In this day and age, it can be argued that a healthy work-life balance is more important than ever. We live in a hectic world that is changing daily. The demands we face in our jobs can be, and often are, overwhelming. Leaving all that behind is a task not all of us can handle successfully. As an employer, you can also benefit greatly from having workers with life outside works. Creating conditions for a healthy work-life balance is a great way of helping your employees improve their efficiency. This is something any HR department worth its salt will pay special attention to in the near future. Traditional wisdom says that work-life balance is about what we do outside the job, but it can be argued that it all starts at the job, in our workplaces.
Technology Helps with Work-Life Balance
The rise of the Internet and accompanying technologies, especially software ones, has created some unprecedented possibilities for everyone. Working from home in most cases wouldn’t be possible without technology. And if there is one positive thing about the COVID-19 pandemic is that it demonstrated just how many jobs can be done from home. Many parents would have to choose between spending time on the job or with their kids if it weren’t from technology that allows them to perform their job tasks away from the office. Perhaps it is time to explore in what other way technology can help us in creating a work-life balance. Here are some ways that can be achieved.
It may sound contradictory to list productivity apps as a way of achieving work-life balance, but they can play an important role. Anything that lets you finish the job faster, easier, and often better allows for more free time that can be spent doing the things you enjoy. Cloud technology lets us interact with our co-workers regardless of where on the planet they are located. Getting several offices to work on a single document was a logistical nightmare in pre-Internet days. Today, it is an everyday matter. Communication tools for video conferencing enable us to cooperate and plan in real-time. There are numerous apps that can make work so much easier, reducing job-related stress and increasing performance and productivity.
Artificial Intelligence in Office
Artificial intelligence is a term that has been around for decades, if not longer. Unfortunately, most people connect it with Terminator movies and Skynet. The truth is that properly deployed, artificial intelligence can help us immensely. One aspect where it can be incredibly helpful is in an office. Imagine AI that can detect that you have been sitting in the same position for 30 minutes and gently warns you that it is time to stand up and take a short walk. Or one that can read facial expression and determine that the attention of listeners has been dropping in a meeting or a conference call. It can then either issue a warning or adjust lighting and temperature or even airflow in the room to increase participation. With proper machine learning algorithms, these scenarios are no longer science fiction. Many companies are already considering implementing this technology in their offices.
Gaming is a form of escapism and despite all the negative connotations that word has, it can be an excellent way of achieving a work-life balance. Back in a day, when Google introduced game rooms for its employees, it was a revolutionary idea. Today, many companies have followed suit. Whether you choose to slay your enemies, conquer new lands, or just play a few relaxing rounds of slots, the effect is pretty much the same. You will spend a few hours relaxing and doing something you enjoy. It will help take your mind of any job-related issues and allow you to rewind, leaving you with recharged batteries and ready for tomorrow’s challenges. Gaming can be an important asset in establishing a sustainable work-life balance, but only if used in moderation.
It would be impossible for many of us to achieve work-life balance without the help of technology. It allows us to have an unprecedented level of flexibility, which is absolutely crucial in the modern world. Anything that improves our productivity lets us spend more time doing things we actually enjoy, that why it is important to implement these solutions at workplaces. Of course, just like any other tool, on its own its neither good or bad. It all depends on how we use it. Bringing new technology to the office without proper studies on its effects can be disastrous. It is absolutely vital to avoid introducing a new technology just for novelty’s sake and forcing your employees to go through tiresome training to learn how to use something they don’t actually need. There are a lot of examples of companies do this and it almost always backfires.
Jenna Coleman says
Thank you for the great post. Employees` productivity and time tracking issues have always been relevant, this year especially. Our team uses http://www.worktime.com for the clock in/clock out and tasks statistics and it’s been very helpful in keeping things organized.