Updated: Jan 27, 2021
Ensuring you have a work-life balance is essential for health and wellbeing. It is important to maintain some degree of separation between your personal and professional lives, otherwise, you could find that they encroach on each other and affect your personal life.
There is increasing evidence to suggest that increased stress levels could lower your immunity and lead to long term health illnesses. Heavy workloads, pressures of deadlines, and long working hours can affect the mind and body, whilst also affecting your performance in your job.
Employees who maintain a good work-life balance are often more productive, motivated, and efficient. Employers should be encouraging a healthy work-life balance and provide ergonomics design office equipment so that the employee will productivity, staff loyalty, and retention.
Signs of an unhealthy work life
· Working long hours without regular breaks
· Worrying about work outside of work hours
· Feeling tired, irritable, or stressed
· Struggling to focus
· Sore muscles, headaches, fatigue, and low mood
· Trouble sleeping
· You are not taking care of your body
If you feel that you are overwhelmed and have lost the work-life balance, then it is important to take some time to evaluate your life and try and introduce changes that will help you avoid burnout.
One of the most important lifestyle changes you can make is to make sure there are clear boundaries between work and home. This may involve re-setting your expectations with your manager at work, explaining that you need to ensure you have work time and home time separated.
Create a schedule and make sure it includes start and finish times, and regular breaks. This is even more important now that many people are working from home due to the pandemic. Many people are finding they are working and living at home, and the boundaries between the two facets of life are becoming increasingly blurred.
Create a work station where you keep your laptop and work materials, this space (where possible) should be separate from your living and sleeping area. Ensure that you have work hours, and outside of those hours you must log off and switch off your computer/laptop.
Having a clear division will improve your mental and physical health, and enhance your overall productivity without experiencing burnout. If you can switch off from work after a long day you are more likely to be ready for new challenges the next day. Managing your stress levels with adequate work-life balance also means that you are less likely to have absentee days, and can complete your work to a better standard.
Tips for helping you maintain a healthy work-life balance:
· Always take breaks – taking time to make time.
· Exercise – walk at lunchtime, do some chair exercises and stretches, move away from your desk, and if possible get some fresh air.
· Prioritize your tasks.
· Communicate with your team, and sometimes you will have to say no to new work.
· Pacing – don’t feel you have to work at 100 miles an hour every day. Take your time to get things right, and try and pace yourself to avoid burnout.
· Ask for support if you need it. Speak to your manager if you are feeling overwhelmed.
· Identify stress triggers and work on reducing them.
· Ensure your workspace WORKS – do you have the right equipment, chair, and table? If not see what options your employer has.
· Have boundaries – with your space, your hours, and your role.
· Technology – use it to help you plan your day. If you have meetings, can some of them be done via Microsoft teams or skype to make things easier?
· Well-balanced healthy diet – eating well means you are nourishing your body. Take a lunch break every day and make sure to step away from your work station.
· Support your Immunity.
· Sleep for at least 7-8 hours a night.
· Block out ‘Do not disturb’ time in your calendar.
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