Unquestionably, covid-19 has highlighted in both the media and popular consciousness, the state of contemporary work-life balance. We have a rekindled interest in questions such as “Should I be allowed to be contacted outside of work hours?”, “How much work is too much?”, and “Do we even have to commute to work anymore?” It is certainly a prudent time to look back on how the balance between the spheres of home and work has evolved over time, and what this means to us.
In the past, time keeping was scarce, and long-distance communication even scarcer. Generally, people would go to work after they woke, and return home before it got too dark to travel. People worked and commuted locally; usually only a few kilometres from where they lived.
The industrial revolution brought about reliable illumination at night, better transportation, and accurate time keeping amongst other things. People began to work longer and commute further. Less time was generally spent at home. However, at home one’s work would typically cease entirely.
The advent of modern telecommunications technology quickly began to transform the ways we thought about work – and how we interacted with it. Now, people could talk to their bosses and co-workers without having to be physically at their workplaces. And now, in contemporary times, the digitisation of the work process, and the rapid adoption of personal smart devices, computers and high-speed internet, have further transformed the relationship we have with our workplaces.
Many people feel increasingly pressured by work as they live their lives outside of it. For some, they feel as though there is no “outside” at all! For many, you are always able to work. Always able to be contacted. This kind of constant, low-key background stress can have negative effects on one’s mental wellbeing.
We understand the importance of de-stressing, and in having time off from work both physically and mentally. If you feel overburdened from work, we may be able to help you through several useful exercises.
So, what do you think? How will work continue to transform from here?
Image credit to energepic.com