Is work-life balance still deemed as a misnomer in the culture of productivity or has the pandemic changed this thought process?
PK Well, it varies from company to company. Even before the pandemic, most of companies were acknowledging that a healthy work-life balance is a key enabler for workplace productivity, creativity and employee engagement. What the pandemic has done is essentially to redefine how this work-life balance plays out - when there is a lesser amount of separation between professional and personal life - especially when there is a work from home scenario.
How do you underline the importance of work-life balance in present pandemic period?
PK Work-life balance doesn't happen in isolation. It has to be seen in the context of the broader environment and the stresses it places on the individual. When there is already a high level of stress in the environment, it adds to the stress related to work and personal life and hence ensuring a healthy work-life balance becomes even more urgent and important. Of course, if the employee feels, rightly or wrongly, that the impact of the pandemic has increased the risk of losing one's job, the employee might respond to that by working even more and/or by getting stressed about it, further aggravating the situation!
What new challenges have been posed by pandemic induced Remote working or WFH as it has become a way of life?
PK Work From Home (WFH) and Work From Anywhere (WFA) do offer many new possibilities - including more employment options, saving the time required to travel to and from the office and more flexibility. It also brings in new challenges. To me, the biggest challenge is the blurring of the boundary between office time and personal time. To address this, one has to be intentional in managing the boundary between office time and personal time, especially if one's manager and/or organisation are not sensitive about the same. Yes, if managed well, this can lead to much better work-life integration.