The concept of work life balance is nothing new. By definition, work life balance is achieving harmony between the different aspects of your life (1). Pre Covid-19, the general consensus seemed to be that having greater flexibility in how and where we work, would mean that we could prioritise the personal parts of our life, thus achieving greater balance.
Fast forward 2 years, and the global pandemic has somewhat forced our hand as our new existence appears to be a little more inline with these ideals. Most of us have;
Finally, a positive in this Covid situation!
For me personally, there have been several positive effects to my family’s work life balance. My husband has spent quality time with both our children, which would have been significantly less in ‘normal’ times, and the division of household work has been far more equitable, meaning my career and business has been able to flourish alongside my husband’s.
More broadly speaking, employers can no longer protest the efficacy and productivity of flexible work practices. We have all been doing it for the past 18 months, and continue to do so.
However, with this cultural shift to work patterns, another new challenge has crept in.
Whilst society has arguably benefited from slowing down, the physical and mental division between work life and home life has slowly been softening. Sure, there has always been a blurred line, we all have laptops and mobiles and are contactable around the clock. But now that we all have some iteration of a home office (albeit from the dining room table for many), the temptation to work 24/7 seems even greater. Furthermore, working all hours and in the presence of our families has been normalised, which creates quite the slippery slope! Regardless of if you are an employee or a business owner, departing the office/co working space, or your family arriving home, would have punctuated your daily routine and helped your focus shift. But with everyone at home…it’s a bit of a self saucing pudding.
If we are not mindful of this new norm, we are likely to encounter;
None of this is healthy or sustainable. The lines have become blurred making it hard to define where work ends and home life begins.
Work life division was perhaps less of an issue 6 months ago when we were in the gritty depths of the pandemic. To be honest, it gave us all something to do. But as life slowly begins to resemble its former self, albeit it peppered with ongoing lockdowns, the broad adoption of new work from home practices means we need to try and reinstate boundaries.
Here are some tips you can try and implement to reinforce those boundaries.
For many of us, returning to the office as we once knew it, is a long way off. Be mindful of the shift in your combined home and work environment and protect your mental health.
If your workload is keeping you in your home office longer than you’d like and blurring the line between work and personal life, why not try outsourcing. You started a business to achieve the elusive work life balance, don’t let a lack of work life division undo your hard work.
Contact us today to see how we can add value to your business, and make your life easier today!