Importance of work life balance and how Covid-19 has shone a light on that over the last 2 years
The last 2 years have been a learning curve for many people and businesses. The way in which we approach our work life balance has become even more important and the need to be flexible has become imperative. The common phrase ‘working from home’ is something everyone has become familiar with and we’ve become capable of implementing it successfully into the working world. Covid-19 has highlighted the need for an improved work life balance, but what does work life balance mean to you?
For many, working from home can come at a cost of not understanding the boundaries between home and work. Just because you’re at home should you be at your desk after hours? And should it take up valuable personal space in your bedroom, kitchen or living room? The flip side is, less time commuting to and from the office means you can now put the washing on and complete daily home chores during working hours. Whichever way you look at it there are pros and cons, but striking a balance is what has really pushed forward a new working life for many. On average we spend 221 hours a year commuting to and from the office according to a TUC study, imagine what else you could do with this time… taking up new hobbies, home renovations, holidays and just a few of the endless options. However, maybe that commute helps you to separate work from home, clear your mind and organise your thoughts, something you are not willing to give up. How about a 4-day working week, as trailled by the Reykjavik City Council in Iceland, shown to be successful. The idea is to work shorter hours in a week but get paid the same amount – research showed productivity remain the same or increased. The concept installed more motivation as employers and employees got more time to do the things they enjoyed.
As we strike up a balance going forward, we want to provoke your thoughts into what would be your ideal work life balance. Is your company doing enough to ensure you are getting it? Is there something getting in the way of your company offering you more flexibility? Or is the Covid-19 pandemic just getting in the way of your normal working routine? It’s important to highlight the pain points for any company and make decisions not entirely based upon them, but in similar vein and to be aware of them. We open the discussion up to what works for you and your company. The past 2 years have highlighted the importance of getting this right, to ensure productivity doesn’t drop even at the hardest of times. Also, that people feel listened to and are more flexible with working hours and holidays.
Many of us are career driven and want to succeed in our industry through promotions, incentives and financial stability. But how many of us consider other possibilities when getting skilled in an industry, how much time do we leave for ourselves to develop our own interests, in their own personal time? The pandemic affected all of us in different ways, but more free time was mostly available to us all. This left time for self-reflection and goal setting, as we spent time on old or new hobbies and explored now possible ventures. As unemployment rose to 4.2% with people losing their jobs and in search of new or finding their first job post education, meant people explored their passions in life. Also, the lack of socialising people gave people the opportunity to look inwards and discover talents and something to occupy their time with. This chart highlights the impact Covid-19 guidelines had on us all between March 2020 – 2021. So, did you discover something during lockdown? DIY, working out, trains, painting, becoming an owner of a small business: whichever it was, it was important for personal growth and enabled you to have a more synced work life balance. A valuable take away from the past 2 years was growth can happen outside of work that will directly impact work in a positive way.
So how productive are we all since Covid-19 started compared to now? It is thought to have impacted us very little despite the economic downfall, jobs lost and new normality. Our bottom-line productivity didn’t alter, as we move forward and the economy recovers and job market opens again, is their even more opportunity out there for us? The world just looks like a very different place from what it used to be. PropCall is a shining example of this, founded in 2020 the need for out of hours call handling was apparent to allow businesses to switch off at the end of the working day. Some industries don’t stop at 5, the property industry being one of them. We’ve since grown and enabled businesses and real people to have their own time back. An opportunity to improve their work life balance, which we regard as being highly important. Our clients value us using real people based in the UK to answer their calls out of working hours, allowing them to spend time with family, friends and pets.
Has your work life balance improved recently and if not, how can you make it happen? For companies it might be an out of hours call handling service, for individuals it might be more time on recreational activities. Whichever it may be, the past 2 years have challenged the importance of creating space for yourself and the importance of achieving a good work life balance. However that may look for you.
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