The topic of achieving a work-life balance is so close to each one’s heart and I am sure everyone would have an opinion on whether current work circumstances allow us to achieve the same in the IT World. I have captured some of the possible theories of the as-is and the desired to-be work life balance situations...
Work-Life balance in the ideal world
Theory 1: The Work – Life Balance
- 06:00: Wake Up, Brush, Take Bath, Shave etc.
- 06:30: Update yourself on GK and current affairs with “The Hindu”
- 06:45: Idly / Dosa / Vada + Sambhar / Chutney cooked by mom
- 07:00: Travel at 80 kmph to office on your super-bike or fashionable car
- 07:30: Settle down in place with a cup of “Coffee Day” coffee
- 07:45: Finish off all previous day mails
- 09:30: Greet people coming in with a huge grin indicating that you have finished off most of the work in a quiet environment while they are just coming in!
- 12:30: Hog to glory in the canteen / Dhaba next to office
- 13:15: Chat about non-work related topics with colleagues
- 13:30: Back to work
- 16:30: Travel back at 60 kmph (till Madhya Kailash) & 30 kmph (till home)
- 17:15: Go to gym to show off those biceps
- 18:00: The second bath of the day to freshen up
- 18:30: Time to spend with family, friends, kids, grandpas, grandmas, etc. + Watch Tamil Serials + Eat Light food + Browse the net / computer games / read the latest Harry Potter => Basically have a good time
- 23:00: Sleep like a good kid after your prayers for the night
- Weekends: Go for a short trip / Play games / Go to the movies / shopping / restaurants etc.
The real world offshore – Faced by thousands
Theory 2: The Work – Wife Balance
- 07:45: Wake up; Brush & take bath if possible and if in mood to do so; Make sure your wife does not find out that you didn’t do either
- 08:15: Run, run, run till you are just able to shout to the driver to stop the bus
- 09:15: Stand at the end of the breakfast queue at canteen in a sweaty shirt
- 09:45: Stare at your angry boss as you enter your place
- 10:30: Get reminded by wife about dinner outside at night
- 13:00: Go for lunch at canteen if you have the time, else settle for a bite at the pantry
- 13:30: Back to more mails and stares from boss and module leaders
- 14:30: Get reminded by wife about kid indulging in some pranks in school and hence the need to attend the PTA meet this time
- 17:30: Team meeting where boss says that nothing in the project is going right
- 18:15: Call with onsite to check out what is the problem (they are the more informed of the people around)
- 19:25: Run for the bus only to realize that the clock at the security gate seems to be showing a different time today, so you just missed your bus
- 19:28: Crib to wife about how the bus guy was really mean to you; Hear a bang of the phone on the other end
- 19:30: Go back to your place since your next bus is only at 20:15
- 19:35: Pick up the phone to get more requests from onsite
- 21:00: Finally take the bus back home
- 21:50: Reach home after a combination of bus + walk + auto
- 21:55: Listen from your wife on how you had ditched her for dinner
- 22:30: Settle in to have a cold dinner at home
- 23:00: Watch TV
- 23:02: Sleep off with TV and lights on
- Weekends: Same as weekdays; If the project has good times, then you can hope to sleep a lot of the time if you don’t have to go shopping with your wife.
(Disclaimer: This is applicable to husbands as well for the ladies, just used “wife” for rhyming purposes, so the ladies please excuse)
The real world onsite
Theory 3: The Fork – Knife Balance
- 07:15: Wake up after the tenth alarm
- 07:20: Brush, take bath, shave etc. in the biting cold cursing all the while that you don’t have an option to not do these at onsite
- 07:50: Make your own badly done breakfast with just two options – bread or cornflakes; Practice eating it with a fork and a knife
- 08:00: Catch a tram + a train + a bus to finally arrive at the workplace
- 08:30: Stare at the same three faces in office
- 10:30: Pester the client(s) for a meeting or a project
- 13:00: Lunch with the client where you have to eat even a chapathi with a fork and knife
- 14:00: Run around for the nth registration form and the mth office in which you have to reinforce that you are not a native of the particular country
- 15:00: Settle back in office to maybe talk to offshore
- 18:00: Finish up all calls, mails and chats with India
- 18:45: Buy vegetables and other groceries on the way back home.
- 19:30: Reach home after a combination of the three modes of transport.
- 19:45: Start the long cooking phenomena
- 20:45: After multiple design, construction and testing cycles, settle for a rice that is half-cooked, a sambhar that has a vague taste of the sambhar powder and a vegetable that may be a bit too deep fried
- 21:30: Finish off the food by watching the only English channel on TV, CNN
- 21:45: Settle down to see what you need to get / buy / finish for the next day both on personal and work fronts
- 22:45: Iron out a pant and a shirt for the next day; After multiple attempts when ironing one side spoils the other, realize that you can’t do any better and stop for the night
- 23:30: Crash on your bed
Saturday: Sleep till evening and catch up with everyone online after that;
Sunday: Do the laundry including washing, drying and ironing
I am sure a lot of different people would have even more thoughts on the same. Do post your thoughts in the comments section...