A question that is yet to be answered is why is work-life balance important? This topic is relevant but also tricky because it has varying meanings. It is tough for companies to know what amounts to work-life balance. On the other hand, it is even tougher for the workforce to achieve it.
The exhausting workplace culture has become the root cause of the decline in the mental health of employees. Inflation is the main factor that inhibits people from prioritizing mental health over work duties.
After all, an employee would not be able to work if they did not have the required energy to face the entire day. This rut has the ability to drain people completely. So achieving work-life balance is something both the employer and the employee should work hard towards.
Before we discuss the importance of work-life balance, let’s see what the term entails.
Table of contents
- What Is Work-Life Balance?
- Why Is Work Life Balance Important?
- How Can Employees Strike Work-Life Balance?
- Top Trends To Strike A Work-Life Balance
- Will Employers Promote Work-Life Balance?
What Is Work-Life Balance?
We often find ourselves asking, “Why is work-life balance important?” This question has arisen in challenging times. That is because we live in a world where competition can get ahead of us within seconds, while mental health concerns are also becoming important.
The term “work-life balance” will have extremely different meanings for everyone. The reality is that everyone has different job requirements and lifestyles. One person’s interpretation of work-life balance may not resonate with a dozen others.
For some, it will mean keeping weekends off. For others, it’ll be choosing to work from home when needed. But the crux of the term work-life balance means being successful in giving equal amounts of time to one’s work and personal life.
Work life balance can only become a reality if a person realizes that their work does not define their life but is just a part of it. Slowly, it does not become worth it when your mental health starts deteriorating and you are not able to focus on work or home. That is how one realizes that work life balance is important.
Why Is Work Life Balance Important?
Let’s understand why work life balance is important.
Work life balance is important because your mental health and body are constantly giving signals to slow down and ground yourself. People have become extremely dependent on the “hustle culture” but fail to recognize that its benefits are short-lived. Hustle culture requires you to be present in a hundred places at once.
However, it results in you feeling exhausted and drained. That will also translate into you not being productive at the workplace. These are all answers to the question, “Why is work life balance important?” No matter what happens, everyone has personal and professional responsibilities. One facet cannot supersede the other.
A balance is needed so that one becomes professionally successful while not missing out on personal milestones. It is definitely one of the most sinking feelings when one is only paying attention to their professional life, only to realize that they have lost touch with their friends and family.
Saying that you have work commitments every time someone invites you will gradually lead to isolation. That is when you will realize that you should have struck a balance between work and your personal life.
How Can Employees Strike Work-Life Balance?
These are some superb ways for employees to strike a healthy work-life balance.
Set Clear-Cut Working Hours
A company will only consider your need to strike a work life balance if you do not budge when it comes to your working hours. Yes, there is a possibility of people working extra hours to make money. But that rut will end soon because you will always be tired.
So, it is a better idea to work for a set amount of time but be super productive. Employees should be mindful that their job roles are not overlapping. Moreover, they should be able to identify if they are doing something outside of their job description.
That means they should be paid extra for it. However, the most effective way to strike a work-life balance is by not working beyond your working hours. Of course, one does not have to be rude about it.
All you need to do is have a formal meeting with your employer. Tell them when the company can reach out to you. Also highlight that you will not respond to any work related queries if they are sent after working hours. The positive factor about this decision is that your company will respect your choice and will learn to work within your job hours.
Keep The Weekends Free
The least one can do to finally answer the question, “Why is work-life balance important?” is to start keeping their weekends free. Working on weekends only to make a solid impression on your company will not be long-lasting.
You will be declining important invitations. Plus, your family and friends will always feel that you do not have time for them. It is not worth putting all your time and effort into something when you cannot even give time to the ones you are doing it for. Remember, money is perishable, but memories are eternal.
So, employees should not work on weekends. They should completely log out of the company software so that no one thinks that they are available. Moreover, weekends should be dedicated to self-care activities. You need at least two whole days to rejuvenate and spend quality time with your loved ones.
Practice Effective Time Management
Not being able to strike a work-life balance is also a byproduct of poor time management skills. Employees do not keep track of their daily tasks and perhaps leave a lot of work for later. That only piles up work for the end of the week. That is a time when you have to complete projects and meet deadlines.
Having to meet countless deadlines in a single day will obviously take a toll on one’s mental health. Plus, things will go haywire if this is a repeated process. An excellent way to manage time effectively and meet deadlines is by including a scheduling app for your daily tasks. Trello is a superb option that offers you the ability to choose different tags according to priority. For example, you can go to the office and see the lists of tasks assigned to you.
You can use Trello to rank those tasks in order of what needs to be done urgently and what can be left for later. Tasks that need to be done urgently can have a red tag; tasks that need to be done right after can have a black tag; and tasks that can be shelved can have a yellow tag. This way, you will have a solid roadmap for the entire day. The best part is that you will not be taking any work home and can pay attention to your household.
Availing Work From Home
Work from home has become a popular option in the business world after the pandemic affected all fronts. It was seen as something that most companies did not offer because the only way to work efficiently meant working in the office.
But working from home has been a revolutionary factor in changing the way companies operate even now. Yes, it was a byproduct of COVID but has continued to become an aspect of the current working model.
Work from home is an option employees should definitely consider if they feel exhausted because of their workplace atmosphere. It is also a great way to facilitate employees so that they do not miss out on work duties but still get to regain their energy.
The biggest takeaway from working from home is that it cancels out the commuting costs and time to reach the office. Employees are usually tired because their offices are far from their homes. Constant back and forth leaves them with less dedication to perform their work duties. But working from home helps them reduce their stress levels and work in a more comfortable environment.
Top Trends To Strike A Work-Life Balance
Here are the top work-life balance trends everyone should follow!
Define How Important Work Is
The only way to answer, “Why is work life balance important?” is when you contemplate how important working is for you. You should be having an internal dialogue with yourself. You need to ask yourself whether it is you who defines your work requirements or whether your work requirements define you.
That is the only way for employees to realize how important striking a work-life balance is. Employees need to understand that work and personal life are separate facets of their lives. That means each facet demands a certain level of attention. Working tirelessly has become the norm because of increasing competition.
But there is no point in working around the clock if your mental health is suffering. Constantly working can make a person feel tired and cranky. It defeats the purpose of working for loved ones when they are on the receiving end of your crankiness. So a better way would be to weigh out your options and understand your reasons for working.
Taking Frequent Breaks
It may come as a shock to the business world, but taking frequent breaks is a trend that is being encouraged now. The idea is for employees to take frequent breaks in order to perform better at their workplace.
Sitting in one spot and glaring at the screen will inevitably tire you out and degrade your mental well-being. That is why it is extremely important for employees to take at least three to four breaks during their working day.
They can use that break to unplug and go for a stroll. Employees can even listen to music or reconnect with their colleagues in order to get a breather. The same rule also applies to working from home.
It does not matter whether employees are working from the comfort of their homes. They are still glued to their seats and screens. It is important to take small breaks in order to feel refreshed and get back to work.
Prioritizing Quality Over Quantity
A trend that should be adopted by employers is to focus more on quality than quantity. Creating quality work will help companies on all fronts, whereas paying more attention to quantity will compromise on content.
That is because employees will be generating content while they are drained. That content will be useless because the required effort will not be put in. So, employers should inform their employees to take care of their mental health and focus on quality.
Will Employers Promote Work-Life Balance?
Employers do not have much choice but to consider different mental health issues. Employers must also be able to answer the question, “Why is work-life balance important?” That will help them empathize with their employees and build an inclusive workplace.
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