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Published in History & Culture, Essay


Published in History & Culture, Essay


Work life balance: give-and-take approach

Achieving work-life harmony isn't a solo endeavor; it's a collaborative journey where everyone plays a part. By extending empathy and creating supportive environments, we not only enhance productivity but also foster peace and stability for all.

There was a time when the perfect definition of career-oriented and ambitious people was a set of people who are goal-driven and give their undivided attention to their work, are very little bothered by anything in their personal lives, and are only interested in their professional growth by being at the top of their game, being at the top of the list, getting promoted at regular intervals, and all the other achievements in their respective professional fields.

Reimagining Work Life Balance: Shifting Perspectives and Priorities

Ambitious people and career-oriented people usually don’t give that much attention to their personal lives, any celebration, anniversary, festival, or any other occasion. That was the misconception that took over many minds. To be professional, you should have these qualities in yourself. Giving undivided attention to your work is the only way to become super successful, and that only defines or tags you as ambitious and career-oriented.

Recognizing that personal and professional challenges intersect, the key lies in understanding and support. Empowering individuals to navigate tough times, whether in personal or work realms, cultivates resilience and productivity. This shift requires collective effort—a workplace culture that fosters understanding and support for maintaining equilibrium.
In an evolving landscape, the traditional image of career-driven individuals solely focused on professional success is being reshaped. The narrative of sacrificing personal life for professional growth is giving way to a more holistic approach—one that acknowledges the importance of both spheres.

Dynamics have changed with the changing times. Those who used to carry that attitude have realised that they were being too hard on themselves for nothing in return. This new wave of work-life balance is marking its territory already. You don’t have to be sorry to stop your work after a set number of hours and give your undivided attention to other aspects of your life.

The personal space of your life deserves your attention as well, and that does not mean that you are being unprofessional or that you are losing track.

Now, our lives contain so many dynamics: health issues, mental well-being, relationship issues, family, and so many other things. We have increased our surface of thinking so much, and everything requires our attention and conscious thought process. Now, it is not about prioritising one thing over another but giving an equal share of attention and thought to every element of your life, and that is the perfect way of approaching a proper work-life balance.

You can’t expect someone to be professionally 100 percent present in their workspace if they are going through a tough time in their personal life, and in the same way, you cannot expect someone to be completely okay in their personal space if they have some kind of turmoil and turbulence going on in their professional area. We are the individuals who are managing both spheres of our lives, but we are not robots. It is not easy for us to switch our emotional space from one space to another.

If an individual is going through some mental issues, for instance, depression or anxiety, what would you consider them? A personal issue or a professional issue? I don’t think it falls into any category. If you are disturbed mentally, it will reflect in your personal area and your professional field as well. So, no matter how much you try, there is no way to achieve a perfect work-life balance If I have some issues going on in my family that have triggered me emotionally to a great extent, it is quite organic for those things to reflect in my personality when I am in my work space. Similarly, if I am failing in my profession or am seeing a downtime in my work space, that would reflect in my behaviour when I am with my family or in my personal space.

So, what is the trick? How can we throw our dart so perfectly that it hits the target? I think there aren’t any. The road to work-life balance is not about switching on and off your thought process between the workplace and personal life. It is about having an understanding attitude toward yourself and the people around you. The keyword could be empathy. Being empathetic with yourself and then with the people who are surrounding you all the day, irrespective of their belonging to personal or professional space.

So, if I say that, if it is evident from my point of view, or if I come across someone who is going through some issues in their personal space, I should give them some relaxation in the professional area by being empathetic towards them. Instead of putting them down, I should encourage them to even show up to work on that day. They should be appreciated for even the small effort they tried to put in that day. That little appreciation and that moment of motivation could enhance their productivity, which could not be possible from their side that day.

Work-life balance is not an individual task. It depends on our work environment and our support system as well. The main point of work-life balance is being productive in your work space and being fully present in your personal space. Be there for yourself so, to enhance your productivity, you can adapt some habits in yourself. We can also ensure productivity or proper work life by being there for others Of course, there are certain boundaries when it comes to personal life. We cannot open up to someone and expect the same from them So, instead of blurring the line between personal and professional space, we could be there for ourselves and others when we are in our personal and professional space.

Work-life balance for any individual can only be attained if we have an understanding of it. If we want to have a perfect work-life balance for ourselves, we have to make sure that our colleagues, our managers, or someone who is working for us also have that confidence, that comfort, or that easy path to maintaining their work-life balance. And we should do everything that is possible from our side for them. And then we could expect the same kind of support and understanding from our subordinates.

So, anything in life where entities are more than one—a perfect balance, a perfect outcome—cannot be achieved by just the effort of an individual. It should be a group thing—a group contribution. Similarly, in any organisation, in the family, or in society, if you want to create a perfect balance, it should be a give-and-take thing. It should be by being there for everyone. Because by doing that, we are not just creating a perfect balance; we are also creating a peace that is way more important for every individual to be productive and to be in a healthy mental space.

So next time, if we are talking about work-life balance, we should talk about the work-life balance for everyone around us. Because by doing that, our dart would not only hit one target but more than one, and that would even enhance our productivity and our stability to a greater extent.

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