Work-life balance - a personal perspective

Work-life balance - a personal perspective
2021-09-16

In the blog article I wrote a while ago, I reflected on the challenges in work-life balance as a result of the first Covid lock down as an academic and also as a parent of young children. Since then, we had another lockdown after Christmas 2020, and the memory of home schooling a 7 years old and a 4 years old is still vivid. Juggling my own work and school work was a challenge, there were frustration and break downs. But looking back, it was an invaluable experience for all of us. The children now understand that we need to manage our time properly, they know that during ‘work time’ we need to concentrate and do our best, but it is also important to take breaks and have a ‘coffee’ (not that I am caffeine addicted or the children would appreciate caffeine at their age).

I felt that I was setting a good role model for my children and feel less ‘guilty’ for a being a working mum. I had a better idea of the progress they made with their schoolwork, I got involved in their learning. We spent such much time together as a family. Those are the times I treasure very much. As a friend said to me recently, it is very strange how every cloud has silver lining. Article Work-life balance – a personal perspective ‘Work-life balance is a cycle, not an achievement’, I came across this recent article by Lupu and Ruiz-Castro in the Harvard Business Review (see https:// hbr.org/2021/01/work-life-balance-isa-cycle-not-an-achievement).

I agree that there is no one-time fix of work-life balance, but rather, we must continuously engage in a cycle as our circumstances and priorities evolve. The pandemic has made me more aware of the mental process where I examined the imbalance and challenges, reprioritised and implemented strategies (with help from family, friends and colleagues). I have learnt new skills and become more organised. On that note, I’d like to consider the balance of my worklife, during the unprecedented times, a proud achievement. Now normality is slowly returning, I look forward to going back to the office, having coffees with colleagues, and seeing my students face-to-face. As my children are getting busy with their after school activities, I will miss the time we spent together, even the home schooling.

Published by Business School, University of Aberdeen

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