Work Life Balance
In organizations and on the home front, the challenge of work/life balance is rising to the top of many employers’ and employees’ consciousness. In today’s fast-paced society, human resource professionals seek options to positively impact the bottom line of their companies, improve employee morale, retain employees with valuable company knowledge, and keep pace with workplace trends
What is work/life balance?
Work-life balance is about creating and maintaining supportive and healthy work environments, which will enable employees to have balance between work and personal responsibilities and thus strengthen employee loyalty and productivity. Work-life balance is a vital facet of a healthy work environment. Maintaining a balance between work and life helps alleviate tension and helps avoid occupational burnout. Employers can save money and maintain a healthier, more efficient work force through the development of a work atmosphere that prioritizes work-life balance. Work – life balance means something different to everyone. The understanding and approach to work-life balance has been continuously changing over the years.
Here are 10 Myths and realities related to work life balance
1 It’s actually about achieving balance
To achieve harmony between the two is very important because the hard truth is the balance between the two is non-existent. If the balance does not exist, what needs to happen? The solution is to integrate your work and life together and not separate the two entities. Just to make a typical example, “When you at your child’s football game you can still make a business call”. This way you are shooting two birds with one stone.
2 Life needs to be compartmentalized
Another myth is life needs to be compartmentalized. This is more a 50/50 approach where you spend half of your time at work and another one at home, creating balance. However, this approach is not possible for some have to work extra hours to meet deadlines, achieve day to day objectives and this results in missing out on quality time with family and friends. Therefore, the best thing to do is to prioritize work activities; group your activities from most important to least important, this will help you to devote the right amount of time for each activity. In a case of meeting a deadline you can put in extra hours and then when done you can go and celebrate with your family or friends on a weekend away and this is how you make up that time.
3 You can have it all
Many fall for this trap of “you can have it all” this is not true. The reality of the matter is that somewhere somehow there are certain things you need to sacrifice, creating an equilibrium between work life balance is not an easy task to implement it requires sacrificing and planning. For other occasions you will have to give up family time while achieving work related matters and vicar versa.
4 Time Management is the answer
Time management is key; you need to be very selective with how you spend your time. This has a powerful effect on the quality of your decisions and in turn affects almost every aspect of your life from your career progression to your relationships, friendships and social life.
5 Technology will give you more free time
Technology has immensely helped in day to day communication and sharing of information. Technology enables people to interact and communicate everywhere in the world using various communication channels. Technology has made our lives so much easier and better. For examples, Artificial intelligence can offer you smart suggestions on how to schedule a meeting. In other words, technology assists however, it does require a bit of effort from you.
6 It’s what employees care about most
While employees enjoy flexibility, higher salaries and good working conditions they also seek meaningful work and desire recognition and acknowledgment for their efforts. Employees want to know their cared for and regarded as valuable. Creating balance for your team is key, make sure your team understands how they fit in the larger picture, recognizing their hard work by offering financial and non- financial rewards (vacation/ weekend away with family).
7 The early bird catches the warm
A lot of successful people do this and they advise people to wake up early in the morning. The idea is that if you are up early you will have more things done for the day. But this method does not work for everybody, other people are more productive late. The key is to rather work around your productivity peaks.
8 You never have to work during off hours
The key is to not attend to private business matters during off hours. This is the time you should be bonding with your family and friends. However, entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury to do this as they’re expected to tap into business matters while on vacation.
9 The less you work the happier you will be
Another myth is “the less you work, the happier you’ll be” this refers to how you spend your time. If you stress yourself and over work yourself every day, you are just cementing a bad habit of overwork and stress. Instead build a habit of living each day successful and fulfilled. Build the life you want today and don’t put it off.
10 Everything has to be scheduled
Important tasks and appointments should be noted down on the calendar but this doesn’t mean you should schedule your entire life literally, it’s been found that people are more happier when leisure activities happen spontaneously.
" Align all the elements of your life to support the pursuit of what has deep meaning to you"