in other departments and explore their abilities. And the last 10% is the heart of this whole scheme in which the employee can do anything they want like they can practice their hobbies, learn new skills or they can just rest or enjoy their me time.
After the many COVID waves followed by the major lockdown, many industries launched a scheme where the employees can work from home. Where the employees just need to come to the office once or twice a week in the office.
The companies sponsored vacations trips for their employees with family every year to increase and maintain their morale and reduce stress and anxiety as a part of their incentive scheme that could get them closer to their family by means of working hard for a reward.
By providing flexible working hours instead of the old school concept of working 9-5. Industries today focus on the quality of work done rather than the time spent in the office.
The company even focuses on providing time to time monetary and non –monetary incentives as per their needs.
Comfortable work environment - before COVID struck, people used to spend their major time in office. So industries provided a comfortable environment to work and promoted healthy competition to keep employees on toes and avoid them slack while working.
The industries are now a lot more familiar with the concept and understand the importance of work and having a proper “me time” and social life in their employees life. Which has proven to increase productivity at work and on personal fronts, which in the long run is beneficial for the company and individual himself.
Hope you found this article helpful. If you or your organization is interested to learn more about such attributes and behavioral skills at the workplace, feel free to get in touch with us at RGB Training Services!