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The English language is full of great motivational phrases and maxims designed to make us think or act in a certain way. These are phrases that have existed for so long it is often difficult to identify where they originally came from. One thing is for certain, however; all of us have heard these phrases, and all of us know what they mean.
Unfortunately, some of these phrases seem to contradict each other. Take 'the early bird catches the worm', for example; this demonstrates how important it is to come out of the blocks flying every day, and to make our moves before our competitors do. However, another famous piece of rhetoric - 'all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy', seems to push us in the other direction, advising us to adopt a more relaxed and playful approach to work, and to life in general.
The truth is, of course, that we do need to work hard to get what we want in life, but, equally, we do need to make time to enjoy the precious moments we have. This is the fabled work/life balance, and it is actually far more important than many of us realise.
We've all heard about the work/life balance, and most of us probably had a go at achieving this for ourselves. However, when we are working to get our businesses off the ground, or putting in the extra hours to please a high-value client, finding this balance can seem like an impossible dream, or at least very far away.
But this is set to change. Thanks to improved technology and an increased awareness of what is possible in the workplace, we are seeing a shift in best practices. This, in turn, is making it easier than ever to really hit that sweet spot between living life and getting ahead in business.
Why are we so optimistic about the future of work, and about the future of the work/life balance? After all, such idealistic expectations of the future often turn out to be unfounded, so why should the dream of achieving success in the workplace and still having time to enjoy with family, with friends, and for ourselves, be any different? Well, this is because it makes sense: it actually makes sense that the future of work will be all about life.
Experiments carried out in the workplace have found that engagement and passion are critical for successful completion of goals in the long term and short term. This cannot be achieved simply by adopting a stoic attitude to work - by soldiering on - but instead by recapturing the essence of joy and excitement that lead us into our career paths in the first place. Giving teams free rein to work on and develop their own projects, and to pursue their own ideas and passions, have proved fruitful for firms such as Atlassian, pushing their engagement levels and even helping teams to bring new products to market.
This certainly makes work a more enjoyable part of life, but this is not quite what is usually meant by a work/life balance. Of course, doing what you love is vital, and is one of the best routes to happiness, but what about direct management of our time when it comes to both work and life?
Remote work is growing in popularity and is giving teams the flexibility they need to find fulfilment both at home and at work. At a conceptual level, remote work means that workers are not confined to the office, or to the traditional 40 hour, five day working week. Instead, they have the chance to work more flexible hours, often from remote locations, making it much easier to achieve a work/life balance which supports both our health and our professional lives.
Moving towards this remote model is not a compromise to enable employees to get the best out of life. It unlocks a range of benefits for employers too, including reduced costs, increased agility in terms of operating hours, and fewer hours lost to employee illness.
With so much to gain for both employees and employers, supporting the work/life balance with technology is something which all of us can get excited about. To see how this will look, we need only turn towards the best video conferencing hardware and software solutions already available to us, and see how these tech solutions are going to give the business landscape a new lease of life in the future.
Let's imagine that one of your employees has experienced a change in their family circumstances and they have welcomed two twin boys to the fold. In the past, this huge change would have made it difficult for the team member to perform at their best, with so many other considerations to take care of. However, regular remote video conferences coupled with a flexible working schedule now mean that this is a thing of the past.
We can also imagine a business owner who is busy working with partners to get their startup off the ground. In the past, the high levels of contact time involved would have put a strain on family life, or on time spent with friends. Video conferencing solutions make it possible for the business owner to hit their targets and check in for regular meetings with partners, without missing out on all the social events and trips that make life work living.
This is the future, and all of us stand to gain from this new way of thinking, and of working. Get in touch with the Express Virtual Meetings team today to learn more.
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