Is work/life blend the better aspiration?
In our blog ‘The new normal’ we explored the immediate reactions that going back to work could cause. There’s a very real transition that many will need to make and it’s important to start preparing how you want to deal with this change.
There’s also the long-game to think about. We’ve had almost 18-mths of more flexible, agile working that recognises outputs and delivery more than physical presence in an office. As a society, we’ve shown that we can change, quickly, and make it work. So as the traditional workplace comes back into the picture, what does this mean for what a typical week, or even day, looks like and how do we keep a level of control over how we spend our time?
A new way of living
It’s likely that you’ve developed new routines and habits as you’ve adjusted to working from home. Think about which of these are important to you; the ability to go for a walk in your lunchbreak, having time to prepare a home-made dinner for the family, shutting down your PC and being able to hit the gym knowing your working day is done. A return to the office doesn’t have to mark the end of the things that give you energy.
By thinking about how you plan your week, whether you will be in the office just a day or two or full-time, you can be prepared and retain a level of control. Can you meal-prep on a Sunday or get the family involved in cooking? Can you look at safe walking routes around your workplace or ask for more flexible hours so that you get the personal time you need? Keep yourself in a solutions mindset rather than getting overwhelmed with the extent of the problem.
We need to reframe our approach to work and personal life
I strongly believe in the concept of work/life blend. The dominant areas of our lives shouldn’t be fighting against each other; we’ve all seen instances of burnout and how stress can impact someone who is overwhelmed by a particular area of their life. Instead, we should aspire to blend these elements to achieve a more productive, harmonious and balanced mindset.
Can we make it ok to not start the working day until 10am because you go swimming every morning?
Can we be proactive in blending physical and virtual interactions so that we don’t return to a culture of presenteeism in the office?
Can we continue to catch up with work after the kids have gone to bed because that what works personally, without it impinging on someone else’s right to switch off for the day?
For me, it doesn’t matter whether you’re working from home, the office or any other location; work/life blend is about understanding the commitments of your day or week and making them work together to leave you in a place that feels good.
Are we ready for the ‘new normal’?
Thinking about returning to the workplace is positive in so many ways because it signals that as a society, we are learning to adapt and live alongside the things that have potential to throw us into chaos. But it’s also asking people to ‘go back’ to a time when Corona was a beer and face masks only worn in the hospital by doctors, not patients.
Personally, emotionally, mentally, many of us have moved on from what was normal into a different phase of our lives. Its key that employers, and in fact all of us as colleagues and friends, are sympathetic to the individual journeys people are on, both now and as part of their wider career aspirations.
Cube Learning & Development delivers bespoke personal coaching programmes to help you take control of your own mindset. For a no-obligation chat about this and our other training, call Chris Burton on 07879 602002.