By Tim Conroy, Winningtemp
The term work-life balance may have first been coined by Brits in the 1980s, but it is a term that is still relevant and much debated today. Evolving over the decades, the phrase was originally used by the Women’s Liberation Movement, advocating for flexible hours and maternity leave. Today, and with the dawn of the digital revolution that generated an ‘always on’ culture, the work-life balance has become a complex, genderless conundrum.
With the forced closure of offices nationwide in March 2020, it became more important than ever for business leaders to safeguard the work-life equilibrium. HR expert Josh Bersin agrees and says that one thing is now certain; the working landscape has changed, forever: “You don’t go to the workplace; the workplace comes to you.”
Prior to Covid-19, working from home was still somewhat the work-life balance unicorn, available only for the privileged few. Now, with working from home happening ‘en masse’, we see for the first time that it could in fact have a negative effect if not managed appropriately.
Since the first lockdown last March, 73% of workers believe that they are more efficient when working remotely according to Statista Research Department, while 68% say they also work more hours at home. However, working more hours doesn’t necessarily equal higher productivity, at least not in the long-term.
In 2021 it is likely that at some point, workers will begin returning to the office again, and we are yet to understand what that return will look like. However, the accelerated shift to working from home that 2020 brought seems set to become a permanent feature to our working week.
Whether an omnipresent workplace is a positive experience or not, rests on the shoulders of employers. With workload intrinsically linked to a person’s mental and physical health, it is imperative that employers take a keen eye on how much they are expecting of their people.