April 27th, 12:43 pm
Having the perfect work-life balance is probably the most sought after self-help accomplishment one can think of. When these two separate aspects of your life are on par with each other, it gives you a sense of fulfilment which makes you both a better person and employee.
Let’s think of it simply as, “living while making a living”, balancing your personal and professional life. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit us, our daily routine has been the “9 to 5” bare minimum with a day to spare in a week. Even none for those who work the extra mile.
Admit it, you’ve had moments as if you’re a fish in a tank, exhausted, but not going anywhere. When you’re burned out, you lose your fire. When you lose that fire, it also affects how you perform as an employee.
How can a good work-life balance make you a better employee?
You can’t give what you don’t have. It’s difficult to share something when you almost have nothing left. Make sense?
Work-life balance is getting yourself back together. How much of yourself have you lost because you’re overworking? On the other hand, how much have you been lacking at work because you’re too relaxed? Yes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy as the American proverb says, but too much of it is already complacency. An excess of either is no longer healthy. As Aristotle mentioned in his “Nicomachean Ethics”, “We work so we can have leisure”.
To further understand the concept of work-life balance, let’s take a step back to Eastern philosophy. Taoism believe in the dualism concept of yin and yang wherein two opposite forces are not contradictory but complementary. Night and day, black and white, sun and rain, hot and cold.
Work and life can be viewed as contrary forces but one can’t exist with
out the other. Therefore, instead of missing out on one, strive on creating harmony between the two.
When you don’t go way overboard in your work, your relationships, and in your leisure, you’re putting the jigsaw puzzles together to complete the whole picture which is yourself. You first have to identify the imbalance so you can correct it.
There are two types of stress: eustress and distress. Eustress is the happy stress you get from getting a surprise party or getting butterflies in your stomach before a first date. But work-related stress is an example of the opposite, distress.
With globalization and industrialization, everyone is working fast-paced and deadlines never end. More is expected of employees in order to finish as much work as possible within 8 hours. The “new normal” work-at-home setup is not an escape to the busy schedules and overwhelming job responsibilities.
Being expected to still be available even after working hours lead to cortisol buildup – the stress hormone. The need to get it all done can weigh us down and lead to burnout affecting work productivity. This is slow, creeping physical and emotional exhaustion brought by a long period of work-related stress.
Expert tip: Build serendipity with your virtual team to unwind and recharge your batteries.
Burnout is the physical and mental collapse and can cause a loss of the drive for work, concentration, creative thinking, problem-solving skills and also affect interpersonal working relationships.
Boundaries between work and personal life are blurring. Having a work-life balance teaches us to allocate time for things that matter, both in our personal and professional life.
Although, it’s impossible to perfectly balance the scale between the two, it’s important to keep the gap close.
I’ll take myself as an example. I’ve always been guilty of spending more time at work than at home thinking it’s understandable because it’s all for the family. As a result, I’ve missed out on a lot of my kids’ milestones as they were growing, and that was very disappointing of me as a mother.
Working from home has been a blessing in disguise to make up for the kids. Although nothing much has changed with the workload, it’s now possible for me to tend to the kids while replying to emails and answering calls.
Since I have to do the laundry, prepare meals, wash the dishes, and help them out with school while working, I found a way to squeeze all my responsibilities as a mother into my busy work schedules.
With this much multitasking, I developed my time management skills. Learning how to develop myself and the team efficiently through the word day, in part thanks to the trust I have developed in them and their results.
The overall health of an employee should never be set aside. Poor work-life balance and the increasingly demanding work culture have huge impacts on physical and mental health. It takes a toll on the body as a product of longer working hours and countless sleepless nights.
Studies show that about 75% to 90% of human diseases are caused by too much stress, such as heart problems, asthma, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems as well as anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. Much of the stress we get are work-related.
In reality, achieving a perfect work-life balance is a myth and is different for every individual. Focus not only on creating value as a worker but also as a person. Having a work-life balance makes you productive and contribute more to the overall performance of your team and ultimately to your company or organization.
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