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Work-Life Balance

You can't truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles. 

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Work-Life Balance

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You can't truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.

– Zig Ziglar

Last week I had to prepare for an important exam. I tried to focus on the topic, but I couldn't absorb the information at all. At that point, I sat back and tried to find ways to resolve the problem. I realized that I need to find a way to balance my work life and not get bogged down with stress. You see, this is what work-related stress can do to you. In this explanation, we address the importance of work-life balance and how to incorporate it into our lives.

Work-Life Balance Definition

The idea of work-life balance has certainly changed over the last two years. Post-Covid-19, many employees work from home or have a hybrid work routine. Although it has brought many benefits, such as increased flexibility, productivity, and better use of resources, it has certainly blurred the line between work and life.

It is about time we address the issue of work-life balance and the ways to bring much-needed reform.

Work-life balance is an arrangement to balance professional and personal lives to maintain good health and personal satisfaction without negatively affecting professional growth.

There is no stated rule on work-life balance. It varies from person to person. For some people, it is fine to allot more time to work than personal life; for others, it must be in balance with personal lives. It comes down to the priorities and the arrangement that works for you. However, the bottom line is that you fulfill the roles of both lives without jeopardizing your mental or physical health.

To achieve work-life balance, you need effective planning and conscious efforts. It also depends on the working culture in your organization. Unfortunately, some companies still do not value it as much as other companies. Additionally, it matters what you do outside of work because you should avoid making work the center of your life. It is crucial to find time for hobbies and to build relations outside of work.

Work-Life Balance Importance

Why is work-life balance important? Every employee must find the right balance between their professional and personal lives. Bad work-life balance could impact the employee's wellbeing if it tilts towards either of the two extremes. Employees who suffer from mental or physical health problems cannot focus on work. It becomes counterproductive, and they cannot achieve the desired results. This could result in a decrease in personal satisfaction and professional growth.

As for employers, they must establish a working environment where employees do not have to sacrifice their personal lives to accommodate job-related tasks. Employers must invest resources to support the wellbeing of employees. It could help in reducing the chances of work-related stress and employee burnout.

Lots of stories have been published on work-life balance in Japan. The country has a very poor work-life balance from a global perspective. Employees are forced to work overtime because of demand. Although employees are entitled to get 10-20 days of paid holidays annually, many employees do not even apply for them because of the harsh working culture.1

Healthy employees are an asset to the organization. They can focus on work and complete the tasks without compromising on quality. It increases employee productivity and job satisfaction. It also decreases the employee turnover rate in an organization. Therefore, it is the responsibility of employers to create a healthy working environment and to support employees in finding the right work-life balance.

Work-Life Balance Finding time for yourself is as important as your work StudySmarterFig. 1 - Finding time for yourself is as important as your work

Work-Life Balance Strategies

Work-life balance strategies assist managers in creating a framework for developing a balanced approach between professional and personal lives in the workplace. Let's discuss some critical work-life balance strategies in the workplace.

  1. Culture of trust – Managers should develop a culture of trust with their teams. Some managers think productivity increases when employees spend more time at their desks. Unfortunately, this is not always valid. When managers give tasks to employees, they should trust them to get the job done. It allows employees to be responsible for their performance.

  2. Open communication – Communication is crucial in almost all aspects of an organization. Managers should allow an open flow of communication within the organization. It will enable employees to share their ideas or problems with their managers. This could significantly improve the workplace environment.

  3. Flexibility – The times have changed, and so should the employee management style. Managers should not try to micromanage employees. There should be flexibility not just in working hours but also in annual leave policies. It would increase the engagement and job satisfaction of employees.

  4. Workplace perks – Many organizations offer workplace perks to employees. These perks depend on the size of the organization. Facilities such as daycare centers, gyms, and cinema memberships could increase employee satisfaction. These perks could provide work-life balance as employees could enjoy some time off and refresh their minds.

  5. Ability to tackle stress – This applies not only to employees but also the managers. Managers should lead by example and exhibit the ability to tackle stress. This factor might influence the employees, and they might even follow suit.

Work-Life Balance Examples

Many top companies put in conscious efforts to create a healthy workplace environment. They encourage the employees to find time for their personal lives. Here are some companies focusing on establishing a healthy work-life balance.

Etsy

Etsy is an American e-commerce company specializing in buying and selling handmade or vintage items. The product categories include furniture, jewelry, bags, clothes, and home décor. The company is known for its healthy workplace environment. It focuses on diversity, team building, and good work-life balance. Etsy was included in Glassdoor's list of companies that offer healthy work-life balance. It received a score of 3.9/5 for work-life balance from its employees.2

Starbucks

Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse chain in the world. It has chains in many countries around the world. The work it has done to develop a healthy work-life balance has been a revelation in the hospitality industry. Among US-based companies, it ranks in the top half with excellent ratings on work-life balance and company culture. The company is also known for being one of the best companies to work for as a woman in terms of career growth.2

Work-Life Balance Starbucks is known for its good work-life balance in the hospitality industry StudySmarterFig. 2 - Starbucks is known for its good work-life balance in the hospitality industry

Work-Life Balance Employers

Along with the employees, the employers are also responsible for creating a work-life balance in the organization. Here are some methods employers could use to improve the work environment and help employees attain work-life balance.

Delegate authority – It is essential that employers give more authority to employees. It adds responsibility and accountability to employees. They can make their decisions with freedom and add value to the company. It increases employee engagement as they feel more involved in the decision-making process.

