Digitalisation is no longer a thing of the “future.” Self-driving cars, robots and service drones, are accessible technology today. Many of our work tasks will probably be automated in near future. Striking a healthy work-life balance will therefore be more important. At the same time, it is more challenging than ever before.
Digitalisation has always redefined the way we work, be it banking requirements or booking for a cinema or travel ticket. Post-lockdown, it has given us more freedom to rearrange our work life, leading to decimate the lines between work and private life, appearing to be blurring with time. It is hence increasingly becoming an ongoing journey to establish work-life balance in this digital age.
Thanks to digitalisation, we are more flexible to work when, where and how we want to. Pre-Covid work life had its own boundaries and was kept strictly separate from private life.
Today, with growing connectivity, this definite delineation is disappearing. The present lockdown due to Covid-19 has fast-tracked all of us towards working from home, encroaching deeply into our private life. With technology and digitalisation, this movement is only going to be more certain and normal in future.
To face this challenge at an organisational and at a personal level, we have to alter our mindset and approach over the time; slowly, we are adjusting to the new engulfing times of digital age and balancing with stress and strain.
With life being reinvented, finding new ways of integrating all areas of life in a meaningful and productive way is a huge learning effort. There are a few things that we have to keep in mind to ensure an effective balance in this digital age.
Work @Offices… a thing of the past.
Till just one year ago, work was clearly separated from all other parts of life such as family, friends, hobbies and sports. Earning money and career advancement was the cradle of motivation at work. A typical work week meant long hours at the office – something that bosses really valued. With teams, we used to sit closely together, so that we could easily catch up, discuss and understand each other better.
Obviously, back then, the technical infrastructure was not available. The leadership style was based on hierarchy and command-and-control. Digitalisation enables us to reinvent the way we want to work and manage. However, in order to put this into practice, we need to discard obsolete mindsets and make room for new management practices.
Work autonomy to inspirational future
Beyond the process of punching in-and-out, the newly adapted flexi-time-and-place work-culture has given employees immense autonomy and flexibility in the working process, leading to innovation of new product, reducing office politics and annoyance, enhancing powerful writing etiquettes and concurrently reducing usage of paper/plastic, office stationeries, fossil fuels, personal vehicles and mass transportation to name a few leading to less environmental degradations.
However, in order to do this, we will need to nurture a culture of mutual trust, and create a safe environment for making and learning from mistakes. When employees can take more ownership, this will contribute to their engagement and fulfilment at work.
Reinventing and adaption with time
An open mindedness to reinvent ourselves and constantly looking for creative and innovative ways to do our things will be foremost at all levels. Adaption and learning of new technologies and trying to move out of our grooves and mindsets that we have habituated ourselves to, is a must so that we find more time for ourselves to think and nourish our mind.
Learning to unplug
Sometimes it would be good to disconnect and get a digital detox. This will allow us to put a focus on other areas of our life. For instance, escaping to check emails late on weekends and during holidays and consciously taking social media breaks.
Change needs time. We have to view change with optimism, even when faced with criticism or resistance from peers or superiors.
Blending of work and life in the digital age
Digitalisation and technological advancement are helping us to reinvent the working world – something that has been long overdue. The future of work will surely be more flexible. Not only will mobile work bloom, but also other policies such as new forms of unpaid leave, part- time employment and even sabbaticals will come to the fore soon.
This transition also calls for new strategies to organise work life effectively. For all organisations, finding ways to work smartly and flexibly and yet be effective will be an ongoing journey.
We need to pave the way and establish a culture that empowers and encourages employees to balance work and private life. Leaving the outdated management practices behind and embracing a new mindset, we can truly grasp the benefits of digitalisation and create more resilient and sustainable workplaces, a place where employees have fun, feel engaged and be happy.