Smart working: if you have children at home it has to be smarter
In some ways and for many people, working from home in the time of Coronavirus has been a very demanding experience. The form of flexibility defined as ‘Smart Working’ should in fact not be confused with the ‘remote working’ or teleworking model that has become widespread in response to the emergency.
Actual Smart Working offers workers a high level of flexibility and a better work-life balance.
However, the pandemic left us with no choice and, in some ways, teleworking (combined with lockdown) forced people into domestic confinement.
The upside of this, however, was that remote working allowed certain work activities to continue despite the pandemic, at a time of great anxiety and uncertainty.
Working from home: the main challenges
All of a sudden, we had to switch to a completely different way of perceiving and experiencing time and work spaces: uncomfortable chairs, small PC monitors, makeshift desks.
Then with schools closed, many families also experienced the difficulty of having children and teenagers at home and managing them during this time of emergency. With distance learning and virtual class meetings, it has sometimes been a challenge of titanic proportions!
Often, parents had to juggle their work routine with domestic duties, without any support or even the chance to take a break.
The inability to meet face to face with one’s peers – colleagues, friends or schoolmates for the little ones – accentuated feelings of frustration during this period and made communication within families even more challenging.
The beauty of rediscovering yourself
The situation was challenging and surreal for many of us, but there was certainly a silver lining: the time we were able to spend together with our families.
The emergency pushed us into a forced, yet loving embrace.
Our children gave us some unique moments. We got to know more about their schooling, and gained greater insight into their friendships and their inner thoughts.
The younger ones enjoyed having their parents so close, and were able to better understand the work they do after they drop them off at school.
Teenagers experienced firsthand what it means to reconcile work, home and family, and often shared their parents’ commitments.
We took care and looked after each other, with an inevitable sharing of roles.
It was a social experiment that we hope not to have to repeat; but it actually enriched every one of us: thanks to our families, we will never be able to remember it as ‘just’ a disaster.
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