Reward top performance – When employees show top performance, it is important to recognize and reward their efforts. It gives a message to the employees that the organization values their contributions. These rewards can be monetary or non-monetary.

Introduce employee support programs – Organizations should introduce employee support programs to assist employees in their work and career growth. It is a way to show the employees that the organization wants to contribute to their personal and professional lives. It can help employees connect with the organization and produce better results.

Work-Life Balance Ideas

You can use some ideas in your organization to achieve a perfect work-life balance. Let's go through some of them.

Learn to say "No" – Firstly, it is your responsibility to manage your personal and professional life efficiently. You should assess the tasks on the day and plan accordingly. If you feel that a particular activity does not interest you or is unnecessary, learn to say no to yourself and others.

Prioritize your wellbeing – It is understandable to put more effort into your work, but it's more important to prioritize your health and wellbeing. You know the state of your mental and physical health the best, and you should never compromise on it to accommodate work-related tasks.

Set clear boundaries – Communicate your working schedule to your colleagues. You must draw a line between work and home. It is not healthy to bring work home as it could damage your health and personal relationships.

Build relationships outside of work – Employees, who assign more hours to work than personal lives, tend to miss out on relationships outside of work. It can be detrimental to their health. It is essential not to make work the focal point of your life. You must invest in relationships in your personal live; it could help you to unwind and balance both lives.

Work-Life Balance - Key takeaways

  • You need effective planning and conscious effort to attain work-life balance.
  • Employers must establish a working environment where employees do not have to sacrifice their personal lives to accommodate job-related tasks.
  • Healthy employees are an asset to the organization.
  • Employees and employers are responsible for creating a healthy workplace environment.

References

  1. Margherita, Work-life Balance and Overtime in Japan https://guidable.co/work/work-life-balance-and-overtime-in-japan/#:~:text=Japan%2C%20unfortunately%2C%20is%20quite%20infamous,with%20colleagues%20are%20not%20uncommon.
  2. Arthur Wilson, 10 businesses that have mastered work/life balance:https://www.workstars.com/recognition-and-engagement-blog/2020/03/12/10-businesses-that-have-mastered-work-life-balance/

Frequently Asked Questions about Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is an arrangement to balance professional and personal lives to maintain good health and personal satisfaction without negatively affecting professional growth. 

Three ways to improve work-life balance involve learning to say no, setting clear boundaries, and prioritizing your well-being. 

The five steps to working-life balance are: examine your situation, manage people's expectations,  learn to say no, set clear boundaries, and prioritize your well-being. 

The three components of a work/life balance are self-management, time management, and stress management. 

Work/life balance is important because it allows employees to relax and focus more on the job. It increases their personal satisfaction and allows them to grow professionally. 

Workplace stress, job satisfaction, and health are some factors that affect our work-life balance. 

Unrealistic demands, lack of job satisfaction, and stress are the problems of work-life balance. 

Final Work-Life Balance Quiz

Work-Life Balance Quiz - Teste dein Wissen

Question

Define work-life balance 

Show answer

Answer

Work-life balance is an arrangement to balance professional and personal lives to maintain good health and personal satisfaction without negatively affecting professional growth. 

Show question

Question

A uniform work-life balance could work for everyone. 

Show answer

Answer

False

Show question

Question

You cannot fulfill the roles of your personal and professional life without jeopardizing your mental or physical health. 

Show answer

Answer

False

Show question

Question

To attain work-life balance, you need effective planning and conscious efforts.

Show answer

Answer

True 

Show question

Question

You should always make work the center of your life

Show answer

Answer

False

Show question

Question

 It is important to find time for hobbies and to build relations outside of work.  

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

Finding the right balance between professional and personal lives is important for every employee

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

An employee could struggle to focus on work with _______ or _______ health issues. 

Show answer

Answer

mental or physical

Show question

Question

_________ could eventually lead to a decrease in personal satisfaction and professional growth. 

Show answer

Answer

Lack of work-life balance

Show question

Question

Employers should invest resources to support the well-being of employees.

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

Healthy employees are a liability to the organization

Show answer

Answer

False

Show question

Question

How can open communication help in creating a healthy work environment? 

Show answer

Answer

Open communication allows employees to share their ideas or problems with the management. This could massively improve the workplace environment. 

Show question

Question

Why is it a good strategy to delegate authority to the employees? 

Show answer

Answer

It adds responsibility and accountability to employees. It increases employee engagement as they feel more involved in the decision-making process.  

Show question

Question

_________ increases employee engagement as they feel more involved in the decision-making process. 

Show answer

Answer

Employee recognition 

Show question

Question

Why is building relationships outside of work important? 

Show answer

Answer

It helps you unwind and balance your personal and professional life. 

Show question

Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

A uniform work-life balance could work for everyone. 

You cannot fulfill the roles of your personal and professional life without jeopardizing your mental or physical health. 

To attain work-life balance, you need effective planning and conscious efforts.

Next

Flashcards in Work-Life Balance15

Start learning

Define work-life balance 

Work-life balance is an arrangement to balance professional and personal lives to maintain good health and personal satisfaction without negatively affecting professional growth. 

A uniform work-life balance could work for everyone. 

False

You cannot fulfill the roles of your personal and professional life without jeopardizing your mental or physical health. 

False

To attain work-life balance, you need effective planning and conscious efforts.

True 

You should always make work the center of your life

False

 It is important to find time for hobbies and to build relations outside of work.  

True

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