What is Work – Life Balance?
Work life balance is the relationship between work and other commitments in one’s life and their impact on one another. It is the ability of employees to split their time and energy between work and the other important aspects of their lives. It is how one creates space and time for oneself, one’s work commitments and for the people one cares about in life.
Today, people struggle to balance their work and personal commitments like delivery of projects on time, flexibility to work with clients in their convenient time, taking care of their own health, caring for children, family members and elderly parents. It also becomes difficult for employees to find time outside work for studies as they take up part time courses or participate in sports to explore their career or live their passion.
Work life balance is not one size fits approach. Different people have different perceptions of work life balance depending on their age, responsibilities and preferences. Everyone is different and the right balance may alter over time as families grow older and personal commitments change.
Why is Work – Life Balance essential?
Work life balance can become impossible in today’s era where technology makes workers accessible around the clock. Intense stress can burn out workers, resulting in more absenteeism and lower productivity. According to a survey conducted by Harvard Business School, 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week. The fear of job loss or not meeting targets makes employees work for longer hours.
A healthy Work – Life Balance enables employees to pay attention to all the important aspects of their lives while successfully contributing to their work commitments at the same time. Below mentioned are some measures that can be taken by employers to help employees manage their professional and personal lives better:
1) Ask for Employee Feedback: Employers need to create a platform where employees can voice their concerns and feel comfortable to speak up and address and provide true feedback which can reduce their stress and help them to contribute better. Employers can adjust workloads of employees and give them the tools they need to ease the burden.
2) Rest, exercise and meditation: One makes time for the crucial things in life but neglects exercise. It is highly recommended to dedicating a few chunks of time each week for exercise and meditation. Exercise is an effective stress reducer which pumps feel-good endorphins through human body. The best ideas come from moments of relaxed attention.
3) Offering flexibility: Employers need to find out options that work best for their employees to give their best at work. Work-life balance is highly crucial for working parents. They plan to create a balance between work and personal commitments even before accepting a job. They may accept a lesser paying job with proximity to great day-care and find it more preferable over another option.
Employers can also assist employees to experience work-life balance by offering opportunities as paid time off (PTO) policies, responsible time and communication expectations, and company-sponsored family events and activities.