When living in a world that is so obsessed with productivity, it’s easy to let your work consume your life. Even though this could potentially help keep your clients and employers happy, it’s still vital to have a healthy work-life balance.
Despite this, it seems that work often gets the better of many people in the UK. Indeed, a survey from Statista revealed that 79% of respondents frequently felt work-related stress, making it the most common source of emotional pressure experienced by Brits.
Conveniently, 2 to 6 October was National Work Life Week, an annual campaign dedicated to encouraging employers and employees to talk about their wellbeing at work.
With that in mind, continue reading to discover why a healthy work-life balance is so essential, and some helpful ways you can improve your own.
A healthy work-life balance can improve your physical and mental health, and even make you more productive
Working too much – often referred to as being a “workaholic” – can seem advantageous at times, but can also result in several unwelcome symptoms. Healthline reveals that some of these include:
- Prioritising work over basic human needs such as sleep, eating, rest, and social contact
- Paranoia about work-related issues such as job performance
- Putting in far more hours than is necessary to do an adequate job
- A fear of failure at work
- Using work to avoid personal problems
- Feelings of anxiety when you’re working.
To avoid these symptoms, it’s worth fostering a healthy work-life balance, as balancing your work and life can actually be good for your overall health.
This is because too much stress can affect your mental health, leading to various physical symptoms such as flu, stroke, or heart disease. In fact, a study from University College London found that working more than 11 hours a day increases your risk of heart disease by 67%.
A healthy work-life balance can even improve your relationships, as spending more time with your friends and family can help you foster stronger connections with them.
Furthermore, a better balance between your work and life can improve your productivity.
Toner Buzz reveals that workers with a healthy work-life balance show 21% higher productivity, and even those who work from home for one day each month benefit from 24% boosted productivity.
Some helpful ways to improve your own work-life balance
Now that you know the many benefits of a healthy work-life balance, continue reading to discover some practical ways to improve your own.
Learn the power of saying “no”
To protect your work-life balance, it’s worth avoiding taking on any extra work when possible. If you end up accepting too many contracts or extra hours of overtime, this could ultimately damage your health and affect the quality of your work.
If you’re finding it difficult to manage your workload, it may be prudent to consider your existing clients. Do you have a demanding client that brings little to your business? If so, it may be time to let them go, or you could introduce a new and flexible way to work if you can’t afford to lose them.
Set strict working hours
When your job is busy, it’s easy to work past your allotted hours to get ahead on a specific project or piece of work. However, this can have a negative influence on your work-life balance.
Instead, consider setting a strict structure for your working hours and ensure you don’t work beyond them. This is especially important when you work from home, as it can be challenging to switch off if your working space is also your living space.
Even if you leave your notifications on after you’re finished working, you may not be able to resist the “ping” of an email or message that could bring you back to your desk.
Sometimes, you need to be flexible to meet deadlines, but it can often be helpful to stick to fixed working hours as much as possible to prevent work from consuming your life.
Take regular holidays
Giving yourself enough holidays each year is also important, as this is your chance to relax and unwind as you unplug from work.
You should ideally see your holiday as the time to refuse any contact with work, and ensure that it’s as work-free as possible. Despite this, it seems as though many struggle to do so – YouGov states that 60% of Brits check their work emails on holiday even though they’d rather switch off completely.
Try and avoid scheduling any significant projects before your holiday, and ensure that your colleagues or employees know how to manage things themselves in your absence.
A good holiday can even benefit your work performance, as you should be completely relaxed and re-energised when you get back, which could be reflected in the quality of your work.
Schedule plenty of time for family and friends
It’s understandable for time to slip away when you’re hard at work, and sometimes, you may forget to make plans with your friends and family. Though, scheduling time with them is an integral part of a healthy work-life balance.
Without this, you may strain your relationships, which could have a knock-on effect on your physical and mental health, and the quality of your work could be collateral damage.
To avoid this, consider arranging regular activities with your family and friends. Set aside time to go on a day trip with them, or simply even spend an afternoon at the park together, as activities like this can boost your mental wellbeing and perhaps even make you more effective at work.
Also, when you’re spending time with your loved ones, don’t respond to any work calls or emails. While you may be physically present, you could be on autopilot if you’re focusing on work, defeating the purpose of spending time with those you care about.
Speak to a financial adviser about money worries
Perhaps one of the main reasons you’re working so hard could be to accumulate wealth to support yourself and your loved ones.
So, to ensure that you don’t stress out about money while working on your work-life balance, it may be worth speaking to a financial adviser.
We can help you efficiently channel your energy into achieving your financial goals, ensuring you leave any unnecessary worries behind.
To find out how we can help, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 933 8433.
This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.