I recently came across a staggering statistic that 71% of Millennial employees and 63% of non-Millennial employees say that their work demands interfere with their personal lives. I found this quite surprising as the concept of work/life balance is an ever-growing workplace topic. Admittedly, the entire idea of enforcing a workplace culture of ‘work hard play hard’ has become more complicated as workers continue to see themselves as always “on” personally and professionally. With phones synced to work email accounts, checking work emails on weekends, and the unexpected late night calls from colleagues, this has led to a significant overlap of work and personal life - meaning that employees are never switched ‘off’.
I felt compelled to write a blog about this topic because now more than ever, it is becoming more difficult to zone out. Sadly, success these days is defined by how many hours you work a day, the number of unread emails that are in your inbox when you return from a holiday and how many lunches you skip to meet deadlines. This has made me question myself… how can we, as humans, allow ourselves to become overworked and then let this be a true reflection of our level of success and contribution to a business?
Although I can very much relate to raising important issues about workload and balance in the workplace, I do feel that in order for these discussions to be a priority with your boss, I have listed 5 simple tips to ensure you get the most out of you working day whilst ensuring a positive well-being in and outside of the office.
1. It is OK to speak up
Having a discussion with your boss is crucial in maintaining a healthy balance. I know many of us are reluctant at times to acknowledge when we have reached capacity and when we need additional resources. Being honest is crucial to ensuring you are maintaining a high standard of work. After all, when you’re tired and overworked your quality of work, over time, will suffer.
2. It is OK to have fresh air
Taking regular breaks during work hours is always the perfect way to keep focused. Whether that be walking up the street to grab a coffee or having your lunch in the sunshine. It is important to understand that although work plays a significant part in our lives it is also important to enjoy the fruits of your labor and take pleasure in the little things in your day.
3. It is OK to stick to a daily routine
By sticking to a routine it will help you remain on track and achieve that balance we are all looking for. Initially, it can be quite difficult to set the foundations for building strong, positive habits. However, it does bring huge benefits to your mental health, emotional resilience, relationships and creativity. Start by setting yourself small goals such as sleeping 8 hours a night, getting outside daily or taking the time to eat properly and go for a work out.
4. It is OK to switch off
When we are at work, we are in the zone. Which is why after the doors close it’s imperative to prioritise the things you want to do for you. This can be anything from regular exercise, reading a book or making sure you’re home for dinner with your family. By doing this, it allows us to have space to let other thoughts and ideas surface and can provide you with the right mind-set for your other everyday activities.
5. It is OK to go on a holiday
A vacation can be anything from a social media detox to a holiday travelling the world. It is important to take a step back to mentally and physically refuel yourself. If you are surrounded by a lot of support from your work colleagues, than a holiday, large or small, should come easy.
To conclude, my opinion is that it is OK as individuals to be the key drivers to becoming the best versions of ourselves. After all, this ‘work/life balance’ buzz word doesn’t really sit well with me…. Isn’t it all simply just life?
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