Work hard, play hard. A saying that most employees resonate with, but to what extent?
Often, many entrepreneurs and employees have learned to put their profession above anything else in their lives.
The need to thrive professionally has made them compromise their well-being, mental and physical. The ever-growing and dynamic economy have only made it harder to separate work from personal lives.
Such instances increase the need to maintain a work-life balance to remain mindful and healthful.
Work-life balance strategies aren’t just helpful to in-office entrepreneurs and employees but also those working remotely.
With the trend shifting towards operating from home, remote workers are often bombarded with unclear work timings, making it challenging to balance their leisure and work time.
With the guidance of specific strategies, all those working, no matter where can benefit.
“With increasing responsibilities comes decreasing leisure time” isn’t necessarily accurate if one learns to prioritize career and personal life demands in a harmonious manner.
Why maintain a work-life balance?
1 – Decreasing Health Problems
“Health is wealth“
An expression commonly used but rarely taken seriously. As humans, our bodies have a limit of tolerance. When this limit is surpassed, and employees can’t find a balance between their work and personal life, they overwork themselves till burnout.
Not having enough ‘me time’ or sufficient breaks during the day can affect both mental and physical health. Workplace stress can cause headaches, anxiety, depression, indigestion problems, etc.
By finding a work-life balance, employees are encouraged to live healthier lifestyles for sound minds and bodies.
They will be able to properly cope with stress and reduce health risks by establishing boundaries between work and otherwise.
2 – Improving productivity
This fast-paced world requires immediate outcomes. Working as an employee under such pressure can be daunting.
Such pressure often leads to workplace stress and anxiety, something most workers have unfortunately experienced. Employees would then be demotivated and lose their focus at work, influencing their efficiency gravely.
With a healthy work-life balance, workers can feel comfortable and satisfied in the work environment, encouraging them to be more productive and mindful.
3 – Increased Engagement at Work
Does your employee often call in sick? Do they always look tired?
When employees cannot find a healthy work-life balance, absenteeism, fatigue, and sick leaves could become a persistent problem for your organization.
Workers may feel un-engaged and demotivated at work when unbalanced.
By empowering workers to maintain this work-life balance, you can boost your company’s work culture to a large extent. With heightened employee engagement, you can retain and attract the most talented individuals.
Remember! Motivated employees steer your organization towards success.
4 – Decreased Burnout Rate
Unnecessary pressure at the workplace can influence even the best employees to quit their jobs.
Whether it means having unrealistic deadlines or being overworked, both pressurize the balance in an employee’s life.
Of course, being stressed or pressured by work is sometimes unavoidable. However, workplace burnouts are indeed avoidable.
A healthy balance can be established sooner by encouraging employees to better manage their time and stress. Such management will further empower them to work more efficiently and appreciate their job rather than feel burdened.
How to achieve this work-life balance?
If you’re a hustling entrepreneur or employee, the following strategies can guide you towards steady and healthy work-life separation.
Though a perfect balance doesn’t exist, a balance nonetheless is imperative.
1 – Have a dedicated Workspace
Establishing a balance between work and life can be supported with discipline. Defining specific areas at home and workplace as ‘work & work-free zones’ is an excellent start towards the journey of a steady work-life situation.
In-office employees and entrepreneurs can designate their desks to complete any work-related tasks. Simultaneously, no-work zones could include the game room and cafeteria.
Such segregation would empower you to unwind and fulfill their responsibilities, keeping their workplace de-cluttered.
With organizations shifting to remote operations, separating certain areas at home from work and leisure can be challenging.
However, it is necessary. This distinction would ensure that a work environment is created at home and all work-induced distractions are kept aside during your break or leisure time.
For example, as a remote employee, you can identify places at home with adequate lighting and no distractions to remain productive.
On the other hand, you can assign certain areas as a ‘work-free zone.’ This would encourage you to not look at your phone or laptop every second for updates, keeping all work-related distractions aside during your personal time.
2 – Use a Calendar
Maintaining a schedule for your responsibilities, professional and personal, can be remarkably helpful. It allows you to prioritize your most important tasks and not overwork or overbook yourself.
