Work life balance/collision.
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#3DVU Work life balance/collision. Episode 527 min read

When COVID-19 hit and the world changed, what we noticed was that it was no longer work life balance, but more like a work life collision because the lines were completely blurred. In this episode we discuss the ramifications of this new reality.

Transcript of Episode 5

LaMondre Pough: Welcome to 3DVU, one conversation, three different perspectives. I’m LaMondre Pough.

David Pérez: I am David Perez.

Richard Streitz: AndI am Richard Streitz. Thank you for joining us.

LaMondre Pough: There is a concept out there called work life balance and for years and years, we’ve really been, we’ve really been dealing with this. We’ve been trying to keep that balance between our personal lives and our work lives.

Well, when COVID-19 hit and the world changed, what we noticed was that it was no longer work life balance, but more like a work life collision because the lines were completely blurred. No, no longer was there this concept of, okay, I’m working and now I’m at home or I’m working and this is my personal life, and this is my professional life.

When everyone had to go home and we started doing zoom meetings and, and whatever platform that people use, we started to see our personal lives creep into our professional lives. And when it first started happening, you know, we, we, we were all kind of chuckling and giggling about it because let’s face it, it was absolutely funny to see kids come crashing in, on like a really serious interview or a really serious meeting. But the truth is it brought about some changes and it made us see things differently. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to talk about the work life collision.

So guys, tell me about your experiences with the worklife collision.

Richard Streitz: Well, you know, it’s fascinating because one of the things I think that, um, I, the, the, the act of isolating and staying at home isn’t necessarily, well, it’s isolating for some, but for, for others, it’s really getting to know your family again, um, for, for other than just passing, you know, uh, um, in the, in the early morning or in the evening, or before going to bed, saying hi, bye. This kind of thing. And, and I think, you know, that has created a level of humanity amongst all of us, which I think we, as a general society has sort of lost sight of and the act of that, bringing everyone back down to earth, you know, not having to wear this battle armor.

Has allowed, uh, you know, the, your, your work persona, your, this, this battle armor that we put on when we, when we go to the office or go to whatever job we do. I think staying at home, um, humanizes us all. And as a, as of reaction to that when we interact with people like this medium that we’re using here.

Um, I think there’s, there’s a relation to the individual on the other side, in a very empathetic way that as more, as feeling more humanized, we now relate at a much different and, and more, a more real level, um, a more authentic level.

David Pérez: Yeah, no, I agree with Richard that it, it definitely has humanized everyone. I think that we’ll, we were all hiding some parts of ourselves behind the walls of our office or our home, right? Now they’re both together. They’re both the same place and every single person that you meet, you see them right they’re in their element. Basically. You see them dealing with the things that they have to deal with, like dogs barking or kids running around and things simply happening. And I think that that, that gives us a great opportunity to also humanize business, right? Because business has always been more about the numbers and the intangibles than the people, the people themselves.

Right. Who am I affecting? What am I doing? What am I, what I’m doing, is it ethic or it is not ethic. Am I hurting people or am I helping them? I think that all of this humanization of the workplace by actually being separate, which is very ironic.

Richard Streitz: Counterintuitive, yes.

David Pérez: Yeah. It’s counter intuitive, but it actually opens up doors for bigger conversations and better and more interesting places to work at, because I know for a fact that my generation in general, we’re looking for places to work at, where they felt valued or where they felt that they were doing something valuable at the same time and not knowing who you’re affecting, not knowing that your teammates are also people because they appear like corporate robots.

I know that hurt a lot of people in their well in their self progress or development journey and having, having to deal with this has been hard as we have discussed in past episodes, but I know that it has also opened opportunities for growth in personal and as corporations.

LaMondre Pough: Yeah. Yeah, no, I definitely agree.

And I think that, you know, we, having a glimpse inside of someone’s world, seeing them in their natural surrounding also helps to, as you said, David, get rid of the whole robot concept, concept and really allows us to see people as individuals. And honestly, when you begin to see people as individuals, and you begin to see them in their element, in their environment.

What that does is it creates environments where people do have a sense of belonging because yes, we’re working. Yes, we’re being productive or whatever it is. But because I see you as an individual, I see David, I don’t just see employee number 11 0 1 2 3. You know, I see David, I see David’s couch.

I see, you know, I see, Richard. I see that, you know, Richard has a map behind him and whatever that says about Richard’s personality, it’s given me a glimpse into who and what he is. So it allows, it gives us a sense of belonging. It gives us actually a sense of community, a sense of, you know, a collection of individuals, uh, who still have their individual traits and characteristics.

