This is now the age where a constant stream of go, go, go, and work, work, work is the norm. Employees even feel a sense of guilt when they need to take personal time. Fears of being left behind, replaced or let go, not making goals or meeting deadlines. Even disdain among coworkers or employers keep employees in a consistent cycle of working while forgetting to maintain their own personal wellness. This article explains work life balance from a leader’s perspective.
That has to stop!
Employee burnout is very real and rapidly becoming an issue for many as they find themselves unable to be productive at work while seemingly spending all of their time thinking and engaging with work. The negative effects of this cultural “work hard and then work harder” shift are now becoming more evident. In fact, many employers are now implementing more ways to get employees to take a break from work and focus on themselves.
Quality Over Quantity Is Always Preferred
Good employers drive their team to produce results while great employers empower their teams to take care of themselves in order to produce even better results. They recognize it’s not about the hours worked, but the quality of the work produced during working hours. In fact, it has been proven that in an average work day of eight hours, employees are really only effective for three of those hours. Employers can and do take note of the timesheets, however, if the quality of the work produced is exceptional, the timesheets become a non-factor.
Better Employees = Better Teams
The value of an employee with a healthy mindset and an appropriate work-life balance is priceless. The cost of training a new employee to replace one that has burned out isn’t worth the alternative of simply making sure that current employees not only know that their work life balance is important, but welcomed in the workspace.
Not only that, employees with outside interests and hobbies are able to bring new insights and dynamics to the table. Employers appreciate the range of diversity, ingenuity, and refreshed energy as it only improves the team as a whole.
Finding The Work Life Balance
Achieving a healthy work life balance isn’t easy. It’s an overwhelming and even addicting habit, but breaking it is possible! Here are a few starting points that can help get employees on the right track:
- Set designated work “start” and “stop” times. Don’t interact with work at all outside of those hours. Nope! Not even a response to that one little email.
- Be sure to take full advantage of any mental wellness options provided such as vacation/sick days, work from home options, etc.
- Find ways to escape. This doesn’t have to be elaborate either. Perhaps it’s a spa day, a workout class, or finding time in the evening to relax with a good book and a glass of wine.
- Say no to taking on too many tasks or asking for extensions. Bosses want the best out of employees even if that means taking on less work in favor of an employee’s mental health.
- Stay connected to friends and loved ones. A quick chat with a loved one or a best friend will do wonders for employee morale.
For workers that need a hand in finding the perfect work-life balance, there are also a wide range of apps available to help employees leave work in the office. Analyzing how time is spent both in and out of the office to effectively managing work related stress to controlling connectivity to the office. There are apps that can help employees effectively divide their personal and work time.
Find the Balance
Employees should never feel bad about looking out for themselves over work. A good employer understands the importance of a solid work-life balance. They will appreciate any employee that is able to stand up and take personal time when necessary. A team is only as strong as its weakest member and good teams build up every member. Employees should talk to their employers about how they can work to achieve a mutually beneficial work life balance within the office. These simple changes will improve and strengthen each team member’s personal well-being.
The concept of work-life balance is not new. In theory we know how it should work. But in reality, we still feel apprehensive about keeping our work and personal life in balance when it comes to communicating feelings to our boss. This article is written from an executive’s POV. It aims to show that leaders really do care and encourage their employees to take care of themselves.
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