The digital balancing act

From chris-warburton.com

This week with much of the talk, and data, pointing to a potential third wave of cases many of us have been thinking about what happens next.

Certainly, we are all fed up with lockdowns and being stuck at home, however running the risk of mass infections again also seems a like backward step.

No answers yet and we need to monitor closely to see how the situation evolves. however is it time to think about how we manage all this sustainably going forward? As in most things, it is probably not one extreme or the other, but a balanced, somewhere in-between. I have a couple more office trips in the works, planned for the next few weeks, so it is top of mind. COVID tests at the ready again I think.

On the topic of work life balance there was also discussion around out of hours emails this week too. In France work emails, out of hours, are frowned up and actually legislated against and there is discussion about whether we should have something similar in the UK.

There was plenty of conversation on how such a scheme could (or couldn’t) work. And, with many of us do catch up on emails at the start or end of the day in order to concentrate on interacting with people when they are available, this would be a tricky behavioural change. Any legislation is likely to be hard to enforce.

However, these days, it is not just email. In fact, the focus on email seems somewhat dated, with most of us are now communicating on platforms such as Teams, Whatsapp or Slack ( or discord eg here 🙂 ).

These do have the benefit of being easier to turn off, although during work hours also seem to command an even faster response time… and the worst feature… you can see if they have been read, and if the recipient has not responded… its a recipe for stress right there! It does seem like these should be included too.

What we have found during COVID is that digital working can tend to extend the day. My commute time in particular, has been absorbed into working time, and work-life seems to be more of a blend than it has ever been before.

In one sense this has been extremely helpful, enabling flexibility like never before and extra time when needed to get things done. However, at the extreme, it can become a problem.

It seems there is a growing awareness that we need to build some balance back going forward…. this in itself is probably not a bad thing.

Have a good weekend everyone