Maintaining a healthy work-life balance in today’s world is something more important than ever. With the recent technological development, the world and the job market have really changed in recent years. The question we will ask ourselves is: how are these changes affecting people’s lives?
In this article, you will learn the meaning and definition of Work-Life Balance, i.e. balance between work and private life. In addition, you will discover what are the five steps to working life balance every day.
Why work-life balance?
According to numerous surveys, we can assert that the road to achieving an excellent work-life balance is still long.
In fact, many people have reported that they cannot completely disconnect from work when they are at home, not even during holidays.
However, it is important to achieve this skill because. Indeed, according to experts, it will soon be in high demand by companies.
Furthermore, working from home is much more often used today. The global pandemic has accelerated its development because it has prevented many trips to the workplace.
As we will see, this production method has great advantages, but also disadvantages for one’s work-life balance.
Subsequently, we will go to analyze them in more detail.
Work-life balance meaning and definition
Work-life balance is the balance between one’s work and private life. In a nutshell, it is the ability to make private life coexist in a proportionate way with professional life. By private life, we mean the personal one: relational, family, even various passions and hobbies.
Where did work-life balance come from?
Contrary to what one might think, the concept of work-life balance has already existed since the seventies, used for the first time in Great Britain.
The work-life balance has become increasingly topical because, also due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the boundary between these two spheres has thinned.
What causes poor work-life balance?
E-mails, Whatsapp, Facebook groups, and many other applications have facilitated our availability, even outside office hours.
All this is gradually blurring the edges of time and space in our work. In fact, these two dimensions are increasing more and more, to the detriment of our personal well-being.
The result obtained from this lack of balance pours into the discrepancy between job satisfaction and subjective.
Why a healthy work-life balance is important?
Mental health generates physical health
The discrepancy between work and private life leads us to a lack of time to dedicate to ourselves. Consequently, all this inevitably increases the accumulation of stress.
In turn, stress decisively counteracts our immune and cardiovascular systems. In fact, some studies causally associate work-related stress with stroke and hypertension.
For this reason, attention must also be paid to personal well-being, which one cannot do without time for oneself.
Organisational culture and the use of work–life balance
Even large companies have realized that a happy worker is also more productive and efficient. For this reason, tech giants like Google and Microsoft are heading towards this prospect.
For example, they guarantee employees paid time for recreation and rest. In addition, they provide insurance plans, babysitting and elderly care services, along with other benefits.
All this is implemented to facilitate the well-being of its employees, and therefore to increase productivity.
These procedures are still in the news, but by now they should be the norm for all companies.
Work-life balance and remote working
As anticipated before, the current pandemic situation has led to a massive acceleration of the process of digitization of work.
It was a process that has been going on for a long time, but in the last year, remote working has had to triple the speed of its development. In fact, many companies have been forced to allow their employees to work from home.
Of course, all this has brought both advantages and disadvantages in daily life.
Pros of remote working
Working from home has given enormous logistical advantages. For example, those who lived hundreds of miles away from their workplace will now save themselves hours of travel.
The lesser need to move leads to less use of transport, or of the car. Therefore, the economic advantages are also impressive, given that you save on season tickets and/or petrol.
Furthermore, with this way of working you can better manage your time, dedicating more to your family or yourself.
Cons of remote working
With the rapid and imminent access to remote working, there is still no regulation of the same. In short, either you work too much or too little.
In fact, on the one hand, cases of abuse are much more frequent, such as absenteeism during office hours. The lack of a physical place of work made checks much more complicated.
However, cases of violation of the right to disconnect are much more frequent. For example, business calls after hours or during holidays, messages, video conferences at unlikely times. Everything negatively affects our health and well-being.
How to improve your work-life balance in 5 step
Due to the lack of regulation in remote working, it is necessary to take measures to avoid the accumulation of work-related stress.
Therefore, below you will learn some useful tips to improve your Work-life balance, without losing productivity and efficiency at work.
Cultivate social relationships
A little organization of your day will allow you to find some spare time to go out with friends or with colleagues.
For some people, it seems a secondary aspect. In reality, it is very important to cultivate relationships, family and not. A satisfying relational life allows us to live work more serenely and peacefully.
You can be a successful manager or a multimillion-dollar CEO. However, without healthy relationships, you will never be fully realized.
Take the time to rest
This concept seems immediate, but it is often misunderstood. Free time does not coincide with stressful activities, even if they do not concern work.
How many people wait for the weekend to do cleaning, repairs, or other tasks postponed during the week?
All this does nothing but accumulate more stress, starting the new week even more tired.
Free time is used to cultivate one’s passions, and to dedicate time to oneself too. We must learn to know how to manage free time, even with rest.
It delineates clear boundaries between work and private life
If your company does not allow it, you will have to organize yourself to disconnect properly at the end of office hours.
There are many small tricks that can be useful in this situation.
For example, you can use two mobile phones, one completely dedicated to the profession, the other for the rest. Turning off your work phone during your free time is a great way to improve your Work-life balance.
Also, if you work from home, try to dedicate a room completely to the profession. Mixing one’s habitat between work and private life is also not the best.
Therefore, it is important to disconnect with all our senses: with sight, hearing, touch, even with our own thoughts.
Manage breaks during working hours in the best possible way
Lots of people have lunch in front of the computer, or while carrying out some other work task. This is one of the most common and underestimated mistakes.
Paradoxically, the consequences of this bad habit can be detrimental to our productivity.
The concept of disconnection from one’s work also has an important value during daily breaks, not only during holidays.
Therefore, take your lunch break to disconnect from the office, and from the media. Spend that time to relate, be in the middle of nature if you are allowed, or simply to rest.
The brain needs to regenerate in order to produce at its best. So don’t think that working 10 consecutive hours without breaks can be more efficient.
Physical activity is good not only for health but also for our mind. It has now been scientifically proven that it induces our endocrine system to release serotonin into circulation. This is also called the happiness hormone, so it is important for our well-being.
Therefore, it is a good habit to practice physical activity or sports often, at least three times a week. The benefits will not be immediate, but you can certainly see them in the long term.
The world of work is evolving, with all the consequences that this phenomenon entails. Companies should adapt to these changes, but not all are inclined to this.
It is now known that having a good Work-life balance, and therefore being happier, makes you more productive. Therefore, taking care of the basic needs and needs of every employee or worker should be in everyone’s interest.
However, if all of this is not guaranteed, it is up to us to make the most of the advantages of digitizing work, eliminating as many disadvantages as possible.
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