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WORK-LIFE BALANCE:

SEEKING BALANCE

An article by Denise Ruggiero

Work-Life balance: Seeking balance

The employee is looking for a company in which it is possible to move in the balance between professional and personal commitments without compromising either one or the other, but uniting them in peaceful coexistence. A unique space in which the physical and digital presence of employees merge in a bond that today we can define with the neologism of phydigital, between ‘physical’ and ‘digital’.

Some of the central themes in achieving work-life balance are:

  • technology;
  • space;
  • time

Technology

The development of new digital solutions at work has been positively received over the years by employees who have recognized the impact of technology at work as an opportunity factor. There is an openness on the part of employees towards new digital solutions and a desire to train in new technologies. Employees are in favour of structuring their work activities into in-company and remote activities, a right mix from which they benefit in terms of efficiency and productivity.

Two examples of corporate strategy: body-bring your own device, digital workplace

The use of devices, i.e. devices that make it possible to work anywhere through professional services and tools, plays an important role. The company with respect to mobile devices to be provided to employees may decide to adopt the policy of Body-Bring Your Own Device. The Body-Bring Your Own Device allows employees to work with their own smartphones or tablets, which are often more sophisticated and digitally advanced than those provided by companies, thus significantly reducing business costs. In addition, employees will work with devices they are more familiar with, which benefits the efficiency of the tasks performed.

 

The Digital Workplace can be a possible answer to employees’ needs as we are talking about a digital work environment in which the use of integrated and secure applications improves communication, collaboration, sharing, and updating of information and content. Companies that adopt the Digital Workplace become attractive for recruiting employees who are increasingly looking for companies where there is a greater focus on the quality of life and work.

Space

With a view to hybrid working, companies must adapt the office to the new needs of employees by paying more attention to their needs. There are four flexible office models: Culture Club; In and Out; Community Nodes and Collective.

  • The Culture Club: a single office furnished with sofas, tables, and chairs. There are no individual workstations for employees, who work mainly from home and only come into the office when interaction and discussion with colleagues are necessary.
  • In and Out: employees rotate periodically to the office. The office has both individual workstations and spaces where they gather for meetings.
  • Community Nodes: employees do not work at home and do not go to the office, but there is an extensive network of hubs from which employees can choose according to needs such as proximity and convenience.
  • Collective: a single space where workplaces and relaxation areas alternate. There are several groups of workers divided into small teams.

The office is therefore chosen according to the organisation of the company. If, for example, it is a question of companies collaborating on a common project, a collective, a single room that facilitates the exchange of ideas and communication between employees can be proposed.

Another important aspect to be taken into account when designing the office is the adoption of appropriate audio-visual systems to assist employees connected remotely. This is with a view to the liquid organisation of work, which allows employees to carry out activities both remotely and in presence without feeling excluded in the event of an impediment in reaching the office or in deciding to work in a place other than the office if they consider it useful for work productivity.

Thanks to organisational fluidity, employees will feel comfortable in their chosen workspace and will focus more on pursuing their goals.

Time

Time management for employees is a source of great stress that negatively affects the work-life balance.At work, time should be organised by scheduling activities on a daily and weekly basis and by prioritising tasks in order to pursue objectives. Time well spent at work, concentrating on the moment and the tasks at hand, reflects positively in private life as it reduces stress and wasted energy. Having defined times is effective, but does not exclude the possibility that something may go against what has been set, the important thing is to start acquiring a planned method of working.

As well as benefiting work performance, organisation benefits the personal life of the worker, who will be able to carve out free moments to cultivate social relationships.

These organisational skills are fully addressed in the agile working formula, which is characterised by a new time management and a different way of approaching life and work. The worker has greater decision-making power and becomes the protagonist of his or her time, allowing himself or herself the luxury of dedicating ‘off-schedule’ hours during the week to activities determined by him or her.

This new work-life balance becomes a source of well-being for the worker that will produce qualitatively superior work.

Denise Ruggiero

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