In an employment world that is increasingly offering workers “always on” jobs, we are left to wonder how people achieve and maintain work-life balance. And other than that, we all want to know what companies and hiring managers are doing to preserve the delicate but much-needed balance between work and employee lifestyle.
But before we go any further, what is life-work balance? And why is it important? Let’s start with the former question. Work-life balance refers to the balance a worker needs between the time allocated for work duties and other life calls. Maintaining this harmony entails finding time for family, community participation, friends, self-care, personal growth, spirituality, and other own endeavors in addition to meeting your daily work goals. Away from that, worth noting is that work-life balance is as dynamic as it can get. Here is how. For one, the life-work balance of an individual varies over time. The balance that worked for you today might not necessarily work tomorrow or the day after. Second, there is no standard work-life balance as each of us leads a different life and thus has different priorities.
Onto the second question; the concept of work-life balance is important because it ensures employees are healthy and thus productive. An excellent balance helps in preventing burnout and assists in reducing stress. See, chronic stress is one of the most prevalent health conditions in the workplace. According to Jerrold Wilmer, a Human Resource specialist from The App Solutions, “79 to 95 percent of workers who visit physicians in the US are suffering from stress that costs employers up to a whopping $300 billion annually.”
This stress can result in a myriad of unpleasant physical manifestations such as digestive problems, hypertension, heart problems, and chest pains. What’s more, chronic stress can lead to mental issues like insomnia, anxiety, and even depression. Now, this is terrible news for any employer. It, therefore, becomes imperative that employers create environments that boost work-life balance for healthier and more productive employees. That said, the responsibility of implementing an excellent work-life balance does not rest solely on the employer. As an employee, here is what you can do to strike an effective balance between your work and personal endeavors:
Don’t Avoid Your Boss, Stay Close to Master Their Schedule
Understanding your employer’s schedule is the best way to learn how you can fit your life responsibilities around your work or vice-versa. It is, therefore, vital that you not only spend most of your time at work delivering on your mandate but also in the company of your boss or other supervisory personnel. Staying close to the administrative staff will help you learn when you need to do various work-related tasks to ensure the company functions together as a unit. By determining what your employer wants, you can strategize on how to meet the boss’s demands while having an excellent lifestyle.
Make Time for Personal Calls When You Least Interfere with Work
Scheduling time for personal calls will help you to avoid watering down your work efforts. There is no point of having an excellent personal life and a poor work ethic. After all, for a fulfilling life, your work and personal life should not interfere with each other negatively. So what to do? It is a given that you cannot go on for the entire day without checking up on family or calling to make other appointments. The right thing to do is to make sure that you call up friends, family, and other people when work is not too demanding. Try making phone calls over lunchtime or when taking short breaks.
Don’t Surprise Your Boss with Vacation Requests
You will lose a horse for sure if you bet that your employer will be happy with an impromptu vacation request. The smart move is to inform your boss of your intention to go on a holiday way before the planned date. No one, including you, would fancy a surprise such as this especially if it has come from a valuable employee. So, give your employer a countdown to avoid any surprises and try planning your vacations on days many people do not go to work.
When Working from Home, Have Reliable Communication Tools
To avoid hurting the work-end of your life, ensure that you have state-of-the-art communication tech tools if you work from home. It will do you and your work much good if you are available during the entire working hours. If there is a need for video conferencing, ensure that you are all set for the same.
Don’t Be a “Yes Person” All The Time
While you might be tempted to think that saying “yes” to everything you are told at work is the way to go, you should reconsider henceforth. Agreeing to everything can see you pile up on tasks leading to much strain when tackling them. So, if you feel that you cannot deliver optimally on a particular duty, politely decline the undertaking asked of you.
Don’t Carry Work Home
If you can do a particular work assignment comfortably on the next day, it makes sense to do it then. You should never burden yourself with job duties while at home. Your house ought to be where you focus on family and other aspects of life. To achieve this, switch off your mind after work and pick up the next day when you are rested and re-energized.
Use Some of Your Off Hours to Rejuvenate
Now, this might be something you don’t know. See, not all of your off-time should go to family matters. Instead, you can use part of your free time to focus on making yourself feel better. You can decide to ride solo when fishing, taking a walk in the park, watching birds, and so forth.
Doing all these things will help in boosting your work-life relationship. The goal is to make your workplace feel more like a second home and your personal life more fulfilling. But even with that said, it is worth noting that attitudes on life-work balance will continue evolving with economic, cultural, and generational changes. It is, therefore, vital that you keep reinventing and updating your practices to have an excellent work-life harmony now and in the coming days.