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Women Executives: Finding Balance When Work and Home Are The Same Place

Posted By Christine Cube, Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Stepping away from work, while we’re all sheltering at home because of the pandemic, has never been more difficult.

But a group of building executives recently shared their secrets to balancing home, family, and their professional lives, during a July 30 virtual meeting of the Women Executives in Building leadership series.

Ideas ran the gamut, from exercise and eating well to weekly mindfulness and meditation programs online. And when all else fails: One should never underestimate the power of a Zoom happy hour or Houseparty game night with friends.

Lakisha A. Woods, CAE, President and CEO of the National Institute of Building Sciences, said stepping away from work needs to be intentional. Your home office should be in a place that’s distinct, and when you leave work, you close the door.

“I find balance by shutting that door, being with my family and spending time,” Woods said. “It’s taking this time and finding the good in it. A virtual happy hour with friends is always a good idea.”

Other executives shared their secrets:

  • Schedule boundaries. Deliberately not scheduling meetings over lunch or at the last hour of the work day.
  • Put the phone down. Electronically cutting oneself off when work has concluded, keeping strict rules so you’re not attached to your phone.
  • Take a walk. Taking time during the work day to clear your mind and recalibrate. Literally adding this to the calendar so it takes place.

Executives also offered ways to help keep employees stay and feel balanced. These have included installing summer office hours through Labor Day, allowing team members to leave early on Fridays, and one team every Friday sends an email to each individual team member, listing something they were grateful for that week.  This has been helpful with lifting spirits and keeping up motivation.

The next virtual meeting of the Women Executives in Building leadership series now is being planned. Look for updated information on nibs.org.

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