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How to get a work-life balance

This post is originally from ICAEW – find more info here

Getting a healthy work-life balance has been proven to benefit productivity, but in the age of working from home it has become increasingly difficult. A work-life balance may not look like a 50/50 split. Here are some tips for both employers and employees

For Employers

The always-on nature of the digital age means that it can be hard to put work aside after the working day has finished, leaving employees vulnerable to burnout. This issue was made worse by the pandemic’s widespread introduction of remote and hybrid working – throwing up new challenges for employers around the world. 

As an employer, ensuring work-life balance forms a core part of company values ensures employees’ wellbeing and productivity. By showing employees that you value their time off as much as their time in the office, you can ensure that when employees are ready to return to work, they’re refreshed and ready to go.

Here are some practical tips for you as an employer:

  • Speak to employees about how the current balance affects them – this will help identify any obvious opportunities to improve the balance and encourages a culture of openness.
  • Communicate with employees who may be under pressure from issues in their personal life so you can increase their support
  • Encouraging employees to take breaks away from the screen – that could involve introducing or improving break areas and wellness breaks
  • Make sure you give your employees adequate time off so that they don’t burnout and encourage them to take time off rather than carrying over holiday time.
  • Regularly review the workloads of your employees so that each employee has a manageable load and is therefore able to do their job to the best of their ability.
  • Offer flexible and remote working where possible
  • Introduce wellness and stress-relief schemes during lunch break hours such as yoga and exercise classes
  • Periodically allow employees to finish early.
  • Be flexible on working hours (i.e. times when staff can start and finish).

For employees

In the age of working from home, it can be hard to know what a work-life balance looks like. Here is a list of things to consider in feeling more balanced:

  • Meeting your deadlines at work so you can still have time for friends and hobbies
  • Look after yourself – make sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating properly
  • Keep track of your working hours over a period of weeks or months to understand your work-life balance. If you are unhappy about how it looks, speak to colleagues and management staff
  • Ask for help if you’re struggling in any area of your life – you’re not alone!
  • Set boundaries, this can be with your family or with your employer to achieve a work-life balance