The public health crisis has resulted in a dramatic shift to remote work conditions for many employees, as policymakers emphasize the significance of social distancing. While there are many advantages to working remotely, the shift can be tough, and establishing a work-life balance becomes increasingly difficult. Recognizing and accepting the complexity of the situation is an important part of achieving work-life balance.
Maintaining a work-life balance where time and focus on work and personal activities is balanced, benefits both individuals and corporations equally. Having a healthy work life balance not only improves mental and physical health but also helps enhance productivity, job retention and turnover, eventually leading to lower burnout and turnover in resources.
Yet, even after being aware of all the benefits of this equilibrium, it is becoming harder to achieve it now more than ever.
Work life balance and the global pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the whole world by a storm and all lives have been affected by it, in one way or the other. The global pandemic changed our lifestyle as well as our outlook towards life. Remote working has become a norm rather than exception, the sudden and massive shift in work culture is a challenge that companies worldwide never faced before. The situation has afforded the CIOs a lot more opportunities and accountability in the boardroom. This in turn has put additional pressure on the teams. Business expectations for IT teams have gradually increased and have become something like a double edged-sword.
Working in isolation while leading a team
The complete lack of human contact and the transactional nature of video conferencing is one of the major issues faced by the CIOs while working in isolation. While the idea might sound good for maintaining focus and working within tight deadlines, the complete isolation doesn’t work well while leading a team. There is pressure to lead, motivate and support the team along with an ecosystem of partners.
CIOs can look at expanding the frequency of taking breaks and setting personal short term goals. Complete isolation for eight to nine hours a day is not practical but carving out some personal time in between the hectic schedule can help maintain a work-life balance eventually.
For few, fighting the itch to do more has been difficult, even during downtime. That leads to physical and emotional burnout. Especially for CIOs who have recently switched jobs or been promoted. It is challenging to balance making an impression in a new job, while retaining some resemblance of normality at home.
Set Priorities to achieve the equilibrium
No matter how cliché this sounds but setting priorities is the most effective way for maintaining work-life balance. According to industry experts, setting work-life balance can be achieved through delegation and prioritization, as well as setting clear boundaries and taking breaks. But it is also, about having a clear idea of what they want to achieve.
Be vocal, take the break when needed
Preventing burnout through work/life balance will not only help the CIOs themselves but the organization as well. If executive leaders face burnout, they should discuss it with their colleagues and paint a picture of how difficult it is getting any job done during such a situation. They should take some time off work if needed and increase the duration of breaks on a day to day basis.