Authors: Soumya Gupta, Founder and CEO & Kristal Dhanaraj, Co-founder of Friendssquare
Work-life balance can be defined as the state of equilibrium between the individual’s professional and personal life. The term work-life balance can have different meanings for different communities of the society. From an employee’s point of view, it can be managing work demands and family/personal responsibilities and from an employer’s/organisation’s perspective, it can be creating a supportive culture by giving enough control, autonomy and flexibility along with offering policies which will enable an employee to attain a balance.
During this pandemic, mass populations irrespective of employment or not are experiencing extreme anxiety and stress, making it increasingly difficult to establish a balance. Thus, individuals are more susceptible to burnouts due to uncertainty and fear of unprecedented change.
The leaders and the organisation as a whole play a key role here. Effective leaders must display compassion, assertion and an empathetic outlook. Compassion is essential during such times, as employees may feel restless and insecure about their jobs. It is the responsibility of a good leader to provide comfort and support to their employees and make them feel confident and secure at work. Along with compassion, assertiveness is also very important. Due to the global chaos, employees might face extreme role and task ambiguity. Leaders must authoritatively assign and define everyone’s tasks to avoid confusion and wastage of time and resources. Further during times plagued by sickness and being away from family, leaders should be empathetic and make an extra effort by speaking to their employees at a personal level to give them the comfort they require.
Organisations during this pandemic should also ensure flexibility in working hours. Rather than time bounding employees, give them the autonomy to delegate and regulate their work schedule. Giving the employees this type of control will show them your trust and will further motivate them, increase their loyalty and add meaningfulness to the work.
Further, employees can maintain productivity and efficiency by creating a space that is comfortable and motivating, along with a fixed schedule and timely breaks. On an interpersonal level, being in touch with the colleagues and checking up on one another can be helpful. It will give you and your fellow employees the strength, confidence and the feeling that they are not alone.
Along with aforementioned things, the individuals should also ensure that their work space is physically comfortable to avoid fatigue and injury. Keeping in mind physical ergonomics, positioning your laptops and desktops at the correct distance and keeping the brightness level at a suitable level will avoid excessive eye strain which can otherwise cause fatigue, headache and weaken the eye muscle.
Even in this pandemic where the world has come to a standstill, it is important for the employees and employers to know that it is okay if we make mistakes and give each other some credit. Allowing yourself to feel so will release the added stress and anxiety and take one step at time.