Every human that is existing does not exist on his own. One has to balance his existence with all forces competing for his attention. You have yourself to satisfy, other individuals, your community, your work place, your friends etc.
What is work Life Balance?
It is the ability to effectively manage the juggling act between paid work and other activities that are important to people. For example Family/Friends, Recreation, Spiritual and Health/Wellness.
WORK LIFE BALANCE describes the balance between an individual's work and personal life. This is achieved when an individual’s right to a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work is accepted and as the norm, to the mutual benefit of the individual, business, and society.
Let us deviate a little from the topics: Who is a good employee?
Is it the one that works 24 hours a day? Or the one that sleeps in the office every day to ensure that all tasks are accomplished? Better still, the one that leaves the office last every day? Or the one that uses his break time to work and never observes his break? Of course No!
Did you know that too Long hours of work can lead to the following?
Increased workplace injuries and errors
Increased levels of ill health
So working long hours without break or sleeping in the office to prove that you work hard or working 24 hours a day will only do you more harm than good and will definitely affect your productivity negatively.
Consequences of Work-Life Balance Struggles:
It is very important that one ensures that his work-life is in balance as anything less than this will affect him negatively. Work life balance struggles will lead to the following:
It diminishes your overall happiness and well-being and negatively impacts your life in far-reaching ways.
It has adverse health consequences, such as stress-related illnesses, can result when you are chronically tense or upset.
Overworked and overstressed employees are more likely to get sick and have high absentee rates.
A lack of work/life balance affects an employee’s attitude. Unhappy workers are typically less efficient and can destroy morale.
Burnout directly affects turnover rates. Employees get frustrated and leave a company.
Many people are caught in the middle of inner conflicts that make it hard for them to make changes to create the healthier and happier balance they would like.
WORK LIFE BALANCE ADVANTAGES TO THE COMPANY:
Work-life balance has many advantages which is why it is highly advised that one should ensure his work-life is always in a state of balance at all times. Some of the advantages of work-life balance to the company or employer are:
¢ Employee satisfaction
¢ Decrease in labour turnover
¢ Increases employee productivity
¢ Improved reputation of the firm
¢ Decrease in absenteeism
¢ Improved business results
¢ Higher quality work
¢ More loyalty to employer
¢ An overall more enjoyable workplace.
¢ More innovative ideas as employees care about their job.
EMPLOYEE BENEFITS FROM WORK LIFE BALANCE:
Just as the employer benefits immensely from work –life balance, employees too benefit as well from Work life balance. The following are the benefits from the employee aspect:
¢ Decrease in work pressure.
¢ Employees are able to better meet work, personal and society commitments.
¢ Employees have more time to do other things.
¢ Time is created for Travel/Education.
¢ There is enough recreation time.
FACTORS AFFECTING WORK-LIFE BALANCE:
¢ WORKING HOURS: Many employees who struggle with work life balance are mostly those who work extra house or long hours each day. This affects so much their personal life.
¢ WORK LOADS: Those who have high workloads also are much affected with work –life balance as the work load eats into the time for other personal engagements.
¢ MULTIPLE ROLES: Employees who have multiple roles in the work place are also affected as their work-life is never in balance.
¢ FAMILY REQUIREMENTS: Family requirements also affect work life balance as employees have existence with their families before becoming employees. This really affects their work.
¢ PHYSICAL DISCOMFORT: Any physical discomfort affects work –life balance.
Ways to tell that your work-life is not in balance:
When your work life is not in balance, it is easy to notice this. This is because, your work or your personal life will be directly affected. When you begin to notice the following, please check your work-life balance:
¢ You’re always tired, depressed, anxious, and tensed.
¢ Your work performance isn’t as good as it used to be.
¢ You’re missing work more often than you should.
¢ Your personal relationships are suffering.
¢ You feel like you’re running in circles and getting nowhere.
¢ You feel like you have no choices and no control.
¢ Your life is happening to you rather than you managing your life.
¢ You don’t feel in control of your own time.
¢ You can think of more things that aren’t getting done than the ones actually done.
¢ You feel like one part of your life is dominating your time and energy.
Steps To Maintain » WORK-LIFE « Balance:
When you notice that your work life is not in balance. You need to take the following steps to bring it back to balance:
Identify the priorities: You are not supposed to do everything. Find out only the things that are essential, important and necessary and concentrate on them.
Be sure to ask: Ask questions when you are confused. Do not allow your life to happen just like that. You need a guide.
Set a time frame: You need to plan your life. There should be a time frame to achieve anything you want to achieve.
Find a balance mentor: Many have passed through the road you are passing through now. Seek for a mentor who will guide you through the tide.
Share the Load—( At Home share tasks---In the Office Delegate)
Use technology to your advantage: Thank God for technology today, you can actually achieve more today via technology. So use it to your advantage.
Communicate: Yes communicate. Open up. Talk to people around you.
Understand your company policies: Having a good understanding of your company policy will help you plan your personal life to ensure it does not affect your work life.
Edit yourself personally and professionally: This is very important. Always edit your life, remove the excess loads that are not required and bring in the required things that you have ignored before now.
Separate work and leisure: Work and leisure are two different things. Do not mix leisure with work.
Take a holiday: At your spare time, take a holiday. Visit places you have never been. Make your life worthwhile.
Do not bring work home unless absolutely necessary: This is very important, if it is not important, why bring work home? Your family needs your attention when you return from work. After all you have been at work since morning!
Enjoy life: Make your life enjoyable. What you call your dog is what it will answer. So make your life an enjoyable one.
Take care of your Health: Always carry out check up on your body. Many always service their cars every two or three months. But ask them, when last did they go for medical checkup?
Don’t Postpone tasks—Never procrastinate do what can be done today and leave tomorrow with its own problems. Besides you don’t know what tomorrow holds!
Take Charge—Plan ahead.
The three O’s to Balance;
In summary it will be nice to mention the 3 “O” of Balance. These are “Ourselves”, “Others “and “Obligations” .If we must have a work-life balance, these 3 “O” must be considered and prioritized.
Ourselves: For your life to be in balance you need to ensure your physical life, emotions, mental state and spiritual life are planned in a way that they do not struggle against one another or interfere with your work.
OTHERS: For other people in your life, you owe them your time and attention. You Love/sex life must not be left unsatisfied. Your family, friends, pets, hobbies /fun must be considered as well.
OBLIGATIONS: You owe obligation aside from to yourself, your work, your home/yard and your community. Aside from these, you have a civic and financial obligation to yourself and others as well.
Note that those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. If you don’t take anything away from this write up, Note that Time Isn’t Money… It’s your LIFE! SO STRIKE A BALANCE BETWEEN YOUR LIFE AND YOUR WORK!