The importance of a work/life balance and how to achieve it
Achieving a work/life balance is all about being able to prioritse your working life with your life in general, such as making your career fit with your everyday duties, like getting the housework done, looking after your kids, and having a social life.
When someone feels they have a work/life balance, they:
- Are a much more motivated and satisfied individual
- Have increased productivity
- Have an increased concentration level
- Are a happier person all-round
A poor work/life balance can not only result in a person being unhappy, but it can also seriously affect someone’s mental health. Achieving this type of balance is harder than ever these days, especially with the pressure of an increasingly demanding work culture. Nevertheless, it is important and you can achieve this balance by:
- Taking responsibility for achieving the balance. If work or home life gets too much, you need to communicate this otherwise no one will know to help you.
- Understanding the health implications if this balance isn’t understand, and wanting to eradicate the chance of this happening to you.
- Taking proper breaks at work at trying not to stay at work during them. It’s good to leave the building and have a change of scenery, even if it’s only for half an hour.
- Making sure you don’t bring your work home, and if on a rare occasion you do, work somewhere that you can ‘shut the door on it’ when you’ve finished. Similarly, try not to bring home life into work, as you’ll be mixing the two.
- Keeping track of the amount of hours you work, and if you end up working more than you are contracted to do so, take this time back as soon as you can. Your employer doesn’t expect you to work any extra hours, and you most likely aren’t paid to do so.
It has been estimated that three out of ten employees experience a mental health problem in a year, as a result of not achieving a satisfying work/life balance. Additionally, over £370 million is lost each year in the UK, from stress-related sick leave. These figures are both on the increase, as a direct result of the pressures individuals feel and face during their working days. Follow the simple steps above to ensure that you don’t add to this statistic.