Is work life balance a myth? All you need to know about work life balance!
Is work life balance a myth or reality?
For many employees, working from home has made it difficult to balance between their personal and work life.Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important to improving our physical, emotional, mental well being and overall work satisfaction.
A work-life balance indicates work and life as two different and separate things : that work isn’t part of life. But it is a huge part of our life. This is the reality one must understand before getting to the crux of work life balance.
Work gives us a sense of purpose. It can be filled with passion if you are in the right place. Your peers can become friends and the work can become a challenging fun ride with your remote team. Studies say that what you do at work impacts every other part of your life and it is inevitable.
Thinking about work life balance as one versus another is the wrong way of looking at it.
Work-life balance is important and needs to be addressed by employers immediately
A study by the Mental Health Foundation says that an increase in work hours increases feelings of unhappiness. Conversely, employees with severe workloads and a lack of work-life balance are underperforming, tired and stressed out.
With small initiatives like online team building activities, employers can help the remote teams bond stronger and trust each other better and the organization better.
A Future of Work survey by Mavenlink says 62% of respondents said work-life balance was the most important aspect of a company's culture. The benefits of employee work-life balance are enormous to organizations and employers. But ignoring it comes with severe costs.
Here are some of the important benefits of a healthy work-life balance,
- Higher levels of efficiency and productivity.
- Lower levels of absenteeism.
- Lower levels of stress.
- Greater motivation across the teams.
- Improved customer service.
- Increased levels of trust in the employer as well as the organization.
- Higher employee retention levels.
- Sustaining employee engagement and improved employee satisfaction.
Myths about work-life balance and why you need to ignore them.
Working more hours increases productivity.
This is a most common false assumption that damages work-life harmony. According to Parkinson's Law, "Work expands to fill the time available for its completion." That is why when you are given more time to finish a particular task; you start working on it only when the deadlines approach.
Instead, you can focus on productivity with smart work. The science behind it: When you're given a longer time to do something, the brain sees it as a too big task, which results in overthinking and procrastination. When there's less time, the brain knows it has to focus on finishing that task on time. So, working fewer, not more, hours in a smarter way is the key to productivity.
You may like: Tips for increasing productivity in virtual teams
Good employee always responds fast
In this remote workplace, the time we give to our devices has gone high. The boundaries between work and life have almost blurred. Studies say that most employees think and worry about work even when they are away from work. This is a major cause of stress and lack of productivity in remote employees.
Instead, you can set boundaries. Sometimes when you plan for quality family time, and an email comes in, you see the notification. It creates a sense of urgency to read the email. Set boundaries for yourself. It could be as simple as not checking emails after dinner or no work calls before breakfast, so you can create space to enjoy your personal life while setting your priorities right based on the weight of the situation. It's you who has to make intentional choices for your wellbeing.
Dividing life into compartments
It is very difficult to divide time into blocks while competing against each other. This will only increase stress rather than helping your well-being. You must understand the reality, there will be times when work bleeds into your personal life and vice versa. There will be days when you put in a lot of hours of work and also days when you only work for a couple of hours.
Employers must take the initiative to make remote workspace more fun with the help of online team-building activities. This will reduce burnout and associate work with happy times.
Jeff Bezoz says: If you're happy outside of work, then you'll be more productive and energized in your workplace too. And, if you're fulfilled with your work, then you're more content and energized at home.
Striving for perfect schedules
Don't strive for the perfect schedule; be realistic with yourself. Some days, you might have to focus more on work, while other days, you might have more time to pursue your favorite hobbies or spend more time with your loved ones. Work-life harmony can be achieved by being self-aware of your current priorities.
"It is important to remain fluid and constantly keep assessing yourself about where you are and what your current goals and priorities are. But don't be afraid of unplugging yourself or taking long breaks from work when you burn out or when you need it.
It gives you time to recharge and bring in fresh perspectives. As a result, you will see your productivity improving at work. You will be able to focus better and become more efficient.
Pro-tip to achieve your work-life harmony
Take breaks : Research says that the best schedule of work is every 52 minutes work for 17 minutes of break. This works because performing tasks in short intervals knowing that a break is coming up helps you stay focused, and enjoying the breaks between work improves your mood. In addition, you can use these breaks to reward yourself with little things you love. It could be playing with your child or sipping hot coffee, or taking a walk in your garden.
To sum it up :
Not everyone has the same dreams and goals, so the definition of work-life balance can differ from person to person. But with few initiatives of team bonding and reducing burnout, employers can support the wellbeing of their remote teams and reap the benefits while nurturing work-life balance.
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