We’re working towards a common goal. So I really think that it’s also a boost and a, um, and a support of diversity. It’s a support of the inclusion message that, uh, that we work so hard. Uh, to, to promote and get out there. We can actually see it now, we can see that diversity in people’s homes. Richard?

Richard Streitz: Well, yeah, you know, what’s interesting is that it creates a level playing field, right?

It’s sort of re baselines everyone starting up from the same point. For many, many people, everyone had to kind of learn and figure out how to use these media, this medium, you know, whatever platform that they’re using and, and. Um, and so everyone had to sort of deal with the fumbling around the, the awkwardness of, you know, camera not working, the you’re talking, but the Mike’s not on, you know, the, the mutes on and, and this sort of thing, you know, I mean, everyone sort of had to re-learn that and no matter how sophisticated or what level they were in the office, you know, there are, everyone’s, it baselines everyone everyone’s starting from this.

And, and again, I think that, uh, you know, as we were talking about that level of humanization tends to lead to more richer conversations and in the business world, as individuals connect more at that level, you end up having much more real, authentic conversations that lead to better, more richer, um, business relationships and, and, and more can be accomplished.

Um, uh, and I think that can only be good.

LaMondre Pough: Yeah, I definitely agree with that, you know, and I want to say this as well, so we won’t, um, so it won’t seem like everybody is doing this. We recognize that there are a number of industries and people who did not, uh, you know, do the whole work from home thing. And we’re not necessarily, um, did not necessarily have to deal with that.

Um, and we also recognize that there are a lot of people who could not do that, but I think that there has been so many people that has that, that, that have had to do that and have had to make these adjustments that it has fundamentally changed the way we view how we can work. And of course, I don’t know how things are going to go once, once this pandemic has gotten to a place where it’s more manageable and people can get back into the world, but I really don’t believe it’s ever going to go back. Uh, to what it was. I don’t think it’s gonna ever go back to business as usual. Um, so I think we have forever and fundamentally changed the way we communicate and the way we do business, um, with this.

David Pérez: Yeah, we definitely have, I think it is, it’s a fact that business has changed and it will never be the same again. There are companies that are already making the move to work from home completely because there’s actually no need thanks to the internet for you to have a business, a building in the biggest part of town and drive up prices of real estate all around you just to, to exist as a company that’s not necessary.

And, and the biggest companies in the world are going that route. Right. What that can do for small businesses that are just starting out is incredible, right? Because now you don’t need that, that sort of old school mentality of creating a business to actually start one and create big impact in your industry, whatever it might be.

Right. You can start from your garage. As we have always said, across the entrepreneurship world. It started from a garage. Well, now it really can start from a garage and it will be taken with the same seriousness that it has, that, that if you were in a business building or wherever you were in the world, it’s an amazing opportunity.

LaMondre Pough: Yeah. Brick and mortar has become less and less significant in terms of being able to connect in terms of having a, a “real” quote unquote business, because before it was about the address. Before it was about, Hey, where is your office located before it was about those things. But now those things are, are so much less important.

It really boils down to, okay, what can we do? How, how, how nimble is this business? How can we move this forward? You know but the other side of that, that it brings up for me is I think about, you know, the digital divide and what that means for, you know, rural communities or, or organi, or areas where high speed internet is not readily available.

And, and how, what this time could mean as, as we make this transition into being reliant much more on digital communications, what that means for populations that don’t have access like that and how much wider that divide. Is going to become, unless something is done drastically to change that, people are going to be left behind.

Richard Streitz: Well, yeah. And one of the biggest, um, exposures of that is the whole school what’s happening with schools all over the place is, you know, the availability of, of, uh, of having, um, um, the tools and, and laptops or, or tablets, or what have you, along with the, um, the high speed connection to be able to participate in schools, um, for those that are, are, uh, schooling at home or doing online schooling.

And so that really exasperates and really exposes how fragile our, our more rural and remote communities are. And, and, and those individuals, you know, not necessarily being, uh, having the same benefit as kids their same age in more urban settings. So, uh, it, it is a very interesting and challenging problem.

And, and, you know, I, I think because we’re at a huge paradigm shift, just a huge paradigm shift across so many business sectors, um, with what’s going on that, you know, there’s no way we can go back. That’s just not, you know, in a way, this is the, this is our version of the industrial revolution, right. Where we weren’t going back to horses and, and, uh, you know, I mean, it’s, it’s that sort of large shift in how we’re going to move from here forward. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s really, um, and, and I think that that’s driven by a couple things that have happened simultaneously. So we have an old guard, sort of the old generation that grew up with that had to have the address, had to have the brick and mortar and, and as a result of everything that’s happening right now, they’re all starting to.

