There Is No Such Thing As Work-Life Balance. Or Is There?

How business leaders can better support employees managing working remotely during a pandemic. 

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there before, sitting in an interview and the topic of work-life balance comes up in conversation. “Define what work-life balance means for you,” the interviewer may ask you.

“What does your company do to help its employees maintain work-life balance,” you may ask the interviewer. 

The truth is this: the definition of work-life balance has become blurred over time — enough to question the very existence of work-life balance. Are work and life truly two separate things or should employees be able to integrate the two in a way that allows them to be able to have both? 

In a recent article on supporting employees’ work-life balance during a pandemic, CMSWire highlights a few ways business leaders can be more supportive of their employees and how they can help create a space where workers can maintain a healthy lifestyle while working during a pandemic. 

Creating Authentic and Meaningful Employee Experiences 

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically shifted the global workforce and continues to test the boundaries of life both at home and work. Remote employees do not want to be seen as “unproductive.” This leads to email traffic starting earlier in the day and ending later at night, and more time being spent online than ever before. 

The use of technology and the feeling of having to always be connected plays a factor in the stresses of managing life at home and work. With push notifications and alerts coming directly to their phones, employees are always one step away from the office. 

During this time especially, employers must create experiences for employees that keep them motivated to return to work each day; prevent burnout; limit the likelihood of mental or emotional breakdown. Possible solutions include: 

  • Encouraging “quiet hours” where employees can temporarily ignore their notifications and not feel pressured to respond to an email immediately. 
  • Keeping an open line of communication between key business leaders and employees. 
  • Being transparent about the current state and health of the business to gain trust from its employees. 
  • Allowing employees the opportunity to talk about the challenges they face both at home and work. Many people are fighting battles we know nothing about. 
  • Offering solutions or asking employees what they can do to help show empathy towards their well-being and overall productivity. 

As we continue to navigate through the uncertainties of this pandemic, business leaders must continue to create a space where employees feel supported. Business leaders need to allow as much control as possible in managing work and home for their employees. Even while working remotely, there is a need to have the feeling of some type of separation between the two.