With the vast majority of workers now toiling virtually, it is of paramount importance to address “work/life balance” and how best to achieve it.
Research consistently shows that companies that emphasize maintaining a healthy work/life balance enjoy higher productivity levels, and their employees report higher levels of job satisfaction which results in lower attrition.
There is no question that having a balanced work/life routine helps reduce stress and prevent burnout, thus enabling employees to consistently perform better.
Importance of Work/Life Balance
Did you know that chronic stress is a common health concern amongst employees working in an inflexible, inhospitable, high-pressure workplace? A stressful lifestyle has serious side effects like hypertension, insomnia, chronic aches, heart problems, and digestive troubles.
Equally important, stress also has negative consequences on your mental health, such as an increased risk of anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Companies that do not promote work/life balance will no doubt pay the price. These organizations endure more employee “sick days” than their counterparts, who prioritize their employees’ overall physical and mental health. Ultimately, companies that do not promote work/life balance will end up paying the highest price by losing valuable team members.
There is no question that maintaining a healthy work/life balance is not only important for employees, but also has substantial positive benefits for companies.
Now that we have determined that there is absolute value for both employees and employers in fomenting a strong work/life balance, here are a few suggestions on achieving that goal:
Keep Your Private Life and Professional Life Separate
Your personal life will suffer if you cannot keep it separate from your professional life. You must learn to draw a sacred line to protect and cherish your personal life. The latter is especially vital when working remotely! Constructing and maintaining this division can be difficult, nevertheless being able to “shut-off” at the end of the work-day is of paramount importance for many reasons.
A healthy habit to aim for is to be actively present and focused on your job during allocated work hours, and then be able to walk away and invest that same focus in your personal life.
Perhaps more than anything, the pandemic has taught us all how precious our time is. Consciously choosing where you invest your time and energy is something that should not be done haphazardly, but instead with an eye towards deliberately achieving goals that are important to you.
I recently read a fascinating article based on surveys given to a sample group of individuals 100 years old and over. When queried on what they would do differently if given the chance to live their lives over, they all consistently said the same thing…they would spend more QUALITY time with their loved ones.
While we all need to work to provide for our families, truly nurturing relationships with our loved ones during our personal time is ultimately what it is all about. The key then is to work smart! Designate clearly defined work periods, and then once complete to the best of your ability, confidently walk away and pivot the same degree of focus to your personal life.
Many of us have a difficult time “shutting off” work, and are not fully present when interacting with our families. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but by creating a clear-cut division between work hours and family time, you can strive towards a healthier balance. This will not only make your family feel valued and enhance your relationships, but will also prevent you from suffering burnout and will actually promote productivity in your professional life.
Having a designated workspace dramatically helps in being able to delineate time and space for work.
By having a physical space designated for work, being able to leave that space and walk away from your job for the day enables you to mimic an office work environment and therefore create a physical separation from your home life.
Necessary Divisions to Create a Healthy Work/Life Balance
It’s important to prioritize a work/life balance whether you’re a family-oriented person or a workaholic. It’s healthy to adopt habits that offer peace of mind and inner satisfaction both in your work and personal life.
Life is too short to spend time doing something that you do not enjoy. For starters, do your best to find a job or start a business that genuinely interests you. Secondly, prioritize your mental and physical well-being over your career.
Lastly, make a list of both short-term as well as long-term goals and break down what it will take to accomplish them in your personal and work life.
Then stick to your schedule, being fully present in whatever endeavors you choose to dedicate your precious time to. You will soon begin to see the benefits roll in!
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Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of International Search Consultants. You can reach Ann at 888-866-7276 or .