The remote working realm has exposed use to a new way of working and also a new way of living. There are trends reflecting in housing market, where new real estate purchases show people preferring to buy bigger homes to accommodate a home-office. This is profound in markets like India where a “collectivist” mindset prevails and remote working is not really appreciated. Of course, an invisible creature made us all think differently with potential long term impact.
All changes bring some downside and something many of us experienced is, the line between personal life and work life has become quite blurred and in some cases washed away !! Especially working women are under more pressure than ever before.
The way we work now IS the way of working going forward with even the government proposing changes to SEZ rules and showing flexibility to IT/ITES jobs for remote working.
Can something be done to get over the blurred lines between personal and work lives. If something is being done, can we do more of it.
Some thoughts to ponder :
First and foremost – Digital Detox. This is by far the most difficult. We are so addicted to our devices and most of have the FOMO syndrome. If our fingers are idle for couple of minutes, we tend to check on devices for emails, instant messages, facebook updates, etc. Those who have tried Digital Detox will acknowledge how blissful it is to do so, including “yours truly”. It’s the next best thing to Vipasana. Start with baby steps. Turn off data on your devices for an hour, lets say evenings. When you walk/run, try not using your phone, try one weekend without data. Try it out and feel the bliss. Most importantly, be assured the world around you will NEVER collapse if you don’t check emails and messages for couple of hours or over the weekend.
Whats your hobby ? Gardening, reading, home improvements, binge watching TV – whatever your hobby, set aside some time every week and ensure you spend time on it. If you can apply the same discipline you show at work to your hobby, you will really thank yourself. Trust me on this. And if you are like me with no specific hobby, read the next paragraph 😊
Find your stress buster. I have no hobby – alright. And I know there are many like me. Explore yourself, experiment and find what really makes you feel lighter after a stressful week at work or a hard grinding day of virtual meetings. It took me years to realise that my morning workouts really make me feel good about myself. That one hour of running, pushing myself at the gym, strength training with friends in an open ground really makes me feel good and keeps me away from electronics. The other stress buster I discovered is cooking !! Although my better half disapproves of my unconventional style of cooking, fortunately, the end product has so far been palatable!! Since I cook fusion food, they have no names, I don’t recall the recipes to share with others and I need to reinvent the wheel every time. That’s the best part I like the most and completely de-stresses me.
Of course, you can also do what most mortals do like going on vacation. But that vacation has to be guilt free. If you have the urge to keep checking your office emails, you are a bad vacationer. BTW, I managed to dig up an old HBR article that could offer you some inputs to consider for a guilt free vacation, if you choose to take one. Click here for the HBR article.