Unveiled - The Secret To Achieve The Almost Mythical Work-Life Balance

Work Life Balance

03 January 2018

Unveiled - The Secret To Achieve The Almost Mythical Work-Life Balance

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

It’s Monday morning and you are at your desk with a piping hot cup of coffee with your planner in front of you – trying to figure out the week’s schedule, planning activities in a way that helps you take some time out for yourself. Two days in the week and whatever you had planned has gone out the window and before you know it, you find yourself furiously typing away at your desk into the wee hours of Saturday!

While 80% of us believe that a job that offers work-life balance is an important consideration when we take it up, not many of us are able to achieve this. The elusory ‘work-life balance’, at most times feels like a dream, especially for devoted employees. The do more with less culture has made it onerous for people to manage professional and family life.

When compared to other countries such as the UK, China and even the USA, India has the longest working hours – 52 hours in a week to be precise. This further pushes us to take the onus and manage our time well, so that we can take some time out to follow our hobbies.

Do you know what’s missing here? An integral part that we forget almost all the time – Prioritizing.

Karen Quintos, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Office, Dell says that prioritization has helped her achieve work-life balance more comfortably despite her demanding career.

Let’s take a leaf out from her stance and see how prioritization might help us achieve work-life balance by considering the following.

  • Prioritising can help you space your work

Unplanned work has the uncanny ability to catch us off-guard. To make things worse, it upsets our mood and puts us in a headspace that makes us uncomfortable. While most of us cannot put off these tasks, day-to-day prioritising can help us space our work properly. When you prioritize the tasks for a specific day – you set your own achievable goals.

  • Prioritising can help manage your time more efficiently

Most of us feel that we are working for more than our share and yet not rewarded for the same. This is where prioritisation comes into picture, seniors need to delegate tasks according to the priority.  Also, every individual should aim for time based targets, this will not only bring you in the good books but also enhance your efficiency.

  • Set your own standards between what is too much work and what is not

There are some things we look forward to and others we detest, this judgement may also be the impediment for completing tasks. Prioritizing can help us identify what are the things that we like doing and are good at, therefore will require less efforts, when compared to those that we are not as keen about.

  • Prioritising gives you a sense of accomplishment

How many times have you felt drained out by the end of the day feeling what a waste of a day? Here’s a tip – prioritising enables us to list tasks and allot a time period to them, as and when you complete a task you get that sense of accomplishment motivating you to work better. A small tick for each work done acts as a confidence booster.

Work-life balance is not about how much time you allot to your work and how time you allot to your life. It is about the quality with which you live your life and do your work!

5 Work Practices that will Stay with Us Post COVID-19

Work Life Balance

27 July 2020

5 Work Practices that will Stay with Us Post COVID-19

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

As the world order continues to change, pushing us to a whole new system of working, it has given rise to new trends and practices that will define the future of organizations. Employers will need to rethink operations with a new perspective, make it more purpose-driven, explore newer possibilities, and harness the potential of this new system to work and make it effective. From employee management to process planning, performance evaluation, and customer experience, major business functions are going to see a new day.

Some of the major long-term changes that are imminent are:

Being Digital-first

Businesses have been toying with the idea of transforming themselves to fit into the ever-expanding digital landscape. Now, it has become more of a need than a want. Particularly the customer-facing service industry has woken up to the critical benefits of being digital-first. By integrating cloud-based operations, process automation, machine learning, etc., businesses will not only improve their functions but will also manage their costs better, boost productivity, and balance human and tech resources.

Complete digitalization of day-to-day work practices will continue, whether it is in a physical or virtual office space. Daily functions like project management, customer/client interaction, evaluation, feedback, etc. will also see heavy usage of digital tools in the coming years.

Decentralized and distributed workforce

In the wake of the pandemic, businesses have learned that distributing your human resources will only make your business stronger. The virtual work environment will continue and provide more opportunities for temp roles, independent contractors, stay-at-home parents, etc., thus amplifying the culture of remote working. This will allow businesses to expand operations across geographies without any hefty establishment costs or entry barriers. Thus, the new workforce will be diverse in their skills and can support customer/client needs across different locations, eventually boosting production volumes.

Increased focus on employer branding

The new generation workforce seeks transparency, inclusivity, and security. And now more than ever due to a major health scare. Employees today want to be part of an organization that pays attention to their lives and not just job skills. Organizations which openly communicate about the physical and mental impact of the current situation will stand out to be the progressive ones. Focusing on establishing an employer brand that nurtures and nourishes its human resources, amid all odds, will also attract top talents when hiring and help retain them.

Transition from readiness to resistance

While operational efficiency is essential, resilience is needed to sustain the efficiency. And resilience comes from agility. As of today, companies that have made themselves adaptive to change are stronger than ever and are the ones who can thrive better in the future. The agility of business functions comes from cross-functional training and expanding skillsets of your workforce. There will be more emphasis on skill upgrade and flexible work practices so they can thrive despite disruptive scenarios.

Evolved work ethics

The pandemic has brought to light a lot of ethics concerns with respect to work practices, organizational decisions, and overall employer-employee experience. This has been a learning period for all, and organizations are now realizing its impact on the bottom line. In the coming time, we can expect to see more well-defined work ethics in terms of awareness and being proactive to health and safety, work-life balance, and improved organizational culture.

