Covid-19 has opened a new portal to the way in which employees balance work and personal life. From being able to clock out at exactly 5pm to now checking emails at odd hours because employees work from home, the idea of a work-life balance might seem unachievable.
Working from home has been deemed as the convenient and perfect opportunity for many but it does not come without its challenges. There are those that deal with this well from making sure that all work is done within a specific time frame to setting deadlines for each task, they seem to have a grip on attaining balance.
However, there are challenges for those who feel they need to constantly be around the clock checking emails and being on standby in the event of an emergency. This work culture is difficult to move away from. The anxiety that something might go wrong if you are not watching can be the reason why you are unable to find a balance between work and life.
You might think I’ll check emails when before my morning exercise routine at 5am and think this would show my boss I am dedicated and starting off early. But perhaps this is not getting the response you want.
Employers don’t need you to be working around the clock. They understand you have families and responsibilities. So, what can you do to try and achieve balance:
- Start by separating your work and personal life at home. When you are working find a secluded room or corner and perform your tasks. Make it known to all family members in the home that you are locked in and working.
- Your time management skills must be exercised. If your work day starts at 9 then that means that you prepare yourself as you would for a day at the office. Once you wake up take a shower and have breakfast. Then go to your desk and start the tasks for the day. Take those tea breaks and your lunch break. This is an excellent way to maintain the work life balance. You will continue your work life without having to infringe in your personal life.
- It might seem like you need to check your emails before bed. But perhaps you should skip this routine. If it is not urgent and you have not received a follow up text with regards to its importance, then perhaps you should skip checking your email during family time.
- The reality is that work anxiety can cause pressure to your mental health. You might feel overwhelmed and battle to deal with this anxiety of needing to make sure you haven’t left any emails unread. Stop. You need to focus on your mental health. If the pressure of working from home and having to balance both personal and work life is getting to you then you must seek help.
- The inability to manage work and personal life can lead to a burnout. This will then cause friction with the family members at home and also result in unnecessary conflict. The best way to avoid this is to maintain a work and personal life balance. Prioritise your tasks by the most important first and then go down the list. This enables you to deal with the most urgent tasks first and then address the other issues that were not as urgent.
Striking a work-life balance is possible even when working from home. Communication and planning are your best friends when planning your work day ahead.
Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute, a South African TVET College. He is the author of Racism, Classism, Sexism, And The Other ISMs That Divide Us, AND My Leadership Legacy Journal available from the ICHAF Training Institute.
The ICHAF Training Institute offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan specialises in conflict and diversity management, and regularly conducts seminars on these issues for corporates. To book a seminar with Devan or for other training courses, please use the contact details below.
Tel: 011 262 2461 | 083 303 9159 |