How to Improve Work-Life Balance in 2022
Work-life balance is the state of balance where a person equally tries to prioritize professional life over the demands of one’s personal life. Achieving this balance seems to be an impossible task these days. Due to the current pandemic situation and since most of the people are working from home, the work pressure on people’s life has grown manifold. As technology has its merits and demerits; demerits being due to the internet, the employees are accessible around the clock post-work hours. Thus, hampering the equilibrium between work and personal life.
Poor work-life balance can lead to:
- Fatigue: When you are exhausted it directly impacts your ability to think clearly, which can further affect your professional reputation or lead to dangerous mistakes.
- Poor Health: Stress can also worsen your health and can lead to stress-related medical conditions and put you at risk of substance misuse.
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Statistics On Work-life Balance:
Most of us believe that companies require fundamental things from their employees, such as company growth and compensation increase; yet, it’s shocking to learn that work-life poise is the most important factor for their employees. Some of the facts shown below will demonstrate how crucial work-life stability is to today’s workers.
- On average, 38% of employees feel their workplace does not provide a conducive climate for a healthy work-life balance.
- 51% of respondents feel they have missed the most crucial life events, with the majority of them seeing work-life stability as the most essential advantage of all.
- Poor work-life equilibrium, on the other hand, is cited by a certain of employees as having a negative impact on their morale and motivation at work.
- Working longer hours (more than 55 hours per week) can be harmful to one’s health; and those people are more likely to develop life-threatening diseases such as coronary artery disease and stroke, as well as despair and anxiety.
- One of the most interesting facts is that 31% of employees are willing to take a wage decrease if they get a chance to work from home.
- 53% of employees think a job that allows them to experience work-life poise and overall personal welfare is “very important.”
According to Maslow’s theory, people’s needs should be met in ascending order, starting with basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter, then acceptance from peers or society (love and belonging), then esteem needs (self-esteem and self-respect), and finally self-actualization (realizing one’s full potential).
In simple terms, this theory states that employment simply provides or fulfills fundamental physiological necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, and regular income. Working at the same time encourages people to feel like they are part of a group, and it also enhances your self-esteem. Working is the primary means of meeting the lowest levels of needs.
The self-actualization demands, which are difficult to meet with employment alone are at the top of the pyramid, followed by lifestyle choices, with leisure time playing an essential role.
This is where the work-life perspective notion, which is a relatively newer concept, comes into play. It states that you must first meet all of your basic needs before you have time or energy to focus on things like aesthetics or self-actualization.
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Tips Shared By Health Experts On Work-life Balance:
Work-life stability means different needs for different individuals, but the following are the tips shared by health experts to find the balance that’s right for you:
Stop Being The Perfectionist
A lot of overachievers develop perfectionist tendencies starting from early school age, which is quite attainable since it’s restricted to academics and hobbies. After a certain age, as you grow professionally and personally, where there are growing demands at both ends to attain perfectionism is quite impossible. One of the ways to avoid burning out is to not aim for perfection but for distinction in work.
The 80-20 rule suggests that 80% of outcomes are a result of 20% of all efforts. So, for example in any business, the 80-20 rule is applied to identify the inputs, which are most productive and then prioritize them. Some days you might work for longer hours at the office
and may not be able to give that much of amount of time to the family. It then becomes important to compensate for that next time by spending quality time with loved ones. Aim for a realistic schedule and not a perfect one.
Find A Job That You Love
“Choose a job in a field that you have to do what you love to do so that you will never get the feeling of working” is very apt but it’s not always that simple to figure what you love. Once you enjoy what you do, then it becomes very easy to achieve the desired work-life stability.
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Understand Your Work Culture
Organizational cultures are managed intentionally to attract and retain employees who lead meaningful, fun, fulfilling lives in which they are able to balance the demands of work & home and thereby maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Company culture is important for the employees because workers will enjoy work when their needs are values are consistent with the employers. If the work culture is good, then you will develop good relations with the co-workers and be more productive.
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If something is on your mind, you will almost certainly make time for it. The easiest method to manage it is to make a calendar and a typical week with time set aside for each of your priorities, such as exercise, work, hobbies, and so on.
According to the Eisenhower model, begin with the most urgent task and work your way down to non-urgent tasks. You can select when high-priority work can be completed based on priorities; for example, at work, the most urgent activities should be completed first, followed by the least urgent and non-priority chores.
Prioritize Your Health
Your overall health should always be your topmost priority. Occasionally, you need to take off from work because sometimes, more than physical illness, there can be days when you can need breaks for your overall emotional well-being.
Overworking yourself will cause you to take more offs in the future and will also make you relatively less productive. Prioritizing health first will definitely go a long way in making you happy and productive and thus, maintaining the required work-life balance.
Limit Time-wasting Activities And People
First of all, you need to see which people are most important in your life. Cut out the time with less constructive people and find ways and means to limit interactions with these people.
Activities that are time-consuming like surfing on the internet or spending time on social media can be limited by turning off email notifications and replying in batches during limited times each day. You need to focus on the people and activities which are most beneficial to you.
Having A Social Life
Most of the time, we tend to plan out going out with friends and colleagues only during the weekend, but you need to plan at least one activity during the weekdays.
