Work-life balance is important to us all, some people are looking to spend more time at home with the family or kids, others are seeking more ‘Me Time’ be that spending fewer hours at the office or doing flexible working. Then there’s the lucky ones that have already found their perfect work-life balance.
In today’s fast paced society, it’s natural to feel pressure from all sides. Many of us want to climb the career ladder and get recognition for what we do in our jobs. With the economic climate as it is, we may also feel a certain degree of pressure from the boss; employees are being asked to put more hours in at the office, take on a greater workload and hit tougher targets. We also want the best for our families and need to have a bit of time to relax and recharge our batteries. Unfortunately, the latter are the things that often get pushed aside or neglected.
What are the effects of a lack of equilibrium?
There are many effects of a poor work-life balance and this can vary from person to person but a few major ones to consider:
Burnout– while a little stress at work is normal, burnouts (The feeling of being emotionally and physically exhausted and drained from working under too much pressure) certainly aren’t and can be detrimental to our health and well-being, as well as our personal and social lives.
Undivided attention– When we can’t leave the office behind many things suffer. We cannot give our undivided attention to friends and family, we can’t find time for ourselves to relax and unwind as work is distracting us. On the other hand, we also struggle to give our undivided attention to work matters as we worry that we are underperforming in other areas of our lives and feel guilty about this. A healthy work-life balance means each area of our lives gets the specific undivided attention it needs.
Health problems– It is no secret that our health suffers when we are tired, over-worked, stressed or run down. Once our immune system is down and defences are low we’re more susceptible to many kinds of illnesses from the common cold to something much more serious. Making sure you look after yourself will keep you in tip top condition for work and for enjoying your free time.
So, what does the perfect work-life balance look like?
Well, there is no one size fits all when it comes to this question as none of us are the same and we all have different expectations. What we do know is that it’s important to find the right balance for you. Once you have this worked out you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel.
For me I know when this is out of sync my stress levels go up, my mood changes and I can be short tempered and prickly. Recognising the consequences of a work-life imbalance and how it affects you and others around you is a great indication that it’s time for change.