Work life balance is defined as a person’s ability to meet their work and family commitments, as well as other tasks and responsibilities outside of work . There is a widespread interest in this subject especially from big work organizations primarily because it affects all aspects of a worker’s life. Work has become more demanding of time. What’s supposed to be just an 8-hour job can easily turn into a 12-hour grind. For some employees, extra working hours mean extra pay. But these additional work hours are subtracted from personal time. And if this process continues, it will fire back to the employee in the form of physical and mental fatigue; it will create great conflict within the other key areas of his life—family and personal.
Why work-life balance is important?
According to the Australian Institute of Business, there are three reasons why work-life balance is important:
Employee becomes less susceptible to occupational burnouts
Burnouts happen when you feel overwhelmed and cannot meet the demands of the job. The negative effects of a burnout affect all the key areas of the employee’s life. When there is a balance between work and personal life, burnouts can be avoided.
Attention is given to where it’s due
When there is balance between work and home, an employee has better focus to dedicate to. When at work, an employee has greater control on focusing to his tasks. But when at home, he has the same amount of control to focus on family matters.
Employee experiences fewer health problems
When we are overworked, our body gives in to the negative effects of stress and fatigue. Stress and fatigue compromise our immune system which can result to a simple case of flu to a more serious condition such as digestive and respiratory diseases. Work-life balance promotes healthy lifestyles. It leaves us extra time to look after ourselves by exercising, eating well and relaxing.
How do workers benefit from work-life balance?
Nowadays, work organizations implement work-life balance campaigns primarily to increase the productivity of their employees. Flexible working hours allowing employees to come to work at certain hours of the day where they are most productive positively affects not only their daily productivity but also results to improved employee engagement and satisfaction. Work-life balance also reduces absenteeism, medical leave and other health-related expenses.
Work-life Balance Strategies at Work
Companies now offer numerous work-life balance strategies that can be put in place to help the employee achieve a balance between work and personal needs. These are measures for a win-win situation for both the employee and employer.
- Flexible work arrangement – employer and employee agree to a variation from the usual work arrangement.
- Leave schemes – employee can avail various kinds of leave, depending on their specific needs.
- Employee support schemes – these are various kinds of resources that can address the personal needs of an employee so that work will not be affected. Examples of these are eldercare arrangements, child care arrangements, counseling services and many others.
Work-Life Balance Strategies at Home
When we are at work, we are focused on our tasks. Do the same thing when you’re outside of work—be focused on that side of your life. One strategy that a lot of people do is that they use their driving time to get home as a transition period to their personal time. Below are some simple steps that you can take to achieve a healthy balance between work and personal life.
- We may not able to reduce the demands and workload at the office, but during non-office hours, try tuning out whatever office tasks that dance around your head.
- Turn off emails at night and on weekends.
- Engage yourself in after-work activities, like going to the gym, to reduce the stresses encountered during the day.
- Don’t over-commit yourself.
- Don’t feel bad tuning out. Embrace it.