“No one on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.”

Paul Tsongas
work and life balance
Work and Life

Importance of Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is an important aspect of a healthy work environment even you are working from home. Maintaining work-life balance helps reduce stress and helps prevent burnout in the workplace and jobs your working on.

A healthy work-life balance drives engagement, productivity, and retention.

Rewind to just a couple years ago, and the way we defined – and approached – balancing our work lives with our personal lives looked very different than it does today.

For many people, remote and hybrid work have completely changed our work habits, schedules, where and when we get work done, as well as the boundaries we have between work and home.

While some employees used to groan about commutes, they signaled a beginning and end to the workday – something many remote and hybrid work now struggle to recognize. And while some knowledge workers already had access to work-issued technology like a smartphone, the pandemic exacerbated our technology use. For many, video calls were the only means of communication and socialization for a moment in time.

With our constant access to work – and workplace technology – creating a good work-life balance is more critical than ever. As such, we’ve taken a closer look at what goes into a good work-life balance, why it matters so much, plus actionable tips to balance work and life in our always-on world.

Why does a healthy work-life balance matter?

Since the start of the pandemic, employee well-being has suffered. If an employee isn’t feeling their best, they can’t focus on their work. Therefore it’s critical to take care of your people and help them establish a healthy work-life balance.

Work-life balance helps maintain mental health

Having a healthy work-life balance means that employees will be happier when they come to work. This, in turn, helps reduce stress and the chances of burnout, two common health issues in the workplace. 

  • Chronic stress occurs when employees are continuously stressed. It can lead to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia, as well as physical health issues including chronic aches and pains, heart troubles, and hypertension. 
  • Burnout happens when an employee suffers too much stress over a long period of time. Burnout can cause anything from mood swings and irritability, to fatigue and a decrease in productivity. It can lead to employees seeking health care or taking sick days, which in turn can become costly for a company. 

It also helps with physical health

If employees are being too overworked, they are much more likely to be plagued with physical ailments. This is especially true if they aren’t taking appropriate breaks throughout the day. Some examples include: 

  • Chronic pain/carpal tunnel syndrome: overworking, especially if the office environment isn’t ergonomic, can lead to soreness or worse. 
  • Higher risk of heart disease and high blood pressure: being sedentary is a big contributor to these conditions.  
Laptop, note pad and coffee
Working from home

10 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is a short phrase that seems simple, but is elusive for most of us in the working world, even people who are working from home , Sometimes it may feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day, or enough energy to give both your job and family the attention they need. While it’s up for debate whether true balance between work and life at home actually exists, here are 10 things you can do to help move the pendulum back in your favor:

  1. Identify Your Values

Finding a work-life balance does not imply a 50/50 divide. Rather, it is a reflection of your values and what you desire in each area of your life (home and work). Determine your basic beliefs so that you can make informed decisions about how you prioritize and spend your ti

2. Focus on the Long-Term

Instead of zeroing in on the 24 hours you have each day, take a broader view. Focus on the week ahead—your goals, activities, and leisure time. When you take a long-term view of your schedule, you may find that you have more wiggle room than you initially expected, which can help you achieve a better balance between your responsibilities at home and at the office.

3. Say No

For many of us, it’s hard to say those two letters. However, saying “no” is critical to managing your time, and can help you stay in line with your values and vision. If something is not a priority for you right now, it’s OK to say no. This will free up time so you can commit to the things that do matter.

4. Set Your Work Schedule

In the past, you used to arrive at the office at 9 a.m., work until 5 p.m., and then spend the rest of the evening with your family and friends. But today, thanks to technology, you’re expected to be accessible 24/7, which makes it difficult to leave work at the office. Instead, set work hours for yourself and stick to them. Without clear boundaries, it’s easy to let work take over the majority of the hours in your day and week.

5. Make a Short List

You probably have a lengthy list of goals, objectives, and to-dos. It’s easy to let that list run your life, but instead, curate a short list of daily priorities—three to five things that must happen that day. This manageable list can help you stay focused on the most important tasks. Everything else? If you get to it, great. If not, no big deal.

6. Schedule (and Protect) “Me Time”

If you’re like most people, you need to schedule time for a task or event or it won’t happen—especially if it’s not work-related (family time, happy hour with friends, or your hobbies). Penciling time for yourself into your calendar not only helps you visually see and balance your time, but it also allows your leisure time to have the same importance as your work-related events.

7. Work Out

While exercising may feel like a luxury when you’re strapped for time, it’s an important part of maintaining work-life balance. It helps you stay energized, focused, and motivated, not to mention healthy. It’s impossible to be a good boss, employee, partner, or friend if you aren’t taking care of your own health, so make sure to include it in your schedule.

8. Lean on Your Support Network

They say it takes a village to raise a family (and run a household and hold down a demanding job), and it really does. While you likely pride yourself on being self-sufficient and independent, it’s okay to ask for help from friends and family members. You can even hire someone to help when you need it.

9. Take a Mental Health Day

Take a day off to take care of yourself and recharge when you’re feeling emotionally and mentally spent—whether you’re coming off a super busy time at work or dealing with another challenge in your life. Use your mental health day to do things that help you reconnect with yourself, and you’ll end up returning to work feeling revitalized.

10. Unplug

If taking a full mental health day is impossible, unplug from your devices (all of them!) for a period of time. For instance, consider going off the grid for the first hour of your morning and the hour before you go to bed. Time away from the screen allows you to focus on the things that matter the most—family, friends, and the life right in front of you. Plus, you’ll have quiet time to reflect, think, and fuel your creative juices.

Remember that everyone’s version of work-life balance will be different. The important thing is to experiment and find what works best for you so that you can give both your job and family the attention they deserve, without losing your sanity.

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