Schedule activities like a monthly book club or weekly dinner with your friends who bring out the best in you. Make a note of the activities beforehand in the calendar, which will ensure you will have something to look up to before the start of the month.
Learn To Say No
The best way to get through the day successfully in order to maintain a work-life balance is to make a to-do list by prioritizing tasks that are most urgent followed by other least non-urgent tasks.
At times, just to please colleagues or bosses, we never say no and end up overloading ourselves with work. Don’t try to take too much work since overcommitting can make you feel stressed or irritated. That way, you can do quality work and spend time on other activities and maintain a proper work-life balance.
Detach From Work
Working from home can have its set of advantages and disadvantages. There is no fixed set time at times’ there is a probability of extending work hours which can be a disadvantage. Many of us continue to communicate with colleagues after hours and also bring “work headspace” home with us. Most of them know it isn’t a healthy habit and can’t force themselves to detach when you’re so connected to work.
Take A Vacation
When you are taking a vacation, it is important to completely detach yourself, and in that time it’s crucial to completely shut work completely off. Whether it’s taking one day off or two week trip to some far-off place, it’s important to take time off to recharge physically and mentally to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Don’t Overcommit And Underdeliver
Learn to say “no” in case you are overburdened with activities. When you are overcommitting you tend to build false expectations, juggling with too many tasks results in one becoming unproductive, unreliable and you tend to lose out on increments, opportunities, and promotions. Get out of this rut by making commitments you can fulfill, which will directly lead you to beat deadlines and targets and rebuild your image.
How To Apply The Work-life Integration Principles:
Work-life integration entails pushing work from home to new heights when work and life are no longer two distinct entities but must be balanced. It’s a place where employees apply their professional knowledge to their personal lives on a regular basis. It’s a united, blended, and harmonious work-life balance that’s as simple as doing your job while going about your daily routine.
Few examples of work-life combination: –
A travel blogger or content writer may go on a family trip and use the material he gathers to generate fresh articles, social media postings, and marketing copy.
Some other examples may include:
- Starting the workday whenever you wish
- Taking annual workcations are some additional examples (working regular hours while traveling)
- Responding to emails while traveling or in a client’s waiting room or lobby.
Even with work-life integration, maintaining a healthy balance is essential. It becomes extremely important to not apply or assign equal weight to all aspects of your day. You can complete a significant number of duties in order to meet your set goals, activities, or other events in your family or social life.
You’re not alone if you’re having trouble integrating your job and personal lives. Surprisingly, the concepts of work-life integration are comparable to the recommendations for work-life balance.
Multitasking certain jobs throughout the day are the simplest approach to integrate work and life. The most important factor is to alter one’s mentality. Getting the right equilibrium is the most difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.
Work-life stability is a cycle that we must revisit from time to time as our circumstances and priorities change, and it consists of five steps.
Take a breather and denormalize –
If too much work is causing you stress, unbalance, or dissatisfaction, you should reduce or stop doing it. You should ask yourself certain self-evaluation questions, such as how are my current circumstances affecting my work performance? What is the impact of the situation on your personal life? These types of queries will help you reconsider if somebody is seeking new ways to work and live.
Pay attention to your emotions:
Once you’ve become aware of your current circumstance, it’s critical to figure out how you feel about it. For example, it’s critical to comprehend your emotions (are you feeling angry, resentful, sad). Understanding your own decisions and priorities is critical, but emotional reflexivity is also critical; awareness of your emotional state is essential for making the required changes in your job and personal life.
Increasing awareness (cognitive and emotional) goes a long way toward bringing things to the forefront and adjusting your priorities accordingly. Asking yourself questions such as, “What am I prepared to give up?” If you’ve been putting work before of family, consider whether this is the best way to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Is it truly required?
What kind of regrets will I have if I stay on this path? Our priorities change frequently, and they vary faster than our daily time management habits.
Consider your options:
First and foremost, consider what areas of your career and the life you could change to better match your values. Then ask yourself, “Are there any aspects of your life that you’d like to change?”
Now that you have thoroughly researched possibilities to help you better, it’s time to put them into action.
That includes making a change that affects your co-workers’ expectations, such as taking on a new role that is designed to be less time-consuming or one that allows for a compacted week model so that you can change your schedule without substantially altering your co-workers’ expectations.
For private changes, this entails (self-imposed restrictions, such as deciding not to work late evenings, weekends, or holidays and sticking to it) or shifting needs, such as (taking new projects or travel requests, even when you feel forced to take them on)
For public changes, it simply means employees will have a more permanent change in the future course if they just inform their boss that they want more time off or more flexible hours and receive full support from co-workers.
Work and personal life are incompatible. Both are a part of life, yet both are separate aspects of one’s life, therefore one should not be concerned about the other. The capacity to recognize what to do in a given situation is what will guide you down the proper road. Practice makes perfect, but don’t allow any setbacks to discourage you because it’s a never-ending process.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1.What does good work/life balance imply?
It is the technique to give your best at the workplace and also enjoy your own life. It is very important because if you are not healthy and happy, you cannot give your best.
2.What affects work/life balance?
The duration of work, the amount of work, and the working condition affect an individual’s work/life balance.
3.How to balance work and life?
You need to set a goal for each day, and put in the effort to achieve that. Also, do not stress yourself and have a proper meal at right time. You should get enough sleep to think clearly.