It is all about WORK.
Love what you do, Do what you love!
I still remember my childhood Diwali days. The whole week before Diwali will be special. There will be big stoves assembled in our balcony and my mother will be busy preparing the sweets, savories etc. We kids will be jumping in joy, fighting among us on who molds the first laddu to who packs the first gift etc. Not to forget the fight for sharing the crackers!!!
We will be helping our mother who is sitting and cooking for the whole day. But the end of the day, we will not feel any tired.
Sitting in front of the fire for so long my mother would be tired. But the moment we stand in front asking for the sweet, she will be happy to help us.
We worked together with our mother. But rather than complaining and doing it, we enjoyed it. So, at the end of the day, we did not feel tired. We never changed our smiling face.
Same experience for the Pongal festival too. We get the whole house cleaned and whitewashed. We will be busy continuously for multiple days to get this done. But all we had was the excitement of getting the house painted, but no sign of tiredness.
So, how is it possible that after doing such work, we never got tired? Is it because we were more energetic those days?
No. It was all in the mind. When you love doing something, you seldom feel it as a burden.
So, if you feel the tired and exhausted end of the day after your work, then it means you are not doing what you like, or what you want to do.
Maybe it’s time to look for a new job. Yes, it only means you are not enjoying your work. Right?
No work/Life without Life/Work
After a good education, we all wanted to get into a dream job. Some may want to shine as an Entrepreneur. Whichever direction your dream takes you, it’s really time to see how you manage the WORK-LIFE balance.
You rightly noticed it – a mixed theme. One is not exclusive of other.
Yes, no work without a peaceful life, and no life without any work. Hence it should be balanced somewhere in middle. And add a bit of “ego”, the family life is headed straight for disaster. Many had failed here and put their family life into big trouble.
How are we going to manage this?
In the olden days, we mostly had the whole family working together. Husband and wife will be on the field doing the farming. So, you always had your family with you and spent time together for work.
Slowly it changed to have men & women taking up the work in different industries and construction sites. So, there was not only change in the nature of work but also the time they spent together took a toss.
Until the 90s, we had more or less 8am-5pm job. Which means, your time/day with your family depends on how close you were staying from your office.
My dad uses to travel 2 hours to reach his office. Which means, he leaves home at 6 am and returns around 7-8pm. This was a routine for all the 6 days of the week. Sunday was the only day when he spent the time with us. And he will give his 100% to us.
No complaints. My mother was a homemaker and she handled all – from school admission to fees payment, to shopping etc. My father and mother clearly marked their area of expertise, worked and contributed to making the family better.
The so-called IT Sector
Then late 90s we had the so-called IT coming into the picture. Or let me say computer-related jobs. Because even a “Typist” in the DTP office was claiming to be doing a computer job!
This drastically changed the picture. With many families having both parents working, the fight for who takes care of the home or the kids came as a big question. Mostly it was women who compromised their career.
Good or bad, a man without a job was looked down in the society. That was the harsh truth.
So, this was also a reason for the friction, which led to divorce and separation too. Add to that, we no more live as a joint family, so neither of our parents can help in this situation.
Still, some women managed to excel by wearing multiple hats – as a homemaker and a company employee. Even when women were ready to work at odd hours, the environment was spoiled by some anti-social elements. Which made the government come up with the knee-jerk decision of not having the women after the late evening at work. Rather than curbing the culprits, they forced women to get back home earlier.
Maybe they thought she can be back home to spend time with her loved ones?
Or maybe, they thought the safety of women as a priority? Remember what we discussed in last week? Yes right, play it safe – this exact thought is what could have led to such a decision.
Anyway, how many women liked this idea? I doubt if any did.
With the IT in to picture, there was some new concept called flexi hours. Which again pulled the crowds to this sector. And it later even offered work from home.
So, what are this flexi hours? Which side is it flexible. To us? Or to the company?
Let us look at this fancy word called flexible timing.
It means, a company is not keen on doing micromanagement on you, and you are free to keep a flexible timing. But the only requirement was to fulfill the minimum hours of clocking 8 hours of work.
Many IT companies have their client in different time zone. So, by default, you are expected to attend any meeting that happens in their time zone. This is on top of the hours you clock in the day.
Do not have an illusion that this is only in countries like India. Even in developed countries like France and Germany, the government was forced to act a law for employees to get their after-work life. Yes, officially none of the company in here can question their employees on why the email was not responded if that was outside the office hours. In fact, some have even gone ahead to stop forwarding emails from the company server to employees account outside the company work time.
So, the above point only reiterates that the issue of work-life balance is everywhere. But, me working in Europe can say this with confidence – There is much better work-life balance in Europe than even in the USA. The compulsory vacations an employee gets is also monitored by the government, HR and law have made the immediate managers responsible. So, every employee is sure to get his share of vacations.
Leave work at the workplace
When you enter the home in the evening, enter as a husband or wife or dad or mother etc But certainly not as an employee. Leave your work at the workplace! Spend time with your toddler, help your partner at cooking, teach some maths to your kids.
Imagine an industry, where the production line strictly restricts worker to work beyond 8 hours. Shift changes happen at right time. No, not because the labor laws govern it. It is because you cannot carry the production work back home as many do in IT.
But, those working now in IT knows that on an average they work for their employer at least 10-12 hours – mostly without even knowing that they do so. Work is work whether one does it mentally or physically.
Blame it on the Mobile communication. Such works start early in the morning when we wake up from the bed. It all will start with “Ok, let me just respond to this email alone.”
And that will be just the beginning. If the laptop was occupying us at home for official works, Mobiles occupy us even during commuting.
So, do you think life would be better for those who work from home? Can it help you have some additional personal time?
Hold on, until you read the next part. Then decide for yourself.
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