The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work. Many of us spent the last year and a half working from home, and several companies have chosen not to go back into the office post-pandemic. While in quarantine, and with only so many Netflix shows to watch, you likely found yourself working evenings and weekends just to pass the time. With cities opening up but work from home staying the same, what does this mean for your work-life balance moving forward?
You Need To Set Hard Boundaries Around Your Work Day
Technology made it much easier to work from home during the pandemic, but on the other hand, it made it much more challenging to shut things down for the day. Working from the couch or kitchen table suddenly turned your relaxation spaces into workspaces, and your phone quickly transformed into a tool for emails and Slack messages from work. If you don’t have clear boundaries that determine when your workday ends and your personal time begins, you run the risk of facing some serious burn-out and hating your work.
Whether your job is fully remote or has shifted to a hybrid model, setting those firm boundaries will protect your mental health and ensure that you’re living a more fulfilling life. When establishing your work-life boundaries, you need to ensure that you’re setting them for yourself as well as the people you work with. In addition to shutting down at a specific time and turning off work notifications on your phone, you need to have an understanding with your manager that anything after your set boundary becomes tomorrow’s work. Establishing a set of rules doesn’t make you a bad employee. The better your work-life balance, the better your performance will be while you’re on the job.
We Need To Find New Ways To Connect With Others & Find New Opportunities
The workforce is still dominated by male decision-makers. Until recently, women used face-to-face networking and in-person assessments to assert themselves and establish their eligibility for career advancement opportunities. When much of your interaction with your manager is reduce to brief Zoom calls and Slack communication, you lose the essential element of in-person conversations. These interactions were crucial for building rapport, coaching, and getting effective feedback. If you’re still fully remote, it’s important to speak up and schedule regular one-on-ones with your manager to make sure that you’re on the same page, getting the coaching you need, and asserting yourself in your role to ensure that you’re top of mind for future opportunities.
The pandemic forced us to find new ways to connect with people while in quarantine. Working from home can really hurt your ability to network and create meaningful connections with your co-workers. Here are some great ways to connect in this new working environment:
Short virtual coffee dates. All you need is 15 minutes a day with a co-worker to catch up and connect over a coffee.
Virtual office happy hours. Host a 1-hour happy hour with co-workers over Zoom, and you can even make a fun game out of it.
Co-working space meetups. Just because you don’t work in an office doesn’t mean you can’t still get together in an office environment. There are great co-working spaces, like Thrive Coworking for Women here in Gilbert, AZ, where you can still connect with your team and network with other professionals. You can mingle at any of our in-person networking events like our Thursday morning Coffee Connections or come work with us on Fridays for free with your co-workers for that in-office experience.