Work culture in today's world has evolved to such an extent that there are times when one cannot differentiate between family time and work time. This is a dangerous trend. Work life balance is critical to lead a productive professional and personal life.
With employees now able to access all their work without being physically present at the office, the traditional way of working has seen a dramatic shift. More so, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a large section of the workforce to work from home. In such a scenario, bringing about a work life balance is very essential.
So, what is work life balance? Is it going to work and returning from work on time? No, for starters, there is no perfect, one-size-fits-all definition for work life balance. The work-life balance is different for different people because of their priorities and living styles.
Promoting a well-balanced work-life is very important. A poor work life balance is one of the most important reasons for poor employee productivity, poor performance, and high attrition rate. A right work life balance, on the other hand, reduces stress levels and the risk of burnout.
Generally, bringing in some discipline and incorporating them may enhance your work life balance. But to understand the true essence of this equilibrium, one must delve a little deeper. So, here are 8 essential work life balance tips that should help any professional strike a balance between personal and professional time.
Working overtime has become very common, especially in specific industries. But once you reach home, it's the end of your workday and the beginning of your me-time. However, as a remote worker working from home, you don't get the same opportunity of moving into a different space. In such cases, it is essential to set specific work hours and make sure to follow them. Those who can maintain a clear work life balance are always more efficient at the workplace and find time to attend to their family.
Concentrate on your work during your work shift and unwind from all work once your shift ends. Keep your team members and superiors informed of your schedule so that you are less likely to receive emails or meeting requests during your personal time. Be responsible and factor in all responsibilities, and keep a more realistic schedule that will help you stick to your work hours successfully. Having a fixed work routine will enhance one’s work life balance.
The first few hours of your work shift are vital to your success. The start influences how your entire day pans out. Respect this time and ensure that your productivity level is very high at the start. A fixed routine in the morning will help you to adhere to that schedule every day and create efficient habits, thus making each day as productive as the day before. Working with more passion and focus will turn out to be more productive rather than just working for more hours in a day.
This is one of the essential work life balance tips that will reign in indiscipline in your professional life.
If you truly want to balance your work and personal life successfully, it's in your best interest not to work from your bed. By working on the bed or the couch, you create an unprofessional environment around you that can be very distracting. By designating a specific workspace, you are bifurcating your workspace and personal space, thereby helping yourself to achieve higher efficiency.
You must avoid working in a place that you strongly associate with relaxation. Do your best to create a workspace that is comfortable for you, and at the same time, gives a professional vibe.
When working from home, you can't take the coffee breaks you used to take with your colleagues and catch up personally. But that should not deter you from indulging in proper breaks from work. You can also take short breaks every couple of hours to take a short walk or probably do some personal chores if that helps you unwind.
Taking breaks is one of the most effective work life balance tips, and it is very simple to follow too. Step away from your work for a few minutes, stretch a bit, look out of the window, or take a 10-minute break to listen to your favourite music. Such breaks give your mind time to rejuvenate, thereby helping in creating a work life balance.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of those work life balance tips that is offered by health professionals and HR teams. No matter what kind of industry or role you are in, working from home can be very tricky if not planned well. Whatever the type of work, you shouldn't neglect your mental and physical health. All the stress accumulated by you will have an adverse effect in the long run. Staring at the computer for 8-9 hours a day will create many problems, and that is why it is necessary to exercise regularly, eat and drink healthy, and pay attention to your health.
If you find your energy levels dwindling at the bottom, you need to change some aspects of your life, like more physical activity. Saying yes to better nutrition and more vitamins further improve your health. Yoga and physical exercise can become effective treatment strategies for minor health problems, depression, and anxiety. These exercises can bring long-term and short-term benefits to enhance your physical health, mood, and sleep.
You can also find some apps that will guide you to have a perfect workout regime at home when you cannot get to the gym. Sticking to the work-life balance tips can be tricky, just like following a regular workout regime.
However, there are apps to help people stay motivated for daily exercises. These apps provide clear instructions in audio or video form from real coaches and also help you gauge your progress. Some of such apps are PEAR Personal Fitness Coach, Fitbit Coach, Peloton, Shred, FitOn, and a host of other apps.
Exercise is only half the battle for taking care of your health. You also need to maintain a healthy diet plan. A healthy diet protects against malnutrition and improves your immunity against different diseases. A balanced and healthy diet depends on individual characteristics like age, gender, lifestyle, and physical activity. However, the basic principles of a healthy diet have always remained the same: fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts.
