2020 was the year of working from home. It saw co-workers becoming familiar with your home décor, knowing your pet’s names and being sympathetic when you share the difficulties of home schooling your child (or better yet, your children!)
It was the year getting to know everybody a little bit better, even at a physical distance, because you had a front row seat to their daily routine, their home office, their favourite ugly mug, their constant ‘causal clothes’ and sharing in the definite probability of everyone wearing pyjamas or tracksuit pants.
It’s been a year of merging two previously very separate parts of one’s life. Your personal life and your professional life. The question is, is it a bad thing? Or is it actually beneficial for everyone to not lead separate lives, just because you’re at work?
Neglecting your personal life at work can be detrimental to how you show up in your career, your job and your workplace. With over more than 20 years of research and practice on leadership and performance, organisational psychologist, Stewart D. Friedman has determined that when you bring your whole self to work, you are showing up with more energy, higher productivity, a stronger commitment and increased focus. As a leader, you can encourage the best of your team members by understanding and accounting for the personal values and passions that continuingly drive them. Being a leader isn’t just about doing good for the business. It’s about life as well.
This then leads into the work/life balance. Here at Corporate Edge, we simply call it a balance. As leaders, we want our team to feel balanced, in control and not like they’re trading something off for their career, or their family/personal life. Integrating the 4 aspects of your life promotes a strong sense of contentment. These 4 aspects according to Friedman are work, home, community and self. By merging these four key elements of one’s life, you are creating a better life for you, and your most important people.
As a leader, you will come to the realisation that you have more freedom in trying new ways of getting things done. You have the ability to lead by example, encourage personal shares and be aware of what drives each individual, in their work life and their home life. It all makes for better business, better leadership, better relationships and a better work environment.