Over the past few decades, “Work-Life Balance” has become a hot topic for a lot of us, and describes how we should balance our work and our career while taking care of our precious family and having enough quality time with them.
Responsibility for work and family should be equally important. We typically work from 8 to 5 or from 9 to 6 or whatever our schedule might happen to be based on our assignments. And then we do not bring any work back home so time can be spent with family.
If you have school-aged children, you generally need time to ask about their day at school, go over homework with them, and spend whatever remaining minutes before they go off to bed.
“BALANCE” is necessary for working diligently and effectively, and not to burn yourself out with work “all” the time and having quality family time when you are at home. Many of us can relate to this.
The New Norm
With this “new normal” where almost everyone is working from home and the kids are staying at home while learning through their virtual classroom a couple of hours a day if they are lucky.
We carry mobile phones with us everywhere we go which makes it easy to reach out using instant messaging or occasionally check on email.
How do we “balance” our work and our life both at home?
Many of us who have been working from home might find this situation unchanged. But if they have school-aged kids, they definitely feel these challenges.
There may only be a few spaces in a house or an apartment that can comfortably be used for work and for kids to learn — e.g., dining room. Extra room with a table is needed for each kid to put their textbooks and worksheet so they can follow along with their teacher.
If you have more than one kid, they may not be able to use the same table unless you have a headset.
What about the noise? When the dominant person is talking in the room, you either attempt to overtake it or get kicked out. In our case, the latter is our norm.
This goes the same with us working while our kids are in virtual learning. For our family, folding wooden tables come handy to make relocating easier when we have meetings and need to be in our own space. Together yet apart.
Parents Become Teachers
Not all of us are cut out to teach.
We can help review some lessons and check homework. But with kids staying at home with virtual learning, parents have to become their teachers on top of working full time. That is a lot for us.
Leaving the kids online without supervision during our work hours is not ideal. And classes are often not all day, but rather just a couple hours each day. So what do we do with the kids the rest of the day? How do we keep them entertained or occupied and not bothering us while we are still working?
Many would turn to online games (Playstation, Xbox, Tablet, iPad, or a laptop) – us included. It is definitely not good to let them have too much screen-time, but what else could we do if all of us are staying at home? And now that school is out, what to do with the kids while we transition from working at home back to the office?
Stay Healthy at Home
Physical and mental health is important. Back before March when we could drop off our kids at school or at a bus stop, and then head to the office, we guaranteed some exercise since we had to walk outside and take kids to the classroom. Yes, walking is counted!
We have a time for lunch hour so that we get out of our office desk and take a mental and physical break from work.
Our kids always have at least a sports meet and competition over the weekend, which again guarantees us having exercises and adding to the step-count. But now, working from home and no sports, we may hardly go from our bedroom to kitchen or living room.
Many of us might not be wearing pants if we don’t need to be in front of any conference call.
The kitchen is just a step away so eating or munching snacks when we want, is that good or bad?
If the weather is nice, you could go outside in the front or backyard and get some fresh air. The kids can run around a bit, but that’s often not enough.
Many are cooking their own meals more and eating take-out less.
Worries affect us mentally! Some might say, right now we don’t have to waste time and gas to commute to work or be in traffic but remember that driving may take our mind away from work and though you may be in traffic, you can look at your surroundings and appreciate the moments. Mental breaks from work help.
Ready for a “Normal Norm”
Though we wish that we could go back where we were before this crisis, it is unlikely to happen.
We embrace these changes — facial attire and social distance in the office and public places — and move forward to a “new” normal norm in our work-life balance. Let me end it with one of my kid’s series tunes.
“When something seems bad, turn it around, and find something good!” — a song from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Here at Web Teks, we have a globally diverse team that works both remotely and in office. We are fluid and flexible in our approach to managing our teams and are always willing to chat with anyone who would like to hear a few tips and tricks or brainstorm ideas for their own workforce. Especially when it comes to providing the tools and technology for teams to be successful working remotely.
Contact us today if you’d like to chat!