It is known that the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced work-life balance, due to the new normal of remote working era. Considering the outbreak situation, most new starters have not the privilege of being able to get to know their teammates in person and experience the office culture.
oining a new company can be tough at the best of times, with bosses to impress, skills to learn and new colleagues to meet. However, the pandemic along with the trend of working from home has made joining a new company much harder.
Lina Vyas & Nantapong Butakhieo conducted a study on the impact of working from home during COVID-19 and explained that work from home has become a policy priority for most governments to cope with the pandemic. In doing so, the policies must be made keeping in mind the practicality for both employers and employees as there will be some consequences for the two groups in one way or another.
To begin with, home working requires a quiet and dedicated space to perform work duties, which can be a real challenge for those living with other persons, kids or in tiny homes. Specifically, some employees might be distracted by the presence of young children or family members while working at home. As a result, blurred boundaries between work and family life lead to overwork.
Compared to occasional teleworking under normal circumstances, teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic is far more challenging since it is mandatory, rather than voluntary, and full-time, rather than part-time or occasional.
According to ILO, the COVID-19 crisis has shattered the notion that paid work and personal life are two entirely separate domains, as well as the ideal worker myth that workers can and should always be available to perform their work-related functions. Many studies have shown that teleworking increases work intensity and work-home interference, leading to adverse effects on the well-being and stress-levels of teleworkers.
“This new era of teleworking will require much wider use of a new kind of management—one which is more trusting and more results-based—and also a new way of working—one which is more autonomous, more flexible, and better adapted to the individual circumstances and preferences of employees than before”
As explained, the most useful tool to support workers with maintaining their work-life balance is to manage teleworkers by results and not by focusing on the number of hours or the particular schedules that they work.
“By keeping the workload manageable and setting clear, realistic expectations regarding the specific results to be achieved, workers are better equipped to organize their own time and tasks, in order to effectively balance their work obligations with their personal lives, including their family responsibilities”.
…as ILO concluded.