5 Tips for Work/Life Balance during the Next Months
Although you attained a decent routine and balance with Covid-19, you’ll benefit from tips to deal with new challenges to work/life balance in the coming months.
Work/Life Routines During Covid-19 and Upcoming Months
Are you returning to full-time, on-site work? How well will you and your family handle the possible transition from remote to hybrid or on-site work? Two months ago, you thought you’d return to one routine. Given the uncertainties of the Delta variant, how might your job or family circumstances change?
Before Covid-19, “only one-in-five say they worked from home all or most of the time, whereas during the pandemic 71% of employed adults were working from home (https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/12/09/how-the-coronavirus-outbreak-has-and-hasnt-changed-the-way-americans-work/.) Many professionals loved the flexibility of working at home and aren’t looking forward to returning to an office. Other staff, however, missed the structure and camaraderie of on-site work.
Regardless of how they like remote work, staff and independent professionals are moving from working remotely to some type of hybrid or on-site work setting. For example, one survey by staffing firm LaSalle Network found that 70% of 350 business leaders plan to have employees back in the office in some capacity by the fall of this year.
At the same time, due to the Delta variant, companies like Twitter, Faebook, an Google are postponing return-to-work plans (https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/29/how-major-tech-companies-are-responding-to-rising-delta-variant-cases.html.)
Will offie work transitions leave business leaders less time and energy to care for family and friends, let alone themselves? How much extra effort will be necessary to deal with safety precautions such as mask-wearing, social distancing, or health screening? Will there be changes in office redesigns, policies, benefits packages, or communication practices? In addition to these uncetainities, the finacial barriers due to child care costs loom over many families.
Work/LifeBalance: Remote, Hybrid, or On-site
Regardless of the work location, the same kinds of problems that impair an organzation’s productivity plague individuals who seek to ensure their productivity while having a well-balanced work/life.
Common problems when working remotely or hybrid include:
- Lack of focus on the long-term, big picture when faced with meeting day-today demands.
- Lack of alignment between various values, goals, actions, outcomes, and consequences.
- Lack of helpful feedback to mange the team or one’s behavior.
- Lack of self-managatement strategies to avoid pitfalls, minimize inevitable problems and conflicts, and enhance performace and productivity.
During the transitions from home to office, leaders, staff, and independent professionals need to self-motivate and review their completion of significant professional and self-care tasks. You can’t contro Covid-19 or any variant, but you can feel greater control and satisfation when you make a plan and see some progress. Your progress helps you maintain equilibrium, stay on track, or be flexible when necessary.
5 Tips for Better Work/Life Balance During Transitions
- List the possible transitions you’ll face during the next months. Visualize how these transitions will alter your current personal and professional life. Interview yourself as you would if you were a customer or client. For example, ask, “Do you need to update the wardrobe or reestablish social networks?”
- Review lessons learned during Covid-19. List any changes in your values or behavior. Be honest and specific. Have you made some positive changes in work productivity or self-care, or are you all talk and no action?
- Note positive and negative consequences that have occured in the past six months. What are the trends? Ask, “How out-of-balance am I? If I had a magic wand, would I do things the same way again? What barrieers interfere with intentions and goals? Given the uncertainites of the variiants in the coming months, what are the best- and worst-case scenarios?”
- Set schedules and take actions. On you calendar, write actions steps needed to achieve your goals or to overcome barriers. Note the time you allot to each task and think about conditions at work or home. Visualize how they help or hinder your efforts to follow your plan.
- Develop ways to motivate and monitor progress. What ways will provide the most helpful information? Some people like to graph thier progress or keep a journal, while others prefer to list and check off tasks on a daily or weekly basis. To review progress, ask quesstions such as, “How do I rearrange conditions to help overcome barriers or bad habits? What can I say to myself when i begin to lose focus? How can I maintain optimism when difficulties occur?”
Gearing up to go Back-to-Work
If you need first steps to gain better work/life balance, check your sleep and exercise schedules. These aspects of self-care provide the necessary mental energy and focus to move ahead.
Research indicates some tried and true ways to progress, especially during disruptive and stressful times. These include: setting simple goals, tracking progress, taking time to self-reflect, engaging in constructive self-talk, and actively adjusting as you go. Each strategy reduces stress and provides a greater sense of self-control and accomplishment.
Concerns or questions about your work/life balance, returning to work, or productivity? Go to: www.managingyourmind.com for a complimentary 20-minute coaching session or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.