The importance of a work/life balance – and 3 easy steps to creating one
With work-life balance remaining a “hot” topic, it is surprising that statistics show the level of Australians wellbeing has significantly declined over the last 2 years, and our stress and distress levels have significantly increased. It makes sense that in today’s economy, people are working harder and longer hours than before and spending their available spare time to complete their life administration work, such as; doing the washing, paying bills and attending appointments, leaving less and less “me time”.
The consequences of no work-life balance may mean your boss is enjoying the late hours you are putting in at the office, however the exhaustion, stress, anxiety and even depression that can result from an absence of family or leisure time is something that can impact your health and negatively affect your productivity at work.
So what can you do to fix this?
1. Rely on YOU for the solution.
With businesses constantly growing and diversifying, there is a lot for them to focus on. Don’t solely rely on your company to come up with the answers of how to create a work/life balance and put some ownership back on you.
Putting together a weekly schedule on where you effectively use (and waste) your time is a great way to highlight where you should be cutting back so you can put that time to better use – don’t forget to include some ‘down time’ in your agenda too.
2. Use your lunch breaks wisely.
Having lunch at your desk when trying to meet an important deadline is something that we all have to do at times. However, when this is not the case, getting up from the computer and taking a well-deserved break to recharge is a great way to give yourself the energy and motivation needed for the second half of your day.
Most companies provide employees with an hour lunch break. Instead of using this to wander aimlessly deciding what food to buy – use this time wisely.
Dedicate twenty minutes to having your lunch and put the remaining forty minutes to good use, for example;
a) Go for a walk to clear your mind
b) Join a gym and keep active
c) Attend an appointment you need to go to or do your banking, this will free up your weekend to do something enjoyable
d) Meet a friend for a coffee
3. Find out what benefits your company offers.
At NTT ICT, Work/life balance is an important part of our culture and there are a number of benefits offered to our employees such as;
a) Our company soccer team
b) Flexible work arrangements for parents with young children
c) A complimentary counselling service for those needing confidential assistance
d) Social events throughout the year
If you are applying for a new job – make one of your questions ‘Do you have any work/life initiatives?’ This will give you a great insight into the company and the importance they place on having a balanced lifestyle – if they look at you blankly, think to yourself, is this is the culture you want to be a part of?
Overall there is nothing wrong with working hard and having a busy life- but when this begins to impact your health and wellbeing, it is time to take a step back and do something about it so you don’t ‘burn out’ as this can create a negative affect not only you but those closest to you as well.