We have talked a lot about work-life balance and its significance, more since the COVID-19 pandemic had hit us. But how many times could we achieve that balance and not merely stress ourselves over how to reach there?
The concept was pertinent to a pre-pandemic world where we were supposed to work during the day and were free for personal engagements after that. But with Work From Anywhere becoming the new norm, the lines got blurred.
The new-normal digital workspace has become a little more favorable for the employers than the employees. They expect the employees to take care of work, at any given time now. It has led to exhaustion, which in turn has given birth to burnout. Recent reports suggest that burnout is on a scary upsurge since the middle of last year.
Even though organizations are trying to achieve that perfect and unreal work-life balance, it’s not working. It’s about time we think of a more practical and considerate approach that will make sense today and even tomorrow.
When it comes to balancing two priorities, stress and apprehension are evident because personal and professional lives have forever been at odds with each other. Work-life is either perfectly balanced or no; there is no grey zone. Hence, organizations need to disrupt this concept and replace it with ‘Work-Life Negotiation’.
The only way we can deal with two clashing priorities is by negotiating. Work-life negotiation eliminates the constant need to balance. One day work is a priority, and on some other day, the personal life beyond work is.
Nowadays work seems to demand our me-times, and even the balance seems to get disturbed. In critical times like this, negotiation ensures that you will have a personal life, either tomorrow or the day after, if you chose the work-life today.
Industry leaders need to disrupt the concept of work-life balance so that negotiation can step in. There will be obstacles in the way but overcoming them will lead us to a whole new professional world of immense possibilities.
Employers should further focus on the output instead of the hours the remote employees put in. If the employees fail in backing the organizational goals, leaders should step in, take charge, not only as mere professionals but also as human beings, and help the employees get back on track. And for the office goers, employers should consider leveraging technology at its best so that the employees are not unnecessarily burdened.
The pandemic has given us a golden opportunity to create a new history. Let us not waste such a chance, bid adieu to the old-normal work-life balance, and empower ourselves to negotiate. Doing so will lead us to the most constructive professional (and personal, to some extent) experience ever.