Work-life balance is the state of equilibrium where an employee equally prioritizes the demands of career and personal life. It is an aspect of well-being related to the ability to manage both personal and professional responsibilities with adequate time for rest and leisure.
Most employees are torn between juggling heavy workloads, managing relationships, family responsibilities, and squeezing in outside interests leading to an unhealthy work-life situation.
In a rush to get it all done at the office and at home, it’s easy to forget that as stress levels spike, productivity plummets. Stress can zap our concentration, make us irritable or depressed, and harm our personal and professional relationships.
Here are a few practical steps employees can take to loosen their grip and win back the balance in life.
- Set manageable goals each day
Being able to meet priorities helps us feel a sense of accomplishment and control. The more control employees have over their work, the less stressed they are both at work and home. It’s good to be realistic about workloads and deadlines. Employees need a to-do list that aids in taking care of important tasks first.
- Efficiency with timelines
When employees procrastinate, the task often grows in their minds until it seems insurmountable. In the instance of a big project, it is advisable to divide it into smaller tasks with small rewards upon each completion such as a five-minute break or walk. The less time spent procrastinating, the more time spent productively, or with friends and family.
- Request for flexibility
Flex time and telecommuting are quickly becoming established as necessities in today’s business world, and many companies are drafting work/life policies. Upon request, an employer might allow you to work flexible hours or from home a day a week. Research shows that employees who work flexible schedules are more productive and loyal to their employers.
- Take five
Taking a break at work isn’t only acceptable, it’s often encouraged by many employers. Small breaks at work or on any project will help clear an employee’s head and improve the ability to deal with stress and make wise work or life decisions.
- Communicate effectively
Employees need to be honest with colleagues or their bosses when they feel they’re in a bind. They should not just complain but suggest practical alternatives.
The same technology that makes it so easy for employees to do their jobs flexibly can also burn us out if we use them 24/7. By all means, it is good for employees to create time after working hours for social requirements such as bonding with family and friends.
- Divide and conquer
Ensuring responsibilities at home are evenly distributed and clearly outlined enables avoidance of confusion and stress scenarios.
- Get support
Chatting with friends and family can be important to your success at home or work and can improve your health. Employees with stronger support systems have more aggressive immune responses to illnesses than those who lack such support.
- Stay active
Aside from its well-known physical benefits, regular exercise reduces stress, depression, and anxiety, and enables employees to better cope with adversity. It boosts immune systems and keeps employees out of the doctor’s office. It is a great idea to make time in your schedule for the gym or to take a walk during lunch as ways of exercising.
- Healthy lifestyle
Being in good shape physically increases tolerance to stress and reduces sick days. In addition, eating right, exercising, and getting adequate rest. Employees need to avoid reliance on drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes to cope with stress as they only lead to more problems.
- Get help if you need it
Don’t let stress stand in the way of your health and happiness. If you are persistently overwhelmed, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, taking care of yourself is a sign of strength.
Benefits of work-life balance
If you can help create a healthy work-life balance for employees in your company, this will provide several benefits to your business, including:
- Better staff retention
- Increased productivity
- Higher employee engagement
- More profitability
- Strong brand reputation & more applicants
- Reduced absenteeism
Of course, it also benefits your employees in ways including:
- Better time management
- Personal growth
- Better focus
- Higher engagement
- Personal health & wellbeing
- Reduced stress
While we all need a certain amount of stress to spur us on and help us perform at our best, the key to managing stress lies in that one magic word, balance. Not only is achieving a healthy work-life balance an attainable goal but employees and businesses alike see the rewards. When employees are balanced and happy, they are more productive, take fewer sick off days, and are more likely to stay in their jobs.