A YouGov survey published in September 2020 about WFH for British workers shows that many will be reluctant to give it up once the pandemic is over.
Before the pandemic 68% of British employees had never worked from home. The survey concludes that once the crisis is over, 57% of those who were working before the outbreak, and who intend to stay part of the workforce, say they want to be able to continue working from home.
But as we have already discussed, some people found that although they could adopt a flexible approach to WFH and incorporate an element of family life, they were always available to their office and found it difficult to separate work and home life. This situation has to be carefully managed and needs a clear understanding of what is expected of each person. For example, if your manager sends you a text or email outside office hours, are you expected to respond immediately?
Let’s take a look at how you can achieve work-life balance and how it can benefit your career.
Achieving a good work-life balance can improve productivity and employee retention. Happy employees perform work at a higher level, producing better results for the company. You might consider opening up a dialogue with your staff about the ways you can support their work-life balance. This will probably be different for each of them as their circumstances vary
Tips to balance work and home
1. If you are WFH it can be difficult to physically and mentally separate the two, which makes it hard to leave the office behind after a full work day. Work and Home can merge into one if you are not careful. Try to keep to a routine, and have a separate workspace if possible so you can physically clear work away. Set boundaries with your manager, colleagues or clients. The more you respond to calls, emails or texts after hours, the more they’ll come to assume it is OK with you.
2.Use Time Management techniques to prioritize your activities, and identify urgent and important tasks. Plan your work into projects to complete during the day, week or month. Revise your schedule if events don’t go to plan.
3.Learn to delegate, identify any areas where restructuring workloads makes sense.
4. Communicate with your manager about your workload and let them know you are trying to achieve a work-life balance. They are responsible for making sure you are achieving goals for the company and your own career. If you feel stressed or overworked, they will not be aware unless you discuss it with them. Be careful to keep this professional and offer possible solutions such as hiring more staff, delegating, or redistributing workloads.
5. Use stress management techniques such as regular exercise, meditation or a deep-breathing routine. Make time for your own personal interests or hobbies.
How you keep a work-life balance depends on your own priorities and responsibilities. Setting boundaries and leaving work at the office is most effective and can help you maintain motivation at work. In the long term, paying attention to your work-life balance can help you be more successful in your career.