COVID-19: The New Norm of Balancing Academic and Work Life

COVID-19: The New Norm of Balancing Academic and Work Life

     Can we truly be effective in our academics and jobs by working from home? The challenges of balancing academic life and working from home has already seen its ups and downs. COVID-19 has turned society on its head. Many organizations such as schools and businesses have sent workers home due to this “outrage.”   It seems as if we are living in a twilight zone.  In addition, COVID-19 pandemic forced us all to shift our ways of life and operate in a whole new way in which we operate in our day to day. Moreover, these day to day tasks includes the way we are now working from home, being “categorized” between essential and nonessential workers, even the way we are completing educational assignments and requirements.

      COVID-19 has not slowed down on its [unfortunate] attack. The new norm of balancing academic life and work life seems to have placed a halt on socialization and civilization.  As a matter of fact, many states are ordering everyone to “stay at home.” We are now being advised to take the necessary precaution of practicing social distancing. Social distancing is not a new process; however, it is a new way of living during this pandemic (Morikawa, 2018). Balancing academic and work life has caused many citizens of the world to “conform” to such social distancing practices. Additionally, many of us are used to going about our day as we see fit. However, this new norm of social distancing has allowed us to reflect on our day to day of just being able to live. This pandemic has been a challenge on academic life. The COVID 19 news hit and immediately, schools and universities were instructed to shut down. Moreover, they were also told to leave the campus shortly thereafter (Strielkowski, 2020). 

      To extend this point, when these institutions started sending students, faculty, staff, and educators home due to COVID-19, more than few educators and institutions alike began venting on social media. Moreover, these education entities began wondering what’s next? Specifically, how would this pandemic affect productivity? COVID-19 has affected productivity from an academic and work life perspective.  However, it is critical that we, as a society, get creative and remain productive while we “social distance” in our homes. One of the many ways we can balance our academic life is via distance learning. Distance learning has been ideal for educating the masses since the late 1980’s (citation). Therefore, it has really been critical to the academic world. We now see many institutions continue the use of Blackboard, WebEx, Zoom, and Collaborate while the public-school systems have resorted to emailing assignments, using Google Classrooms, and Team meetings to continue the process of educating. This idea of balancing academic and work life has become a new norm. The time away from our “norm” life as we know it has caused us to tap into our creativity while social distancing.

References

Morikawa, M (2018). “Long Commuting Time and the Benefits of Telecommuting.” RIETI Discussion Paper, 18-E-025.

Strielkowski, W. (2020). COVID-19 pandemic and the digital revolution in academia and higher education.

 

 

 

Comments

Avideh Sadaghiani-Tabrizi's picture Avideh Sadaghiani-Tabrizi | May 15, 2020 1:10 pm MST

Wonderful and informative post on our new norms, which we face in balancing our work, home, students, children, and academics. Another challenge for consideration of this new norm might be in how we handle the cybersecurity risks of our exposure to a multitude of threats and malicious attacks, requiring our diligence and attentive awareness of threats of cyber-attacks, with the possibility to necessitate upskilling and reskilling the workforce.

Leonard Jackson's picture Leonard Jackson | May 17, 2020 11:14 am MST

How right you are. It's funny you mentioned the importance of cybersecurity efforts that should be considered with the increased usage of various applications while adjusting to our new norm. I had the exact conversation with my brother, Dr. Taurus Jackson, who works in cybersecurity arena. While discussing the issue, he informed me that as we increase our usage of these applications employees and employers alike have to become more aware that security is everyone's responsibility and not just IT or Cybersecurity departments. Often times people don't exactly know where they fit in when it comes to implementing or enforcing security measures. Insider threat or employee misinformation is one the top risk relating to cyberattacks. The more individuals familiarize themselves with common security coutermeasures, the more they can thawt or deter those attacks.

Thank you for your response Dr. Sadaghiani-Tabrizi.

Dr. L. Jackson

Avideh Sadaghiani-Tabrizi's picture Avideh Sadaghiani-Tabrizi | May 17, 2020 9:20 pm MST

I thank you so much Dr. Leonard for sharing so many informative insights on how we could equip ourselves to deter and overcome challenges through awareness for our safe use of; Internet of things (IoT), social networking, and conducting work assignments to ease engaging in communication, in today's digital-age of hyper-information through research. In our annual symposium, the following critical messages of the core theme of cybersecurity were highlighted as, in the following: (a) own, secure, and protect IT, (b) online privacy, (c) social-media cybersecurity and social-media bots, (d) IoT, (e) creating a strong password of abouy 16-bits, (f) multi-factor authentication, (g) phishing, (h) e-commerce and e-skimming, (i) understanding foreign interferences, and (j) identity theft and Internet-scams (NCSAM, 2019).

 

NCSAAM 2019 (2019, October 8). October is national cybersecurity awareness month (NCSAM)! https://niccs.us-cert.gov/national-cybersecurity-awareness-month-2019

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