What is work life balance?
You need to balance your career and personal life such that you are meeting the demand of each aspect of life. When you can manage both aspects of life properly you are at peace and you are better able to meet the job’s commitments. However in order to give your career a boost you need to work hard and work extra. Doing it once in a while is fine but doing it consistently can harm your personal life. Since you will not be able to give time to your spouse or other personal responsibilities. Thus managing it becomes a challenge.
Why is work life balance important for employers?
Work-life balance is closely related to an employee’s overall satisfaction of job and productivity. The organisations that provide tools and procedures to better manage the work life balance have happier employees and happier employees work long term and are an asset to the organization.Those organizations who resort to unhealthy practices that reduce employee work life balance like pushing them to work long hours or inflexible work schedule can increase burn outs. That increases attrition and thus loss of much needed productive employees and increased cost. Thus, organizations that create a work environment that prioritizes work-life balance, they not only save money but also have a healthier and productive workforce.
Achievement at work is crucial for work-life balance.
When you are able to do your work successfully and achieve growth you are motivated and happy. Those employees who are better performing in general are happier and have better work life-balance. So if you have a job which you love and are skilled in doing it you achieve better work-life balance. Since you can finish your task quicker and are able to do a better quality of job.
How work life balance impacts your health and relationships?
Work-life balance is core to healthy living. Those who practice can manage work-life balance are less stressed, more productive and happier. They are not only successful but also live longer since with reduced stress they are less likely to suffer from depression, high blood pressure and sleep issues.
Those who have poor work-life balance are always exhausted and fatigued.
During personal time, they are less able to fully focus on family matters. That further deteriorates their personal relationships that could lead to a major personal problem like divorce.
What are some reasons for poor work life balance
- Increased responsibilities due to promotions or change or job responsibilities.
- Working longer hours due to important projects.
- Increased responsibilities at home.
- Unsupportive supervisors or team members.
- Workplace harassments
- 24/7 nature of job.
- Heavy workload.
- Changes within the organisation.
- Tight deadlines.
- Job insecurity.
- Lack of autonomy.
- Boring work.
How to tackle the work life balance?
Workplace stress is one of the 5th biggest causes of death in the United States. In 2019, 94% of American workers reported job related stress as per Wrike’s statistics. 23% said they experienced high stress levels, while 6% reported that they were stressed unreasonably high.
Most people experiencing poor work life balance believe they have no choice. But that’s not really true. You need to understand that work life balance is ultimately created by your choices. By taking more work than your capacity and not delegating, you create more stress for yourself.
Here are the choices that you could make to relieve a lot of your stress and anxiety which can improve work-life balance.
- Prioritize your work schedule. Establishing priorities is essential to work life balance since it will allow you to focus on tasks that are important and urgent so that you can later manage to complete your work as scheduled .
- Take control over your career path. A career plan that lists your short- and long-term objectives will allow you to achieve your goal. Consider your interests and talents and ask for opportunities accordingly. Reflect on your job responsibilities and have an honest conversation with your supervisor for further growth opportunities.
- Simplify your life. Simplifying your life means taking steps to remove the clutter. This allows you to focus on your priorities, values and what matters most to you. This will improve your productivity to have a better work-life balance.
- Learn to delegate. Delegating is an important skill for work life balance since you simply don’t have time to complete all tasks alone. By carefully delegating tasks your team members gain more experience in a certain area. That in turn helps you to reduce burden and improve work life balance.
- Ask for help. Asking for help is important for work life balance since it gets things done. It strengthens the relationship since to whom you asked for help may feel honored that you reached out to them. Asking for help cements trust and helps build bonds which is good for emotional health which is another reason for improving work-life balance.
- Take regular breaks. Taking regular breaks improves focus and concentration that help you finish tasks early. After taking a break you can work with more energy. Working without taking regular breaks can lead to burnouts in the long run which is bad for work-life balance.
- Manage your time. Good time management is extremely crucial for work-life balance and enables you to work smarter so that you can do more in less time, even when pressures are high. If you don’t manage your time, it can damage your effectiveness and cause stress which can lead to poor work-life balance.
- Avoid distractions. Too many distractions can reduce your productivity and cause poor work-life balance. Since it demands continuous switching of attention can result in poor attention to details, higher levels of errors and stress.
- Work from home. A recent study claimed that working from home one day per week boosts productivity by 4.8%. So working from home is a good way to improve productivity and work-life balance
- Manage other people’s expectations. Managing other people’s expectations is also important for work-life balance. You can do it by establishing in advance what you can realistically deliver and communicating clearly project schedules and deliverables.
- Take care of your health. Good health means increased energy levels and more energy to complete your work. It also means better focus and less time to finish your tasks which improves your work-life balance.
- Learn to say no. Sometimes it is better to say no to avoid disappointments and improve work-life balance. Saying no can help you avoid burnout, overload and unnecessary stress.
- Have fun in your personal time. Having fun on personal time can reduce stress, improve memory and boost energy. That directly improves your productivity and work-life balance.
- Play to your strengths. Working within your strengths produces energy and passion. Teams that embrace their strengths are more engaged and productive. Young people who develop a strengths mindset can overcome negative messages and use their strengths to make a difference.
- Focus on productivity rather than hours. Working less psychological benefits like less fatigue, stress and anxiety. It is also good for relationships, because you spend more time with your loved ones. A study found that a 10% increase in overtime leads to a 24% decrease in output. Contributed by mental and physical fatigue. So working less increases productivity and work-life balance.
- Regularly review workloads. By regularly reviewing your workload you can track your tasks that are completed giving you a sense of accomplishment. Also it enables you to plan for tasks that need more resources or helping hands. If you are stressed out it’s probably a good idea to review workload and delegate if necessary.
- Turn it off on the weekend. Detaching on weekends is an effective stress management technique. It allows you to recuperate from an exhausting weekday, and it also enhances performance and productivity that improves your overall work-life balance.
- Minimize Toxins. Eat fruits and veggies and avoid junk food. Encourage supportive relations in your family and community. Ensure you get adequate sleep. Adequate sleep means you can manage stress more easily.
- Spend Time Alone. Spending time alone allows you to really know yourself better since you can explore yourself without pressure and judgement. Which help you in personal development and improves your interactions with others
- Give relationships priority. By giving your relationships a priority, you are happier which improves your effectiveness on the job. Healthy relationships also reduce stress, giving it priority improves your work-life balance.
- Treat Yourself. When you give yourself treats, you feel motivated and content, which boosts your productivity. You can treat yourself by indulging in things you like which reduce stress and improve work-life balance
- Set a routine and stick to it. Setting up a routine for your day can give you a sense of control. It improves your focus, motivation, and productivity. Having a routine can drastically improve your work life balance if you stick to it.
- Make a dedicated work space. A dedicated work space allows you to focus on your task by minimizing distractions that help you achieve work-life balance.
- Stay connected. It can help you reduce stress and establish bonds with friends and family. Staying connected can help you improve productivity and work life balance
- Think long term. Thinking long-term gives you better clarity on all aspects of your life thus you are better able to deal with the situations and circumstances. It helps you create a better career path for yourself and motivate you to achieve those career goals.
Work-life balance continues to evolve with technological, cultural and economic changes. Rise of work from home has changed traditional work culture. Work-life balance is so important for modern organizations since most work is creative and requires more mind work. Thus individuals who have better work-life balance excels while others may find it difficult to cope with it.