Consistently being motivated to carry on a proper diet plan and physical exercises requires the support and motivation of your family. The current pandemic and working from home have made the family more relevant than ever. As modern work life balance puts pressure on you, the benefits of spending time with your family become more important.
The next in the list of essential work life balance tips is to spend more time with your family. It helps meet your basic needs and builds a support system. Simply whispering sweet nothing to your loved ones, playing family games, teaching kids to cook, or catching up on a movie together will provide you with a refreshed mind that is ready to take on the pressures of work the next day.
Music is said to be a great stress buster, and a good dose of music will go a long way in rejuvenating you. Music has a positive effect on the brain; it makes one happy, positive, and more productive. Specific tunes can change our mood, get us motivated and even help us concentrate. That includes listening to music to the list of work life balance tips.
Choose from among numerous music apps like Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, etc., that have readily available playlists to suit your mood or taste. Listen to playlists like Feel Good Bollywood, Songs for Quarantine, Peaceful Piano, Nature Sounds, Mood Booster, and many more playlists for various Indian regional languages.
You can simply select the playlist you prefer or create your own playlists and share them with friends and family. Not to mention, one can also purchase music players or speakers at discounted prices from Amazon Business to enjoy your favorite music.
Hobbies play a crucial role in alleviating some of the unavoidable stress in our life. They provide us with a way of releasing our creative side, a pleasant distraction or something we can look forward to. Looking forward to your hobbies and interests is undoubtedly one of the many work life balance tips that people like to follow.
In such times where we are all confined within the walls of our homes, developing a hobby or bringing out our childhood hobbies and redefining them will have a soothing effect. Having a hobby gives you more knowledge and experiences about certain subjects, and this allows you to teach anyone interested in the same topic. Hobbies also help eradicate boredom and prevent bad habits and wastage of time.
As the old saying goes, "An idle mind is a devil's workshop" - hobbies can fill up your free time with pleasant thoughts, and you will spend less time on negative activities. By the time this pandemic ends and life goes back to normal, you will have acquired a new skill and gained more confidence to face the world.
Apart from all the above, ensure that you have network devices for uninterrupted network so that your work moves smoothly. Considering the COVID-19 scenario, it will also be advisable to have adequate stock of safety equipment at home to provide you mental peace.
Just like developing a new habit or a new routine requires time and dedication, maintaining work life balance also requires time. Balance cannot be achieved overnight. It may take some tweaking and rearranging or prioritizing tasks, but the goal is to find a balance that works well for you.
You may choose to follow the mentioned work life balance tips, and eventually, you will notice that each routine becomes part of your life. You will see positive growth in your life and strike the balance in your professional and personal life.
Following the above-mentioned work life balance tips will help you move towards a more satisfying personal life and a more productive professional life.
1) How can employees improve work life balance?
Taking time off between work, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, keeping flexible but disciplined work hour shifts, indulging in creative hobbies, and apt management of time are some work life balance tips that employees can use to improve their work life balance.
2) What affects work life balance?
Taking care of one’s physical and mental health is one of the most popular work life balance tips that counselors give. A decline in health can have a deeply negative impact on work life balance. Unwanted stress at work and on the personal front can hamper one’s personal relationship, which in turn can affect professional efficiency, leading to an imbalance in personal and professional work space.
3) What is a healthy work life balance?
A healthy work life balance involves dividing one’s day evenly between professional and personal life. Giving oneself more flexibility to work around one’s professional life and still maintain the time and energy to enjoy one’s personal life is the key to a healthy work life balance.
4) How do you achieve work life integration?
The essence of work-life integration is to eliminate any stark boundaries between professional life and personal life. Initially, if you have flexible hours, you can divide your working hours, not restricting it to 9 hours straight. You can work in the morning, then hit the gym, and start working again post-lunch. Take a break in the evening, walk your dog, cook dinner, then complete the remaining work. The objective is to stop the work-life competition, instead, unify them.
5) What are the three components of a work/life balance?
There are many components of a work life balance. However, many people view three of them as the fundamentals of reaching a work life balance –
6) How important is work life balance?
Work life balance is crucial for people’s mental health. A work that allows relatively more personal time to the employee can boost the person’s psychological wellbeing, although not necessarily. It all boils down to the satisfaction balance, one of the three components of work life balance. However, for most of the populace, a balanced professional and personal life means less stress and more happiness.