Have we lost the work-life balance?
Work-life balance. We talk about it all the time. It’s so important to make sure you have a balance between your work and home life – we’re big advocates of it here. But how good are we all at keeping the balance and should it even still be a ‘thing’?
There are many factors to be considered when addressing the work-life balance argument – for me, they all centre around technology. Technology has allowed us to change the once rigid working environment – with a set place of work and working hours – to be much more fluid and relaxed. Which, although positive in many ways, doesn’t help to keep the structure in place between your work life and your social life.
Remote working allows us to work from anywhere, not just in the office. At home, on a train, in another office, even abroad. All you need is your laptop and phone and Wi-Fi connection and you’re away.
Flexitime gives employees the freedom to choose their hours to fit around their other commitments outside of work and can sometimes mean starting late but finishing late or, starting early to get an early finish.
Mobile phones and laptops are great because you can take them easily wherever you go, to work remotely. But this often comes with its own problems – if you use the same laptop or phone for both personal use and for work, it can be difficult to switch off. Many phones have emails and Slack and other forms of communication for work connected to them, which allows totally switching off from work almost impossible! Then, of course, there is the work WhatsApp groups, which can go off at any time, day or night.
All these technological factors blur the lines between your work life and your home life. But is it necessarily a bad thing? In my opinion, the freedom and flexibility businesses and employees now have, to work where and when they want, is brilliant. And, although the factors blur the lines so work can creep into your home life, it also means your home life can merge into work life too – you are able to juggle other responsibilities around work, rather than following a strict 9-5 Monday – Friday in the office. Having said that, it is still important to make sure you keep a balance and sometimes – press the off button!
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