It’s pretty much a given fact that when you look around the office there’s always someone who seems calm, relaxed, good at what they do and has a keen sense of work life balance. For many of us we look at this person with a tinge of jealousy. At the same time there are others who can often be characterised as frantic. They’re in early, they beaver away for hours without coming up for air, and more often than not are the last to leave. It’s these people with whom we might often associate burnout.
Achieving life balance isn’t just about making staff happier and providing a better environment for work. Research from EY suggests that approximately a third of staff across the planet struggle to manage their work and personal lives effectively. It’s easy to see why, as a challenging external environment, with low wage rises means that for many working harder might be the badge of honour they need in order to be in line for that next promotion. However, in the States, research from the Corporate Executive Board shows that workers who believe they enjoy a healthy work/life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t.
Not only do performance levels improve in companies where work/life balance is important but so does staff engagement. By prioritising your work life balance both staff and managers stand to benefit. Here are some useful tips on where to start.
Make Your Rules Early
In the workplace people often find it difficult to alter a certain pattern of work once it has been established and others form expectations of you. For instance, if you are always first in work and last to leave, or always willing to take on extra projects, then colleagues may start expect this from you. Once you start to deviate from this example they may question why. You personally may be aware of this. Instead, set your stall early. Be at work on time, take your break allocation and go home at the end of the working day. If there is a culture for working overtime and taking time off in lieu then take your time off. This will help you maintain the balance as the role evolves.
Manage Your Communications
One of the biggest challenges for any employee these days comes from constant communication and being contactable 24/7. If this is a concern for you then don’t let it be. Once again manage the parameters early and stick to them. Only reply to emails during work hours and get into the habit of not replying straight away to emails that are not urgent. Be careful about which emails you respond to and which you don’t. Perhaps the best tip is to remember that emails are more likely to fill your inbox when you send them. If you don’t want your inbox filling up then be careful about filling your outbox.
Not harder as they say. We all have colleagues who are perfectionists, that like to make sure they have every last detail correct, even if that means working until late to get the job done. When this becomes a habit it can have a serious impact on work/life balance. What are the expectations of the role? What are the expectations of the team? What needs to be done in order for you to be successful in your role? Take time to consider these things and how they fit into the role in the hours you work, instead of over delivering consistently with no greater reward.
Workplace well-being is vital for the success of your organisation. To find out more about well-being policies in the workplace contact us to discuss your requirements.