Work-life Balance in the New Normal 0

Between the Covid-19, disrupted routines, and other challenges, employees find themselves struggling to maintain a work-life balance in their remote workdays. As work-life balance remains to be an important aspect of a good work environment-even if that environment is remote, it is interesting to note how HR can prioritize it when things feel out of balance.

The unanticipated shift to work from home during COVID-19 is taking a toll on employee’s mental health with many unable to find breathing space, even in the comfort of their own homes. The COVID-19 situation has precipitated stressors in the professional life, personal finances, and family life of most of the employees. Being an HR professional, we need to ensure employee wellbeing, because good physical and mental health can only bring happiness and job satisfaction. Work-life balance is important aspect in maintaining rhythm between personal life and professional life. Remote working or work from home has become our part of daily routine life which is now not limited to office only but family too, because now your office is at your home. So here we will discuss ways to find that healthy environment so employees can stay motivated to produce the best of them.

Making Proper Task Planner

Normally, working from home can sometimes make most of us feel like we should be working all the time. Practically, it is not a good indication as extended working hours will impact the productivity of individuals, as employees will not be able to focus on tasks to be completed on a given deadline. Here, HR should identify those employees who are working continuously for stretched hours. We need to find the reason for such occurrences and should try to resolve the problem. For consistent productive performance, it is very important that employees should be disciplined and organized in life. Unorganized employees will not be able to fulfill their responsibilities either it is related to professional life or personal life. This kind of practice does not go a long way and at the end of the day, employees feel suffocated being surrounded by workload all the time. In this scenario, HR Should discuss their daily routine schedule and their professional challenges and help them to prepare a proper schedule. By having and following a proper schedule, employees can focus on tasks and feel more accomplished by the end of the day. Interaction of HR on this point with employees will flourish a cordial relation between employer and employee.

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Do Something Creative during Meal Break

During meal break or tea break, employees can play music of their taste, go for a stroll, turn on the tv to watch news updates or spend some time with their family or friends over call, etc. Employees should use this time to recharge for the next half of the day. HR can conduct town hall meetings in which the need for this activity can be explained to all of them.

Do Yoga, Aerobics, or Meditation

Even though lockdown has been lifted yet most people are apprehensive about going outside and working out. However, to stay fit, employees can do yoga, aerobics, meditation or any other physical activity without having to go outside of their homes. Some organisations are conducting virtual yoga and aerobic sessions to promote health awareness among employees. Such sessions bring everyone under one roof where people can also exchange their views and share their experiences with everyone about changes they are undergoing and how they are feeling.

Work-life balance is important aspect in maintaining rhythm between personal life and professional life. Remote working or work from home has become our part of daily routine life which is now not limited to office only but family too, because now your office is at your home.

Social Well-Being Post Working Hours

Like work planner we make for daily activities, employees should have a planner for their personal affairs. Leaders need to make them understand that every employee is not good at managing their activities. HR can counsel them regarding this and try to make them understand that this change is new to everyone and they have to make adjustments accordingly since nobody knows for how long this crisis will continue. Since it is a new environment for all, productivity and performance assessment can be compromised for a little while but it will not work in the longer run. Employees should also be given proper counseling to manage their day to day activities so that in their post-working hours they can develop new hobbies or can focus on any new interests. They can sit with their family to watch movies together, video call their relatives and friends, spend some time with pets, play with kids, etc. They can help their family members in doing household chores as well. By doing this, employees will feel connected to their family and friends and will not feel separated from routine life. This kind of environment will require a new role of HR which can be addressed as “HR Wellbeing” – the scope and role of HR to evaluate employees’ behavioral approach in a certain duration of time. We must give proper attention to this requirement else retention of employees will be a new challenge.

Also Read:  How to Mould Existing Policies for the In-office Teams Working Remotely

Maximize Productivity Tools to Stay Connected

We all know that technology makes it possible for us to do a lot of things that were impossible before. We can train our employees to use productivity tools which will help them to connect with their peers and can track each other’s tasks. This will help them to save energy and time to complete their tasks on time. HR can arrange training sessions for those employees who are required to work in a group or a team. Such an environment will avoid conflicts and issues at any stage between teams or individuals due to the clarity of tasks on any certain day.

Work from home culture will be an organisation-wide concern and HR leaders will need to commence a two-way communication without supposition. In this new environment of working, reliance and compassion will be key factors, especially when employees are working remotely. This new normal will be successful when team leader designs some mindset shifts wherein video conferencing will no longer be the criteria for performance assessment of individuals and when micro-management will be kept aside.

HR needs to arrange training for those employees who are facing challenges in their working domain so that they can overcome their weak areas to perform well and could focus on their physical and emotional well-being. During this pandemic situation, we all have to be patient and compassionate with each other as it is new normal for everyone. We need to identify pain points to resolve the issues, and that time is not so far where working from home will be a normal activity just like working from the office. It is simply all about balancing between personal life and professional life.

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Ankur is the Senior Manager-HRBP at Unicode Systems Private Limited. He is a seasoned human resource professional with over 15 years of work experience in various facets of HR. He is a post-graduate in International Business from Pondicherry University. His specialties include- Compensation & Rewards, HR Analytics, Talent Development, Talent Acquisition, HR Policies design, Change Management, Manpower Planning & Statutory. Previously, he has worked with organisations like Sahara India, Sigma Trade Wings and Energy & Fire Tech India Private Limited As per him, employee happiness can make any milestone achievable.

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