3 Ways to Change Work Life BalanceDecember 16, 2014 - By: Jason Carney
Work, eat, sleep and repeat. Nowadays, it seems like there’s never enough time in the day, and many people find themselves struggling with management of their work and personal life. The imbalance can reduce productivity at work, increase stress levels and produce unhealthy relationships with family members and coworkers. There are ways to generate a work-life balance in your company, but it’s up to the employee and employer to implement ideas in order for it to be successful.
1. Set priorities
As an employee, in order to manage work and home life successfully you need to set priorities on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Find out what is preventing a work/personal life separation and see if you’re able to pinpoint the consequences because of it. Do you need to rethink your commute? Many people have found their commute to and from work was the source of their problems, which has been known to have a negative impact on the cardiovascular system and contributor to mental health issues.
If your daily commute is feasible and you just feel overwhelmed with responsibilities, you may have to set priorities in a different manner. A paper or electronic calendar is a great way to visualize what you have going on. Once you have a schedule, dedicate a specific amount of time to each task and stick to the agenda – use a timer if you have to! It’s important to let the brain focus on one thing at a time. Compartmentalizing what tasks need to be accomplished in what order will help you stick to a plan and will allow you to get the most out of your time at work. That way, you are free to relax and do the things you enjoy at home.
Make sure as a company, employees know they’re neither required nor responsible for being available 24/7. While some jobs may not be the typical 9-5, it is important that employers are supportive of their employee’s personal lives outside of the office. When there’s less pressure coming from the top, employees are more likely to find a happy medium between work and home.
This may be the cliché, but it’s true! Studies have shown that exercise contributes to higher brain activity, which has stimulated productivity and creativity in the workplace. The below image shows the significant difference between a brain after sitting quietly and a brain after a 20 minute walk:
Exercise is a great way to unwind and stimulate immobility that office spaces can create. Employers should try promoting physical activity in the workplace by hosting “health challenges.” A team effort is likely to see healthier habits overall.
As an employee, there are benefits for incorporating physical activity in daily routines. Productivity, creativity and positivity will increase, which will reduce stress and irritability. Exercising is also a great way to have an intermission between work and home. The result should display employees giving 100% at work, which will give them a chance to deliver 100% at home, too.
3. Leave work at the office
The brain can be overstimulated so it’s important to allow the downtime it needs to recharge and refuel. Expect your employees to give their all during work hours, but let time spent outside of the office be spent at their discretion. Allowing employees to enjoy activities and life outside of the company will help maintain healthy relationships with family members and coworkers.
As an employee, make sure to differentiate time spent between work and home. While you’re not at the office, make it a habit to not take company calls or check your email. Partake in leisure activities –spend time with family, read, volunteer and travel. Getting a change of scenery from your everyday norm can contribute to a healthy inner Zen. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make sure there are clear boundaries to separate work and home life.