Some of these trends can be seen as an impact of current circumstances, while the others are only a step- up from earlier practices that were long due, only accelerated by the changing times. No matter what the cause, the effect will only be of an evolved work landscape.

How to keep your team connected when working remotely?

Work Life Balance

20 July 2020

How to keep your team connected when working remotely?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

In the wake of the global pandemic, many organizations are now working remotely from their homes. While the work environment has changed, the need to keep it running smoothly hasn’t. In fact, constant communication, especially within teams, has become more necessary than ever. Despite innovative tools and techniques, people still feel something is amiss in the new set up. Whether you are a seasoned remote worker or a WFH newbie, virtual team management could be a challenge and yet is vital to ensure that the new work setup is a success.

Here are a few tips to make your internal communication more effective and teams more collaborative.

Make the most of communication tools

While working from home, one of the major issues that both employers and employees face is staying connected constantly. Thanks to online communication tools that issue can be easily dealt with. As of today, almost every office operation can be managed using collaborative tools for project management, communication, meetings, and more. You might not have the flexibility to talk across your desks and get an instant response, but you can still recreate the same system using instant group messaging tools like Slack and Google Hangouts. To make the most of team meetings, use video calls and conferencing apps instead of audio-only options so you can maintain your original team environment.

Be responsive at all times

Whether you are a team lead or manager or just a team member, being responsive is vital to stay connected to your coworkers and ensure that work is flowing smoothly. However, since WFH keeps you away from a visible office environment, it can make you lax. To avoid that, be online at all times and respond to queries and approvals instantly, so your team knows you are around and available. It also helps in resolving issues and addressing problems without any time lapse.

Set meeting schedules

WFH or virtual office is still pretty new for a lot of people. To streamline the workday, it is important to set a schedule and maintain a routine, just like you would in a physical office space. If you used to have a daily team meeting at the start and end of the day, then continue to do so, only inform your team in advance and stick to the set times, unless, of course, there is an emergency.

Be proactive

Being proactive is the key to an organized work practice but more so when you are away from your team and other coworkers. When taking breaks, inform your team members, so everyone is aware and know when and when not to expect you. Encourage the same from other team members as well.

Be inclusive

Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. People might be working remotely, but they still have the need for socializing and sharing their day-to-day events. Encourage people to interact with their work buddies as much as possible. If feasible, plan group lunches on a video call and use the time to talk about things of common interest and bridge the gap that often comes with a virtual work environment. From problem-solving to brainstorming creative ideas, do it as a group, and bring the human touch to your team communication.

Making your team members feel connected and included at all times, especially in these challenging circumstances, would only ensure better coordination and thus higher productivity.

6 Must-Have Remote Work Tools to Help You Work Seamlessly from Home

Work Life Balance

24 June 2020

6 Must-Have Remote Work Tools to Help You Work Seamlessly from Home

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Although the idea of virtual office space and remote working is no unicorn in the professional landscape, the Coronavirus pandemic has pushed us to adopt this culture more widely and seriously. And now that it has become a norm, it’s important to master the practice and use the right tools to increase productivity and continue to work efficiently.

Here are some of the best remote work tools to have:

TeamViewer

If you need basic desktop access, this is the perfect tool to use. With instant file transfers, clipboard transfers, and video-enabled interactions, you can easily replace your physical office space. Maintain social distance and yet be present for your team. TeamViewer is available for Windows, OS X, iOS, Linux, and Android, and it is free for personal use.

Slack

Contrary to its name, this communication platform will never let you slack on your work updates. You can create workgroups, lock confidential messages, alter message retention for security, and integrate it with your Google Drive, Dropbox, and Mailchimp for instant file transfers and uploads. It also allows you to enable instant notifications on your email or phones while you are away from your work desk.

Zoom

Video conferencing is now made easy with apps like Zoom. It is best for teams that require frequent meetings. It’s an open-source app, available for all devices, so you don’t have to spend a dime. You can enable chats while conferencing and ensure 360-degree communication. Zoom meetings are now password protected, which makes it more secure than ever.

Drawpile whiteboard

Sometimes, while briefing, it is easier to draw it out than talk or write. Whether you miss scribbling notes in a meeting or pen down creative ideas, Drawpile lets you present your thoughts graphically. It also fulfils the need of a whiteboard in a meeting room. It’s real-time, allows collaboration from other connected users and is great for designers, planners, and work that requires artistic application/visual presentation.

Basecamp

Ever since it was launched, this web-based project management platform has been a go-to tool for people working virtually. With key features like task management, instant messaging, email, team collaboration, file sharing, message scheduling, creating reports and more, it makes your day to day office tasks easy and efficient. For an annual cost of $99, and available for unlimited users, Basecamp also makes it worth the investment.

Toggl

While instant communication and seamless project management are essential in a virtual workspace, it is also important to keep track of how everyone is utilizing the available time. Toggl works as a time tracker to assess the work hours spent and find out how productive you have been. It is great for time-bound projects, and it’s a free tool, available for all devices.

Whether you are working out of your home office space, or in a co-working space, these essential work tools and software will keep you connected to your teams and make your remote working as much effective as the physical one.