After more than a year of wrestling with COVID-19, people around the world have started to evaluate their work-family balance and to take stock of themselves and their priorities. They are looking at their net worth in ways that they might never have considered in the past – not only based on dollar amounts, but based on life experiences, family time and enjoyment.
Why has COVID-19 led to such a stark emotional change in so many people? There are many answers to this question. When faced with the possibility of a life-threatening illness, many people were forced to come to terms with their priorities and to reevaluate their life choices. Many people who lost love ones were also faced with their own mortality and the need to reevaluate. Similarly, as the world turned to virtual work schedules, many people realized that they could shift their work-life balance just by working from home. They saw that their net worth included more time with family, time to exercise and time to themselves.
When people are constantly commuting and trying to juggle an in-office work day, these items often fall by the wayside. But with a work from home schedule, or a hybrid one, their net worth and what they valued started to change.
If this is true for you, as it has been for so many this year, the question now is what do you do about it? If you’ve found that your net worth isn’t just based on the money in the bank, but based on many other factors, then it might be time for you to rethink your work-life balance. Here are a few suggestions for doing so.
1. Work: Obviously, the majority of people in the world need to continue working. Even if you’ve had a life altering realization that your priorities are centered in other areas, your financial net worth is important as well. Consider how you want to work. Is it possible for you to have a remote work environment? Can you ask to remain working from home (if you already are), suggest it to your company if you aren’t, or find other work? If this has become a priority to you, as it has for so many people, then try to find a way to make this your reality.
2. Hobbies: Many people today are actually discovering new hobbies that they never had time for, or investing more in hobbies than ever before. Some people are even deciding to make their hobbies their priority – and to turn a hobby into a job. For instance, if you have always loved to sew, you might decide to open a small business. If you’re enjoying making beer, why not start to sell it? I’ve always loved photography and have invested a great deal of my time and energy in this area of my life.
3. Family: Many people have shifted the dynamics they have in their house and the relationships they have with their spouses and children. This doesn’t have to change just because the world is opening back up and you might be starting to work from the office again. Try to hold on to those priorities that you created during COVID-19 times. This might mean you continue to make pancakes for the kids in the morning or drive them to school – and then go to the office later. It might mean that you request to work from home 2 days a week and take on the responsibility of getting the kids from school those days or going to their afterschool practices. Think of simple ways that you can continue to make family a priority, even as you reset of your life choices and get back to working in different ways.
All of these ideas, and many others can make a huge difference in your life. Your net worth is made up of so many more factors than just the number in the bank – and you have the opportunity to cash in on creating a richer life for yourself and those around you