I had a revelation yesterday! I realized that I no longer want to pursue work-life balance or work-life separation. I don’t mind occasionally working during the weekends or finishing some tasks at 10 pm (I am a night owl, this is my most productive time anyway).
What I really want is a CHOICE.
It was around 1 pm yesterday when I looked at my window and saw a beautiful sunny day (not a very frequent occasion during Toronto’s winter). I had just finished one big task and was about to start the next one. When I suddenly realized, I didn’t have to do it right away, and what if instead I will take advantage of this great weather and go skating for an hour.
At first, it felt strange to arrive at an almost empty skating ring in the middle of the day, but it felt just right after a few minutes.
Yes, I worked a bit longer yesterday, but I felt good and refreshed and had all the energy to do it.
I know that some days will be busier than others, and I am not opposed to having business meetings during vacation or finishing projects on Sundays, as long as it’s my CHOICE.
I understand that many people don’t have the option to leave their work whenever they want, especially in service-providing industries or retail.
But flexibility at work should not stop at job hours or work from home.
What if the company can give employees a choice to work on a different team or get involved in the project outside their usual responsibilities?
Or what if an employee can switch with the boss for a day (it might be an eye-opening experience for the boss as well).
Or maybe offer support and training for a different set of skills.
In the last two years, we were pushed to abandon many familiar aspects of how we used to work, and we needed to figure out things fast just to survive. Now we can use this momentum of creativity and reinvent what choice might look like outside of the boundaries of flexible work hours and home offices.