Work is not a place. It’s what you do.

You may perform great work from anywhere in the world. Home, office, coworking, coffee shop, outdoor environments are just physical spaces with different rules and adjustments.

Are you eager for change and open to try something relatively new? The world is changing faster, the work is changing too. This pandemic is certainly a major wake-up call for office life. Let’s make it an opportunity to think smart, rethink the structure, and the approach to work.

Identify what matters.

You desire a work-life balance. Who wouldn’t, right? Career and personal life somehow influence each other and evolve into good or bad terms. It’s like a marriage. There is no "perfect" work-life balance.

Find a solution, a state of equilibrium in agreement with the company you work for to match your professional demands with personal ones. Are you willing to experiment until you discover what works?

Work-life balance is not an entitlement or benefit. Your company can give it to you or cannot. You have to create it yourself.

Create a schedule that works for you, think about the best way to achieve balance at work and in your personal life.

Work-life balance in my opinion is less about dividing the hours in a day evenly between work and personal life and, instead, is more about having the flexibility to get things done in my professional life while still having time and energy to enjoy my personal life.

Don't strive for the perfect schedule; strive for a realistic one. Some days, you might focus more on work, while other days you might have more time and energy to pursue your hobbies or spend time with your loved ones. Balance is achieved over time, not each day.

Set boundaries for yourself and your colleagues, to avoid burnout. Consider having separate lives, so you can shut the work one off when you clock out.

Set specific work hours. Whether you work away from home or at home, it is important to determine when you will work and when you will stop working; otherwise, you might find yourself answering work-related emails late at night, during vacations or on weekends off.

Deliver more than expected. Be productive instead of busy. Gain trust!

Everybody works differently and finds productivity in different methods. You may enjoy listening to music, but have worked with people who need absolute silence to be able to focus. You may take advantage of being in a team. You may either prefer to start work early so you can finish earlier, or you may not be a morning person and will happily start a bit later so you can hit a couple of extra snoozes on the alarm. You either may want to work from the office, your role requires your presence there or "too much proximity to the fridge is not good for you".

It takes all sorts to make a world.

With all these differing needs, can one space solve them all? It’s unlikely, unless you have a space big enough to create different areas for different expectations.

You can just simply find your space and your best way to get things done.

Remote, virtual, office work. Whatever. Some companies promote smart working, others tolerate it and some actively discourage it. These differences point to the idea that companies need to consider a hybrid model that allows much greater flexibility for team members to do their jobs from the locations where they’re most productive. With team members distributed across distances – some preferring the office environment and others getting more done without long commutes – managers need to look at what has been successful during the lockdown and apply that to a more permanent and truthful way of working.

Maximise your productivity, excel at that! Make sure that the output is measured, not time spent at the desk.

You work from home you may ‘slack off’; you sleep in, work less hours and finish earlier. While this might be the case for some people also at work it’s not the case for all. If you don’t work hard, any place won’t make any difference, then there is a much bigger problem than flexible working. You earn zero trust, the company does not trust you back, and without trust both will never be happy.

A trust-driven work environment is critical to team success. And it is also a step toward feedback systems focusing on how people do their work, not on where they work.

As it turns out, replicating and improving office protocols in our homes or spaces outside of the office does make and does not.

What’s your experience?