Creating a Work-Life Balance

As the weather gets colder and the ground starts to turn white, plans for thriving in the Fall and Winter seasons seem to be changing year by year, especially now that hiring/working rates have increased, and therefore our jobs often become a bigger part of our lives than before; sometimes, as they often say, our jobs ARE our lives.

Working professionals – whether they work from home, on-site or both – must make both personal and professional adjustments to keep themselves and their companies thriving.

With 2021 coming to an end, health and transportation concerns increase and, in the company sense, this usually merges with weather-related emergencies and delays, slowed productivity and/or late arrivals, shutdowns/cancellation(s), changes in consumer demand, holiday plans, and more. 

Companies and their employees will be affected directly and indirectly by these issues. And, with several major holidays occurring during this season, employers and employees alike must also be understanding of various religious backgrounds and preferences, and travel plans. Business demands and trends for the upcoming year are additional topics of concern to be addressed at this time of year that add stress to everyone involved.

Being cognizant in all these areas is a challenge, to say the least. Our personal and professional success depends on measures such as addressing and managing current and potential stressors. We do this via communicating wants and needs with ourselves and staff members, and setting aside extra time for changes, whether they be at home or one’s workplace. This goes along with expecting the unexpected and, since we are still in a pandemic, the spreading of illness such as cold, flu, and of course, COVID-19. 

 Two terms I discovered recently are “work creep” and “scope creep”, which apply to those working from home and are especially relevant at this time of year. Work creep highlights the idea, and reality, of one’s work life basically leaking into their personal life, while scope creep is an unwanted change to a current project that can cause inconvenience regarding time, budget, and other resources. Projects must be tackled anytime, anywhere nowadays, and whether that involves virtual and/or physical elements, the responsibility will not let up.

All the above variables, for the better or worse, will occur for both you and your company. Yet, getting to know yourself as a professional, discussing and setting reasonable limits depending on the scenario(s) and, above all else, working smarter, not harder, with the seasons will allow you to “weather the storms” and make the most of the opportunities.

By blog contributor, Amber Chisholm