'There is no work-life balance, only work-life integration'
July 08, 2014 16:44 IST
I am a career woman working from the last 15 years. I have a daughter in kindergarten, and yes, I feel guilty about leaving her while working, especially since I do not have any extended family staying with us.
I read Indra Nooyi's interview and I do agree that a woman cannot have it all. At the same time, there are always some sacrifices to be made, even by a man. For a woman, there is always the tussle between balancing her time with her family and household duties with that spent at work.
In the current era of digital explosion, the concept of work-life balance ceases to exist as the line between the two is blurring by the day. There can only be a 'healthy work-life integration'. Here are some ways in which I cope-
1. Be efficient at whatever you do -- be it cooking, household chores, spending time with kids viz. their activities, feeding, homework etc and also in your work. That way, you do not end up spending a lot of unproductive time leading to frustration at any of the above tasks. 'Being efficient' means being able to do a task in the minimal amount of time without unnecessary effort. If this requires you to upskill yourself in any of the above, then do so at the earliest.
2. Go for organisations that offer flexibility such work-from-home, sabbaticals or flexible working hours. Most organisations, these days, encourage this and it acts as a great motivator at hiring events.
3. Have a good support system in place such as in-laws, parents, neighbours and maids or nannies. Be sure to set the right expectations from them and do not scrimp on their salaries or perks. They are the people who will make your life easy and hence deserve a lot of respect and commitment from you.
4. Split up chores or duties with your spouse for kids, home, family etc. It is very important to take your spouse into confidence. Without his support, it is impossible to carry this off.
5. Take vacations, time-offs, sabbaticals whenever required to rejuvenate. Keep your boss in the loop of what is happening in your life to make this easier.
6. Take care of your diet, health and exercise regime. Without this, you will never have the energy to fire on all cylinders.