"Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life."
The busier we get, the harder it is to draw a line between personal and professional domain. We check our office email box during a morning walk, grocery store, shopping mall, or while shopping a diamond worth of lacs and it doesn’t end here, but we attend virtual meetings while on vacation at the Maldives.
A survey by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) in 2002 reported that 70% of work professionals have also admitted that it brings work into their personal lives and creates an unhealthy balance between work and life domain.
What is work-life balance?
Work-life balance is a concept which includes proper prioritizing between ‘work’ and ‘life’. Where work includes career and ambitions and life includes your overall lifestyle, health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/involvement and meditation. This is the overall idea related to a life that you choose and create.
Work-life balance is about crafting, creating and constantly maintaining a supportive and healthy work and life. This allows you to balance responsibilities, productivity, and duties of both work and life domains. Not only that, it allows you to strengthen your expertise and enjoy the loyalty towards both the domains.
What’s the hurdle one can face?
According to February 2016 McKinsey study, involving yourself too much in work can result in sleep deprivation, which not only damages your health but also negatively affects the executive functions of our brain like problem-solving, reasoning and organizing. All these negatively affect work performance, organizational productivity, one’s own financing performance, sleep mismanagement, involvement in children education and self-growth. In short, it will leave you with a disturbed family life and questionable professional life.
Solution for balancing
Around the globe, many companies have realized that there is a connection between the work-life balance and the impact it may have on their business. The good part is that there are many companies which do not believe that earning a profit is the only goal they should look for.
Nowadays, employers look for maintained loyalty, continuous productivity and most importantly, satisfaction and happiness quotient of the employees. Employers are becoming rationally aware of the work-life balance issues and planning to resolve them through structuring employee friendly/beneficial policies.
There are a wide variety of practices being used to help employees achieve work-life balance. The notable fact is that some companies run programs for their employees to handle stress and coping with it more effectively. Further, they also run programs which help to reduce the stress levels by rebalancing work and life. Basically, overall stress management programs are running in many companies.
A growing number of employers have implemented wellness programs or pay for their employees’ gym membership as part of health benefits package. On the other hand, some companies invite fitness trainers or yoga instructors into the office to hold oral lunchtime sessions or after office hours, where they provide practical yoga training.
Companies are now taking initiatives to improve employees’ healthy food eating habits.
Quite a few veterans and successful old policies are still in fashion like paid leaves, sick leaves, casual leaves and flexible time; or work from home in special cases. Human resource policies are improving; adding up new or modified versions like providing compensatory off/time off in lieu of overtime pay arrangements and/or weekend services. Flexible work hours at times turn out as a big failure as it demands you to be at work at any time since you do not have fixed timing to work for.
Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.
No matter how many work-life balance programs companies plan, implement and execute, self-management is the key to balance your life and work. People need to control their own behavior and expectations regarding work-life balance.
On last note, one would go out, explore, take time out for friends and family and let life unravel. Do not put your dreams and passions on hold just because you have a job and family full of responsibilities. Remember, you can do anything, but not everything. Hold equally your work, family and self together and take a walk.
It is important to know that while juggling rubber balls and glass balls, the former may bounce back when you miss, but the glass balls will crack if you let them fall. So, prioritize your activities according to the time at hand.