The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has disrupted everybody’s Work-life balance. The virus is not only taking a toll on health issues, but it is also affecting our work and personal lives. All of a sudden, the concept of work from home has come into the limelight, taking into consideration the concepts of social distancing and the high rate of contamination due to disease. The global pandemic, which is increasing every day, has created fear and apprehension in everyone’s mind.
Moreover, the nature of the disease is still unknown, and doctors are recommending to work from the safe constraints of one’s home.
Another very disrupting aspect of the pandemic is all kinds of services such as laundry, crèches and salons are closed. Therefore, the workload is increasing at an alarming rate. People have to look after their homes, their children and work, simultaneously. With increased workload comes stress and several mental and physical obstructions.
What kinds of problems are arising because of a global pandemic?
- The work-life balance has gone Topsy-turvy. Majority of people are working from home. As a result, they are finding it difficult to demarcate the work life from their personal life. This is creating family tensions and also depreciation of work quality and family time.
- Many people have lost their jobs owing to the global pandemic. It is becoming difficult for them to look for new job profiles. As a result, they can neither concentrate on work nor family.
- The pandemic has destroyed our natural life structure. We are confined within our homes with impending fear of the disease, which is increasing at an alarming rate every minute. New concepts of maintaining hygiene and cleanliness are rising every day, which is leaving us confused. The new normal has become isolation and distancing. Human beings are considered as social animals, and now, with the current scenario, we have to maintain a distance from friends and family. This is creating a mental void in everyone. People are suffering from frustration and dejection. Isolation is creating fear and several mental and physical illnesses.
- Another problem is that we cannot go to theaters, parks, restaurants or take part in any other kind of recreational activities. There is no kind of entertainment other than watching shows and movies at home. This is leaving a mark on our workplace too, as we are not happy. We are scared, stressed and tired. As a result, our Work-life balance is being hampered.
- The coronavirus pandemic is creating several health issues which are drastic. WHO and doctors are prescribing a healthy lifestyle that will strengthen our immunity to fight against the disease. But the economic and financial condition of the world is deteriorating at an alarming rate which is making it difficult for the majority to make both ends meet.
7 tips to achieve work-life balance amidst the global pandemic:
#1 Finding the right balance between work and life:
The right method to achieve Work-life balance is proper calculation and division of work. With the new trend of working from home, people are finding it extremely difficult to maintain a balance between working hours and family time. The office is demanding more time, and the family always cannot understand the concept of staying at home but not being available for them. Therefore, we need to strike a perfect balance between the two.
Recent studies have shown that remote workers have to work for an extra 60 hours every month, which can be detrimental to our health. Therefore, it is your first priority to divide your day between working hours and family time. Since the whole culture of working from home is a new scenario, elders and children might take some time to get used to it.
#2 Don’t forget to take breaks:
It is of topmost priority to take breaks from both your office work and from your household work. Assign “me time” for yourself where you can just sit back and rest. De-stressing is very important in these testing times when the entire world is fighting against an invisible enemy.
Achieving Work-life balance is especially difficult for those who are rendering essential services such as bankers, doctors, nurses, policemen and the sanitation workers. They need to especially take out some me-time for themselves to relax and de-stress
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According to an American educator Stephen Covey, “the key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities”. The Society for Human Resources Management(SHRM) has said that it is very important to communicate outside of the workplace. Therefore, you can discuss with your team and distribute the work accordingly.
#3 Don’t forget to smile:
Our normal work culture has taken a setback amidst the global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has disrupted our work life in several ways. In normal circumstances, we used to chat with our colleagues, share a joke or exchange a smile in between work.
We had office picnics, parties and gatherings. But now work-life has become loathsome with work from home and social distancing. The only solution is finding happiness in whatever we have, and this will help us strike the perfect Work-life balance without getting frustrated or irritated.
Laughter strengthens our immune system, and comedian Merlin Berle had rightly said that laughter is like an instant vacation. Instead of crying over what we don’t have, we should focus on what we already have. Humour and laughter reduce stress and stabilize our mood. As the mind and body go hand in hand, if we look after the mind, it will help us work better.
#4 Start interacting virtually:
This is a good way to keep ourselves calm during this crisis when we cannot meet friends and colleagues physically. Make it a custom to meet friends and colleagues virtually even if once in a week. This will provide you relaxation amidst this global pandemic when people are going mad in trying to adjust to this “new normal”.
You can also make a phone call to near and dear ones who are also feeling left out and trying to cope up. Make phone calls and virtual calls to friends and family members who are isolated somewhere away from the family. If you relax your mind and body, you will naturally strike a Work-life balance.
#5 Prioritize your schedule:
If you are working from home, sometimes Work-life balance becomes hectic to manage. The key to managing such a situation is to plan a schedule according to priorities. If your work front requires some extra hours on some days, explain the situation to your family. If explained properly, they are bound to understand. Similarly, on other days, if your family needs you urgently, take a leave and attend to them. In this way, you will handle the current situation perfectly.
#6 Create your work environment:
Working from home does not give you the perfect work environment. Especially with children around, who feel that parents are on holiday, maintaining Work-life balance becomes very difficult. Moreover, children also demand constant attention as they can’t go out of the house. The perfect remedy is to create a workspace for yourself where children will not be permitted to enter. Moreover, dress up when sitting for work which will create the urge to work.
With the covid 19 situations, maintaining work security is of top priority. The UNI has launched a survey on work-life balance during covid 19 pandemic, according to which this new work scenario is putting immense pressure on people. Therefore, mental health is also important, apart from securing the job.
#7 Maintain a healthy lifestyle:
Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean you can gorge on anything and everything. Try to maintain your office routine as your body has adjusted to that routine. As it is home, confinement is giving rise to several mental and physical illnesses such as spondylitis, obesity, depression and stress, to name a few.
So it is very important to eat healthy, exercise regularly, stay well hydrated and maintain a healthy sleep cycle. If the body and mind are not fit, how can we maintain a work-life balance? We should regularly exercise, meditate and practice yoga and ensure a nutritious diet that will also protect us from the deadly coronavirus and improve our immunity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ans: You can stay calm during the pandemic by practicing meditation and yoga. You can keep in touch with your friends and family members through phone call and virtual call. Also this is a good time to get back to our amateur interest activities.
Ans: Try to maintain a routine so that you can maintain both the worlds simultaneously.
Ans: You can create your workplace at home, which will give you a proper working environment. Urge family members, especially children, not to enter the working space during the work hours.
Ans: This is a very difficult situation for children because they cannot go to school or play with friends. Home confinement is disturbing their mental health. Therefore, try to assign some hours for your children every day to help them with studies and play with them. You can assign them some interesting homework or inspire them to read or inculcate a healthy hobby like gardening or painting. You can divide your day between working hours and family time to help the children overcome the change in their lives and schedule.
Ans: You can keep your family, and yourself fit during the pandemic with regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Urge your family members to stay at home and break the chain of transmission. That is the only way to fight with the novel corona virus.
We have to fight against the global pandemic unitedly. Healthy eating and healthy living are the mantras of the time. You can download HealthifyMe to get regular updates on healthy living and healthy eating.
I am always looking for ways to balance work and life. Lately, I often have to work from home, so I get stressed out a lot. I love tip number 6; creating a professional working environment will overcome the tired feeling of working from home.
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