Not necessarily be as active as the new younger generation is really pushing into those leadership positions in corporations. And in some of the, um, you know, the old stodgy, uh, uh, boardrooms that are getting infiltrated now. Not, and not because the older generation wants us, cause they don’t have a choice.

They’ve got to fill the chairs and, and you know, just good old fashioned attrition sort of plays it’s hand with the turnover eventually. Right. They could only hang on so long. And so what’s interesting, I think is the idea of that transition happening. So the, again, the brick and mortar not important, but that those are I think, uh, old, old tenants of, of the, of that past generation, that old type of way of thinking.

Um, and, and so it’s interesting to see how this is all going to shift where, you know, going back to your point, LaMondre about. the digital divide. I think that what we’ve done is expose it egregiously as it exists. And now the, it’s up to us as a society and as a global culture, to turn that around and, and, and try to figure out how do we make a truly global, uh, connected neighborhood?

David Pérez: Yeah, no, absolutely. I think the future of work was pushed with this pandemic. Oh, okay. Because we were already transitioning from the old way of doing things to the new way of doing things. AI was becoming more prominent. We were talking about VR, augmented reality, and all of those different things that were going to change the way we work.

Of course, the gig economy and all of those little things were already part of the conversation, but when something like this happens that actually breaks the world completely stops it. And. People had to adapt. And the only things that were there for people to adapt to were the words, the the parts that were part of that future of work. And the future of work right now is a reality like the fourth industrial revolution already happened.

It’s it’s right now we have to make sure that no one is left behind, as LaMondre was saying that’s actually, I think UNESCO’s or UNICEF’s slogan, no one left behind because we are developing countries. We are making a lot of progress. Every time I see a new technology device, I get super excited. But at the same time, I’m thinking, when is this going to reach the general population?

LaMondre Pough: Right.

David Pérez: The people that don’t have access because, I think of all the things that I get access to the internet, information, whatever I want to learn, I basically can learn right now because everything’s available on YouTube or on Google or anywhere else. But that’s not really the case for a lot of people that don’t have access to the internet or that they have limited data plans.

Richard Streitz: Right.

David Pérez: Even in countries like Costa Rica, that decided that access to internet was a human right. There are still data caps. Which is completely mind boggling for lack of a better way of saying it. Because if you’re trying to get people access to information as, as a vital resource for their development, as people, you need to make sure that data access is free, right.

It’s like saying water is a human right, and then people don’t have access to water if they don’t pay enough money. Like that happened actually in Chile.

Richard Streitz: Oh, wow.

David Pérez: So we need to make sure that people have access, not only to the tools to access, but also the access, because if there’s no internet, how are they going to be able to create those ideas, those magical things that can happen from one person, not even going to college, but actually getting the tools that they needed from Google or wherever they were looking at.

LaMondre Pough: Right. Right. And I think you’re right, David, you know, access or access to the internet to high speed quality internet connection is vital.

It’s absolutely vital because. You know, let’s think about, let’s think back a little bit, few years back. Because when you think about it, the whole  internet and, and search engines and all of those kinds of things, it has created so much wealth. It has created so many jobs. It has created so many millionaires that, I mean, literally started from nothing, but because they had access and an idea and stumbled upon something. It completely changed their lives. And let’s not even talk about the, that’s not even talking about not necessarily the millionaires that it created, because we recognize that not everybody’s a millionaire, but look at what it’s done for just your average, ordinary, everyday people who may have not had the opportunity to even live a uh, quote “middle-class” unquote life, but now, because of access to these kinds of things, you know, there are entrepreneurs out there. They’re there, there are people who are coding. There are so many different people doing different things and it’s all because they had access to the internet. And it’s not that they had the best, biggest, and best computers or had the hottest software that came down the pipe. Some of this stuff was created, you know, in, in, in freeware that’s just available because you have access to the internet, you know? And so I think that it’s really, really, really vitally important that as you said, David, that we consider the internet access to information as a human right.

And we recognize that there are powers who fight against that because it’s something to be gained for limiting data. It’s something to be gained from, um, making people pay more, if you really want the fast access, if you really want to have access to all this pay a little bit more, we’ve got your cover.

