Work-life balance is on the edge as businesses around the world adopt a hybrid way of working. This undoubtedly brings benefits like less time commuting and a wider reach of talent pool. But remote work, and particularly the impact of technology, also has its downsides. Improperly utilized, technology can harm our work-life balance.
Before now, things like email, phone calls, instant messaging and social media were once confined to the office. But with remote working, they are now spilling into the makeshift workspaces in our living rooms or even our bedrooms. It begs the question, are we working from home or living from work? […]
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NOTES: Why Technology Can Harm Your Work-life Balance
Technology has been instrumental to maintaining connection with a remote workforce. Without it, shifting to work from home would’ve been impossible. Workers would have been isolated, disconnected and utterly cut off from their colleagues.
Technology can also have a negative effect on work-life balance if we fail to set strict boundaries, and many people struggle doing this. And this can lead to huge impact, not limited to burnout, low performance, stress leave, sick leave, mental health, etc.
With “always online” attitude, maintaining work-life balance has always been difficult, but COVID-19 and the work-from-home shift has made the issue more visible and even more prevalent. The temptation to quickly check email becomes that much stronger when you can’t tell where the office ends and home begins.
The outcome of research by CareerBuilder on motivation for checking email outside of working hours reveals the following.
- For more than half of workers aged 18-24, the motivation is a sense of obligation.
- For workers 55 and over, they stay connected out of choice.
Leaders need to set and lead by example. To communicate the importance of setting boundaries, it’s far more effective if the message comes from the top down. To lead by example, they should switch off from work at the weekends, and avoid communication with staff. This will send a clear message that it is healthy and important to enjoy quality time away from the pressures of the office.
Employees can also be encouraged not to organize meetings beyond 3pm, this is to give everyone enough time to wrap up their day after the meeting.
With encouragement, education and behaviour led from the top, everyone can switch off to stay switched on.
Emotional stress, including “stress from lack of control in the workplace or from life events,” creates susceptibility to physical illness. This was affirmed twenty years ago in a British Medical Journal article as summarized here by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Giving employees more control over their jobs does more than just reduce stress-related illness. It also decreases employee mortality. The key is empowering them to set their own goals, set their own schedules, prioritize their decision making and … have a voice in the goal-setting process.
Giving employees a chance to help shape the future of work will give them more skin in the game. It will deepen their connection to an organization. Finally, it gives them a sense of job ownership and control and will improve their well-being while benefiting the organization.
Self-love is the process of knowing yourself, connecting with your inner self, overcoming self-limiting beliefs, letting go of everything that doesn’t serve you, and falling in love with yourself.
Self-love helps silence the fear of rejection, our inner critic, and instead befriend it to serve us rather than taunt us. And we develop confidence in what we stand for, when we know who we are from within. With self-love, we are able to let go of self-judgment, negative thoughts, opinions, and people who are not aligned with us.
When we accept ourselves wholly for who we are, people around us also start seeing us in the same light. Likewise, when we love what we do and do what we love, we are alive and soaring in all that we do. This further draws others with positive energy to us. Ultimately, that power of love for yourself, will not only elevate your relationship with yourself, but enhance and deepen your relationship with work, family, life, and everything around you.