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How Showing Empathy at Work Improves Work Life Balance

Dov Jerichover is Nova's commercial lawyer. In his free time, he loves to take trips with his family. He is also well known for his cooking and baking talent. Here is his personal story of him showing empathy at work to make work from home experience much more effective.

I’m sure that by now you’ve all been there… Joining yet another video conference call with multiple participants most of which are working from home, the all too familiar squares on the screen start popping up with familiar faces parts of different homes and various rooms can be seen in the background. But in this particular meeting, one of my coworkers didn’t turn her camera on. I guess we’ve all experienced that too…. Over the speakers I could hear
that she was struggling with a young child in need of attention????.
the child clearly upset and was craving for her mother’s attention and was just being noisy.

Let’s be honest about it, COVID19 imposed this situation on us working from home removed what little boundaries were left separating work from home and whatever fine balance that we had, was gone.

We as adults can cope with this, but not our children. To them if Mommy or Daddy are home – it’s party time. Mummy and Daddy should be available for everything and anything they need and want.

At the same time, we as professionals need to keep on being, well, professionals. Having been there with my own family I understood what was happening on the other side of the black square.

I decided to deal with this and nip it in the bud.
I told her that this is totally unacceptable!
and really unfair too.
Why should we only be allowed to hear the little princess????? she should turn her camera on and let all of us see her as well.

It only took her a moment to process my suggestion before she turned the camera on and her little princess was greeted by a screen full of people who were waving???? and smiling???? no judgment no frowning.
The child was delighted???? as she received much-needed acknowledgment and attention from her mother as well as her mother’s colleagues (new friends for the child).
My coworker was relieved and considerably less nervous I may have even heard a slight sigh of relief.
from there on the rest of the meeting went smoothly and without further disturbances.
COVID19 has been pretty tough for most of us and I do believe we are closer to the end of this challenge than we have ever been.
But there are certain things we have learned that should stay with us even after the pandemic: 

Showing empathy at work

Caring for your colleagues

Acting in a considerate manner

Understanding that the home- work balance is shifting and is constantly being reinvented.

What lessons have you learned during COVID19 that you will take with you when this is all over?

 
Dov Jerichower
Dov Jerichower
Dov Jerichower

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