Obviously there’s a, there’s a, there’s a financial, a gain in it for, for some folks, for a few folks. But the reality is the way that this technology, the way that the internet. Has changed mankind, has changed the way we communicate, has changed, the way that we do business has changed the way that we even see the world.

We’ve got to, we’ve got to do what we can to make certain that people are not left behind. So I guess one of the questions that I have is what can we do? What can we do to, to ensure that people are not left behind so that they can also experience this work life collision?

Richard Streitz: Well, I mean, uh, provide affordable, uh, uh, provide affordable gear for, uh, for these more remote areas. Um, so that, uh, the network can be broadened out and, and, um, and be maintained. 

LaMondre Pough: Do you mean 5G, that that kind of…?

Richard Streitz: Well, no, no, well, not just necessarily 5G but I mean, even just the, the gear that’s out there now is, is horribly outdated.

But because it’s in rural areas, the telecom companies aren’t interested in updating them or, or, um, or changing them out, um, because it it’s, it doesn’t, uh, it doesn’t make fiscal sense to their, to their bottom line. And, and, and so that’s, I think the big crime is that, you know, we need to revisit that it’s it shouldn’t, um, it shouldn’t just be to the telecom companies to decide who is going to get internet and who is not, um. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s really quite unfortunate that that’s the way it is.

But, uh, you know, we, we, I know several cases personally, that it’s just, that’s just the, the, the fact is that because they are in a remote location, um, they don’t get high speed internet because it costs too much to get high speed internet out there. Um, and, and so is that, uh, that’s just not right. Uh, again, that’s what creates that digital divide.

Um, yeah.

David Pérez: And if things are  gonna change, they need to change with the government and corporations working together. I don’t think that a corporation is going to do it because they are shortsighted. We know that corporations by themselves move slow when they need to make changes, because they only care about what they get at the end of the year.

Right. They need to make those decisions like that. And the government is the one that needs to give access to the rural communities across the world. It’s governments that are interested in making their taxpayers more money so that they can have more money. Right? So if we take both of those interests together and put them working together, I am sure that corporations can work with the government and create solutions that are long lasting, and that can actually affect entire communities in a positive way. Giving them access and giving them the tools in one way or another. If it is by giving them, I don’t know, free devices, that might be the case in some rural communities that have actually no money. But imagine what can happen in the longterm.

If you give these people the tools to actually make progress to actually go to school. That’s why I’m saying it is shortsighted, because if you’re only thinking about your bottom line next year, maybe it’s not going to reflect by then, but imagine what those consumers will be able to afford. If they have the tools to actually make something out of themselves and the system’s not oppressing them all the time because that’s what’s happening right now. If you don’t have access, you’re not considered. Like, at all.

Richard Streitz: Right.

David Pérez: People don’t think about you, not in politics, not in corporations. And that’s why we, why we call them disenfranchised.

Right. And they really don’t have anyone fighting for them because no one really knows about them.

LaMondre Pough: Right.

David Pérez: So giving them access has to be a joint effort, I think. And, and that’s the only solution I see, a joint effort between governments, NGOs and corporations all working together to get them access.

LaMondre Pough: Yeah, I agree.

And I also agree with the concept that having access to a high speed, uh, internet connection is really a seat at the table. It’s a seat at the table and it’s also the opportunity to create your own table. Um, and we know that, you know, um, it really, it really is the story of accessibility. You know, yes, we, you know, we, we, especially from the work that we do, we talk a lot about accessibility in terms of people with disability, disabilities.

But the truth is, uh, when, when you look at it from this perspective, this is about accessibility to the mainstream world. And if you don’t have high speed internet connection, you really don’t have that. You know, you really don’t have access. You are blocked out and you’re missing out. And I know some people, you know, were were worried about, um, whether or not they could, you know, deal with the technology.

Could they manipulate it, all those kinds of things. But the thing that I found is once people have access and they start playing with it, yes they can. And they usually adapt pretty well. Even older folks. You know, I I’ve I’ve I used to do a radio show called the LaMondre Pough Show Empowerment Radio.

And one of the shows I did was talking about technology and we were talking about, you know, advances and there was a gentlemen, uh, there was a gentleman who was blind. And we were talking about, you know, software that, you know, read screen screen readers and all those kinds of things. And he had never heard anything about that before.

And he called into the show. This was an actual line talk show and he called into the show and he said that he was 80 something years old. He had never heard of that before, but he is now going to look into that. He was going to contact the commission for the blind. And see if they could help him with that.