For example, if you already have a family commitment at 4:30 pm on Friday, you’ll avoid taking on other tasks at that time.
Highlighting significant events and dates in your personal and work life will encourage you to take charge of how you spend your quality time.
Scheduling tasks is a perfect strategy for self-accountability. It will help you keep track of all the tasks you have to do the next day, rank them according to priority, and formulate a fixed timeline of your upcoming days.
3 – Communicate With Your Team & Family
Effective communication is essential in both professional and personal environments. With increasing work burden and responsibilities, neglecting friends and family are easy.
This can affect personal relationships and leave you feeling supportless at times. Remote employees face similar challenges. Though family members often surround them, they cannot spend quality time with them.
If you’re a manager with efficient communication, you can determine your employees’ need to establish a work-life balance and formulate strategies accordingly.
As an employee, communicating with your team to schedule meetings within working hours, finishing pending tasks the next day, and interacting via Zoom, Trello, and Slack can enhance the balance you desire.
Similar information about designated working hours can be conveyed to family members so that you can perform responsibilities quicker without distractions.
4 – Make time for yourself
All work and no play is no one’s ideal way of life. An essential element for a balanced work-life situation includes making time for yourself and indulging in activities you enjoy.
Whether it means unwinding through yoga, reading books, exercising, sketching, spending quality family time, or even watching a movie, you must dedicate time to yourself.
These activities ensure you don’t burn out and rejuvenate your mind and body. Taking time off and focusing on self-care and nourishment is not a need; it’s a must.
As a remote employee, segregating work and leisure time can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. With the help of a calendar, take note of the free time you can have and ensure you pamper yourself with hobbies and activities you enjoy.
5 – Set Boundaries
We all only have so much time in a day, and fulfilling all responsibilities is often difficult. To maintain a balance in your professional and personal life, setting boundaries for yourself is critical to avoid burnout.
Learning to say ‘NO’ to low priority commitments and instead focusing on the immediate tasks that need to be fulfilled will relieve you of the pressure you would otherwise experience.
If specific responsibilities hold more value, don’t invest your time in other low priority tasks.
You can also set boundaries by not thinking about upcoming projects or deadlines or answering work-related emails and phone calls during your time off. If possible, you can assign a separate computer and phone for work-related tasks.
6 – Take breaks throughout the day
Taking some time off work to rejuvenate yourself is essential to remain engaged and productive. If you do not take enough breaks, stress, fatigue, and demotivation could become common problems affecting your wellbeing.
The human body is not equipped to stare at a screen for hours or remain focused all day long.
Managers must encourage their employees to take small breaks throughout the day to come back stronger.
Building a playroom, corner library, facilitating ‘walking meetings,’ or even having a ‘de-stress’ zone in the office can empower employees to take more breaks to remain more productive and mindful.
7 – Embrace “Flextime”
Having flexible work schedules is an excellent way to enhance one’s work-life balance. Flexibility in work timings will enable employees to focus on their personal, social, and work-life more equally.
It is a convenient method for employees to fulfill their tasks and spend quality time with their friends and family.
It can encourage a healthy work environment and show your employees that you value them as people and not just mere workers.
8 – Practice what you preach
If you’re a business owner or manager, you too must practice and be the role model your employees need. Ensure your words and actions match, and you guide them towards a work-life balance.
If you encourage your team to take their weekends and holidays seriously, make sure you do too and aren’t sending work-related emails during such times.
It will help if you lead by example and serve as a role model your employees need. You, too, must respect and set boundaries for communicating with your employees.
Avoid contacting them after working hours or during vacations, encouraging them to unwind and come back to work more focused and engaged.
Work-life balance should be a priority for everyone who is working.
Organizations must aim to provide their employees with the freedom to manage their time better and remain stress-free and productive, all while staying mentally and physically fit.
A work-life balance will keep employees’ spirits happy and their minds engaged! Of course, change doesn’t happen overnight. However, with consistent efforts and the right strategies, you’ll indeed find your work-life balance.
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Associate Growth Manager