How to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance

FT Contributor
A hand drawing a scale on a chalkboard with the words "work" and "life" balanced equally on either end.

Remote work gives people access to their jobs around the clock. As technology continues to advance and people’s desire to earn more money continues to grow, it can be difficult to strike a balance between the time you work and the time you take off.

A steady work-life balance is vital to staying healthy, leading a happy life, and ultimately avoiding burnout. It’s understandable that putting off work may be difficult, especially when there are deadlines at play or you’ve chosen a career that brings you great job satisfaction. But without work-life balance, you won’t be able to achieve the things you want to accomplish in your personal life.

Discover how to find the right amount of balance between your work life and your home life with the tips below.

Table of Contents

What Is Work-Life Balance?

Work-life balance is when you find harmony between the time and energy you put into work and the other facets of your life outside of work.

First and foremost, work-life balance does not mean truly balanced in a mathematical sense. Trying to dedicate an equal amount of hours to both your career goals and personal affairs is unrealistic. Life is much more unpredictable than that. Your work-life balance is fluid —  it will change over time, and even on a daily basis in some cases.

Work-life balance is not an attempt to avoid what you have to do at work. Instead, it’s taking a break from work to rest your body and your mind so you can come back refreshed, and ultimately, avoid burnout.

Work-life balance is not perfect, either. There’s no right or wrong solution when it comes to finding work-life balance, as we all have different priorities in life. It’s about finding a balance between what we want to achieve and what we want to enjoy in our lives.

Benefits of Work-Life Balance

Striking a balance between your work life and your home life opens you up to a world of benefits, both for you as an employee and for your employer.

Benefits to Employers

  • It decreases occupational burnout and lowers employee turnover rate, all while lessening recruitment and training costs.
  • It helps employees be more accountable and committed to their roles.
  • It improves teamwork, communication, and morale.
  • It makes the workplace environment less stressful.
  • Offering shift or part-time work allows you to meet the needs of your customers without forcing employees to work long hours.

Benefits to Employees

  • It improves the state of your mental health.
  • You miss less work and are more productive while you’re at work.
  • You’re less stressed.
  • You’re more level-headed and able to advance in your career.
  • You have a more positive perception of your coworkers, managers, and the company overall.
  • You’re more motivated to do right by the company.

Work-Life Balance Tips

Want to know what you can do to find a happy work-life balance? Consider these tips and tricks to create your balance between work and home:

  1. Manage your time: Keeping track of how long it takes you to complete a task will help you become more efficient overall. Set a shift for work obligations so that you don’t waste time on one duty, especially if you have a long list of things to accomplish. Carefully managing your time makes you more productive and helps you stand out if you’re working towards a job promotion.
  2. Take breaks: While you’re carving out space to get your work done, don’t forget to pencil in some time for yourself. Make appointments to do things you enjoy, such as going to the movies or taking a physical fitness class.
  3. Socialize: Take moments away from work to gather with your family and friends. When you do, make sure work isn’t the only thing you talk about.
  4. Use downtime wisely: If there are brief lulls in your workday, use that time productively to make a shopping list or schedule a doctor’s appointment. Clearing things from your personal to-do list will help you feel more accomplished.
  5. Take weekends and vacations seriously: When you’re away from work, you shouldn’t be thinking about it at all. Take the chance to unwind and enjoy things you’re passionate about. The only time you should pay any attention to work while on vacation is if your boss asks you to.

How Employers Can Promote Work-Life Balance

Inspiring your employees to find a work-life balance stems from upper management and the overall atmosphere of the company. Use the tips below to promote and encourage work-life balance in your workplace.

  1. Offer flexible schedules: Allowing your employees to make their own hours gives them the freedom to arrange their schedules around the things they like to do outside of work.
  2. Provide paid-time-off: Employees who receive paid time off won’t have to worry about taking a hit in their paycheck. Create a policy that allows employees a certain number of days away from work to unwind. If an employee doesn’t use all of their time, you should allow them to carry it over to the next year to keep the encouragement going.
  3. Encourage time off: When your employees do take the time off that they’ve earned, direct their colleagues not to contact them unless it’s an emergency.
  4. Observe your own policy: As the owner of a company, it can be hard to step away from the business. But in order to demonstrate the value of work-life balance to your employees, it’s important to follow your own advice.

Create a plan for your career and your life outside of a career with a healthy work-life balance. You’ll be a more productive employee and a happier person overall.

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