And it was amazing to me to hear someone who’s in his eighties, calling in, saying he had never heard anything about that, but he was definitely going to look into it. So what got me excited about that was that he became excited about the technologies that was out there. And so, you know, if given the opportunity, if given the access.

Then people will adapt. They will take it and they will make something incredible happened with it. So I, I agree with you, David, I think it has to be a joint thing with corporations, uh, government organizations and NGOs, uh, to come together  and really say, Hey, we’re investing, uh, in the future of us, you know, and then putting it out there.

Richard Streitz: Right. You know, one of the one of the unfortunate things given this day and age is, um, is a lot of that takes strong leadership. Um, and, and that’s something that, that we are, are lacking, um, with our governmental administration, just, not only here in the US but all but all over, uh, other countries as well.

Um, is the idea of this lack of leadership or, um, the lack of thinking, uh, for the future and thinking for what’s best for, for the peoples of the country or of an, of a, of a region. Um, and, and, uh, you know, I, again, I firmly believe that will change. We’re just. We’re just in a, in a period of time that we have to transition from.

Um, but, uh, but unfortunately without strong leadership, it’s very, very difficult to bring all of those, um, those powerful players to the table and have a real good, honest conversation about the future.

LaMondre Pough: Yeah.

David Pérez: Yeah. I think it’s about strong leadership and empathy at the same time.

Richard Streitz: You’re right.

David Pérez: I’ve been seeing a lot of good efforts being put forward by, by governments, not in the US but around the world.

And the opposition tries to take them down because it won’t make them, won’t make them look good specifically. And. When you’re trying to build a country to build the world, you need to make sure that you’re thinking first of the people and investing in the people. And second about your party, what you really want to for the next election or even yourself.

Right? I think. That’s why, why that phrase resonates so much with me. The one that says that a society is growing strong, when they are able to plant trees that they won’t necessarily see grow, or be able to enjoy the shade, right?

Because we need to grow stronger as a society and realize that we need to plant the seeds of things that we’re not going to be able to see right now.

And we’re not going to see the benefits and we’re going to be more in depth the next year, but we’re investing in creating a better society and that investment needs to be invested it’s needs to be consistent. You can’t pull out of the market when things are down and that’s what people are doing most of the time, when it comes to investing in disenfranchised communities, they just, well, it didn’t work and they remove everything, right.

That’s not how things work.

LaMondre Pough: Right, right. Yeah. And for some reason we do have that tendency to just think about us and the here and now, like just right now, what’s happening with me right now. And what’s going to be my outcome from this, but we have to remember, we are stewards of this place and we are stewards of our societies.

And if we want our society to be a strong thriving society. We have to plant the seeds now. And I believe that the global pandemic has afforded us the opportunity to do that, to kind of pull back, pause for a moment, rethink, reassess and forge a brighter tomorrow, forge a way, a new path for us to move forward.

And I think that we just really have to, um, We really need to capitalize on that opportunity to do that. And I think, I think we will, again, I’m an optimist. I believe that, I believe that we will make that turn and we will do that. And I think that we will figure out ways to open the doors for more people to have access.

I believe that we will find a way to, um, to not think so much about the here and now, but also about tomorrow and how we make that look better. Even though we might not see that, you know, so that’s where I am. This is a really interesting conversation. It’s going to be interesting to see how things play out within the next six months.

And then the year. I mean from that. So, uh,

Richard Streitz: Yeah, I mean, even just the next month in w what’s going to happen with the schools, with everyone going back to school, how that’s going to play out, you know, what issues are going to blossom as a result, uh, of, of, um, of the challenges or benefits that, uh, with the decisions that are being made about the open reopening schools.

So it’s going to be fascinating.

LaMondre Pough: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, great conversation guys. That’s about all the time we have for 3DVU. So when you’re thinking about your work life balance and your work life collision, think about how access to technologies have changed things. Think about what it means to have that access. And if you know of communities and people who don’t have access, think about what you can do to help that situation. I know one of the things you can do is get out and get politically active. If nothing else, the bare minimum vote, vote, vote, vote.

Richard Streitz: And make vote.

David Pérez: Thanks for joining us this week on 3DVU, make sure to visit our website Ruhglobal.com/3DVU. That’s ruhglobal.com/3DVU where you can subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts or join our YouTube channel so you will never miss a show. While you’re at it if you find value in the show, we appreciate it if you would leave a like or comment or simply tell a friend about the show that would really help us a lot too. If you would like to join our conversations, you can join our Facebook community, 3DVU, three perspectives, one conversation.