In this digital age, it’s hard to fully unplug. The so-called work-life balance once enjoyed by people seems elusive these days. Emails arrive throughout the night and the weekends are filled with ringing phones and text messages. Quite often, the requests are coming from work and that can be particularly frustrating.
In the changing business environment, professionals are discovering that they cannot limit themselves to the traditional nine-to-five workday. Many businesses are adopting longer hours, and owners frequently expect their employees to be available to answer calls and troubleshoot problems on the weekends.
It becomes stressful to keep your personal and professional lives separate, but rather than fighting this trend, you can embrace the shift by using modern-day technology to integrate your busy workday with your active social life.
Schedule Structure for Flexibility
For a successful work-life integration, it is important to analyze how, where and when you work best. Are you most productive working in your employer’s office during work hours, at home in the evening or in a coffee shop in the morning? Do you perform best when collaborating with your coworkers in-person, via email or video conferencing?
With technology enabling instant connectivity, handling job responsibilities from home has become a new norm. Regardless of whether you work from your employer’s office or your home, sometimes it is even necessary to be available outside of regular working hours. The development of mobile technology has made this possible but it has also decreased the amount of spare time for personal activities.
This issue calls for flexible schedules. This new mindset was brought on by the new generations of the workforce. Millennials have displayed a different approach to work as they require a flexible working arrangement instead of being tied down to a nine-to-five schedule. This flexible schedule allows for better time management and work-life integration while blurring the boundaries between work and life.
Thanks to the power of the internet and mobile technology, an increasing number of companies is allowing employees to work from home or virtually anywhere else. This gives them the ability to minimize their overhead by limiting utility usage, and the employees save money on gas, wardrobe, parking, and lunches. This also allows for an increase in productivity and better work-life integration.
Efficient Tools and Apps
Whether your work-life integration includes working from home or working in the office on a flexible schedule, you need to have the right tools to do your work properly. Choosing appropriate apps and software can enable you to share files, hold video conferences and stay connected whether you are inside or outside of the office.
Even though email is a primary method of communication, sometimes it can be hard to keep up with everything that’s moving in and out of your inbox. With apps like Boomerang, you can receive notifications when responses come in on those most important emails. You can also schedule time-sensitive information to rotate back to the top of your inbox when the deadline comes around. You can even write bulk emails over the weekend and have them automatically go out at certain times during the week.
With ClickMeeting, you can participate in meetings from any location with an Internet connection, and Asana makes it easy to track the progress of projects and collaborate with your team members.
Technology has numerous uses and benefits for your work life but it can also have a lot of positive implications for your family life. Many apps can be used to manage not only your professional schedule but your personal one as well.
For staying up-to-date with all your upcoming tasks and keeping your life organized, you can use Trello. This app allows you to create boards for different projects and to have shareable lists with each task. It’s easy to use, and you can even color code things to help you stay on track with your work tasks and personal appointments.
Something as simple as a connected Google calendar can also allow you to keep track of your work and personal assignments so that everything blends together and you can keep all the balls in the air. You can link the calendar with your spouse’s to make scheduling a night out easier. You can even have weather reports and birthday reminders mixed in with your calendars so that you can keep track of everything in one place.
Remote employees working from their home office can use apps that help track the time spent on non-work related activities. Using time tracking apps such as StayFocused can help you limit how much time you waste on non-company sites during your working hours. Companies can take advantage of apps like TeamViewer to help keep everyone on track and maintain open lines of communication.
Finding the right balance can feel like an overwhelming task, but more people are learning how to integrate the demands of the office with the needs of a family and a social life. Embrace technology to make this change easier and ensure that you have everything you need to stay on track. With a few clever apps and a little determination, you can mesh your personal and professional lives seamlessly so that you can make better use of your precious time.