Work life balance business and family choice

To get from where I live to where I work is a 40 minute ferry ride and to arrive at work by 9am used to mean catching a ferry by 7.30am and even then it might be full. It was a pretty stressful start to the day

But now, the 7.30 leaves almost empty and it’s the 10.30 that everyone strolls leisurely  to catch.

For one who spent a big chunk of their working life waking up in the dark and scrambling to get out of the door with the kids, this new schedule is bliss and raises some questions…

Q1. What’s caused the time shift?

A1. Working from Home or more accurately, the Hybrid work model

Q2. What is The Hybrid work model?

A2. There’s doesn’t seem to be a specific definition but basically Hybrid is a combination of Working From Home and working in a designated workplace e.g. the office, which sometimes means a person spends all their time in one mode i.e. at home or divides their time working across both modes i.e. hybrid

Nothing is rigid so it’s best not to get too hung up on the terminology as the following definitions I found on Social Media testify…

● ‘Hybrid’ is for those who need to have the peace and quiet to focus on complicated strategy.

● ‘The Office’ continues to provide an essential environment for those complex tasks which require thought and privacy.

Confused? Well, whatever it is, employees took the initiative when Covid hit and voted with their feet to Work from Home. They seem now to be choosing the Hybrid option which isn’t surprising because it’s been requested (mostly unsuccessfully) for years.

Q3. What are the implications of all this for the Work/Life Balance?

Well, talking to people, it seems that, in true Disruptive form, Covid has achieved in a few months what had been talked about for years… a more realistic and sustained parity between Leisure and Work which Working from Home has now achieved by freeing up time previously used to commute and stimulating the creation of more manageable communication tools like chat bots, and meeting bots all of which free up space throughout the week (not only weekends) for catching up, planning, relaxing, managing clients, exercising, researching… all from home.

Q4. What’s happened to stress levels with the arrival of Hybrid working?  

Well, another social media outlet reported this week that 80% of American workers say they are stressed on the job and nearly half of them say they need help managing that stress.

So, there are still gaps to be filled in employer/employee collaboration which will take time to fill but still, for the moment, we’re witnessing what is possibly the biggest breakthrough in the world of work since the introduction of the 5 day week in 1932.