Article (July-2021)


To fulfil work-life balance needs, form flexible work environment

Dr. Nikhat M Hamza

Designation : -   Director HR & Faculty Training Development

Organization : -  BS Abdur Rehman Crescent University, Chennai s and Research Scholar ( Human Nature, Organizational Politics)


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Is work-life balance still deemed as a misnomer in the culture of productivity or pandemic that has changed this thought process?

NM No doubt due to this pandemic people have got the opportunity to work from home but, they can stay in house and work online, individuals having a job in a pandemic are fortunate, but at the same time there is the breakdown of work-life boundaries, and the anxiety of being under observation from the employer has led to people working harder for retaining. Mostly those who have caring responsibilities are juggling between numerous roles.

Earlier working online or working from home was judged leery that staff would disengage and productivity levels would plummet, but recent evidence suggests that working from home efficiently means working more. Moreover, this pandemic has brought the work and home under the same roof for both the working parents and now it is visible to partners, peers and bosses that how the females battle to manage home and office. Hopefully, this pandemic will completely change the picture of work culture in the profession and personal life.

How do you underline the importance of work-life balance in the present pandemic period?

NM The pandemic crises have brought work and home tasks under the same roof for many families, hence finding work-life balance have become more challenging while working online. Parents have to arrange virtual meetings for their kids, sometimes their meeting becomes more important than parents meeting ultimately then the parents have to put extra energy to settle down their work. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance will affect health and relationship which eventually affect the productivity and performance of the employees, when the employees start enjoying their work they will work harder, make scarcer mistakes and most notably they will enjoy their work.

We need a work-life balance to feel good, but also to do good. This pandemic has taught us many things, like working from home, managing home and office without any supporting hand, most females are juggling between homes and work with multiple roles. Today the health of people is on priority and hence it is important to maintain the work-life balance. When employees are stressed out they are not only risking their lives but also spoiling their physical and mental health which can also lead to a dangerous upshot.

HR has to play a very important role in maintaining the work-life balance of the employees help them to find out a healthy balance between work and home to increase their level of employee engagement, and an engaged workforce will lead your team to be loyal towards the organisation. Make sure that they take a proper day off. A healthy work-life balance will help to build an ecosystem where everyone is devoted to the task at hand. You will quickly monitor enhancing retention rates, profit, and productivity. Frequent counselling, training will help employees in decreasing stress. People are also stressed out because of the COVID-19, more than the disease they are concerned about their lives & their loved once lives,  and if something goes wrong with them who will look after their families, their children's, individuals those who are away from their relations and home town are concern about their families. Due to this pandemic, people are going through emotional trauma.

Most of the people would have learnt one thing that now it is just not about work-life balance it is also about confidence, self motivation, understanding EQ, which allows you to know and manage the emotions of people and generate a positive work milieu and positivity in the professional and personal life of the people. Individuals with higher EQ are better prepared to work cohesively within teams, they efficiently pact with changes and manage stress, which makes them more capable and clever. HR has a demanding role to play in this pandemic in reducing the stress of their employees, overseeing them as a team, and giving them a sense of belongingness, employees should get the trust that they are part of the family and their job is secure. Reward your employees based on their efficiency and performance, let them work flexible hours.

Forming a flexible and clear work atmosphere is one of the best ways to fulfil the work-life balance needs of most individuals. No matter what age group they belong to. The pertinent work environment will boost job satisfaction, reduce stress and help retain healthier. Frantic search for work-life balance will evolve with cultural, generational, and economic changes.

What new challenges have been posed by pandemic induced Remote working or WFH as it has become living at work?

NM Many challenges have arisen in every business and every role in this pandemic, HR has become the most challenging and demanding position during this time. They face lot of hurdles every day these can be from the hiring of the new employee, on boarding, changes in joining period, due to lockdown, changes in regulation/policies keeping employees motivated and productive and grievances. One has to address these issue most effectively as the success of the company depends a lot on the Human resource department they are the ones in charge of the most valuable asset of the organisation i.e. workforce.

When HR takes care of the employee's question also arises who will take care of HR? After all they are also going through this pandemic, most of the time we forget the person who takes care of all, they being a link between the employees and management both should understand the role and working of their department as they are working for both (management & employees). When they are motivated they will easily keep their employees motivated and productive. Every organisation, large or small uses a variety of capital to make the business work, no matter what type of business, all organisation have one thing common in all that is they must have skilled people to make their capital work for them.

On the other side even though people have saved time on their commute, but the duration of work has been increasing because of long meetings to prove the productivity,  fear of losing the job and they end up losing the track of time because these long working days have no clear boundaries people are even working during off days. Our ancestor use to work the convention, not the necessity, if we go back a look at their style of working the managers should not doubt the effectiveness of WFH we all have to understand and adopt new changes and work on continuous improvement to make it more and more effective, WFH allows you to choose quality over quantity, managers can differentiate between faster response over better response or longer workday over the productive workday.

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