In today’s fast paced business world, the ability to achieve work life balance is becoming more and more difficult. Employers expect more from staff, and we are increasingly putting additional pressure on ourselves to achieve greater results. But when did it become acceptable for our 9am to 5pm working day to become 8am to 7pm? Many of us have allowed this to happen, whether it is through conforming to the workplace culture, or feeling obliged to put in more hours, however this should not be the case. Maintaining work life balance is not only important for your personal health and relationships, but it can also improve the efficiency of your work performance. If you need further convincing - familiarise yourself with the below three reasons.
1. We become less susceptible to burnouts
Whilst occasional stress is normal for every job, burnouts are certainly not. According to The Help Guide, burnouts occur “when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands”. The negative effects of a burnout impact every area of your life, including your personal and social life. Work life balance is important as it allows you to separate work and home, meaning that the stress of work should stay at work, and not follow you outside of office hours. Allowing work stress to infiltrate your home life is one of the primary indicators that you are not achieving a work life balance. If this is happening to you, take the time to talk this over with your manager, or come up with a plan to avoid a burnout as a result of your professional demands.
2. Attention is paid where due
With a balance between work and home, comes greater control of where your focus remains. If you leave your work at the office, your full attention will be on your home life and giving your relationships the attention in which they deserve. When spending time with your partner, children or friends, your mind should be solely focused on the experience you are having, rather than thinking of work concurrently. Similarly, if you are in the office, greater focus should be paid on the tasks at hand. In turn, this makes you a more efficient worker, and demonstrates one of the many benefits of achieving a work life balance.
3. We experience fewer health problems
It’s no secret that when we are run down, tired or stressed; our immune system is the one to suffer. Healthline explains that “stress can cause a variety of symptoms and can affect your overall health and wellbeing”, from less serious conditions such as the flu, to more serious health issues such as respiratory or digestive problems. Either way, the fact that stress can impact your health so much is even more of a reason as to why maintaining a healthy work life balance is important. Taking the time to look after yourself by exercising, eating well and relaxing can contribute to limiting your health problems and make you a more efficient worker during business hours.
What do you think?
Work life balance is certainly a topic of debate at the moment, but do you believe that it is possible to achieve the true balance? I’d love to hear from people both for and against the importance of separating work and home, and delve into this topic further.
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This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to compile this article: The Help Guide and Healthline.