“Work” and “Life” are considered to be two sides of the same coin. When we toss this coin, 50% of the chances are we get work and 50% life. This toss, in real depicts what we individually prioritize in our lives. The concept of work life balance was invented in the mid-1800. Work-Life balance means having an equal distribution of time towards “Work” that is professional life and “Life” that is personal time spent with family, relatives, friends and oneself. Although it is difficult to manage a coin in the middle position of work and life, today, it is become a need of the hour for us manage this balance or else, it would be as the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.
According to the statistic involved, most of the working class people find difficulties in having a balance in their work life and personal life. This happens due to many factors, some of which are:
- Age: You will always notice, young employees manage their work and personal life satisfactorily. This is because majority of those young employees have less responsibilities as compared to middle aged and senior employees. They enjoy their work life as they know that there is someone to guide them incase if they are wrong. Plus, they go for outings, picnics, parties and much more, to keep in touch with the dear ones. Elder age group employees, on the other hand, usually tend to be the senior staff of an organization and hence they get more authority and responsibility from the company’s end. This then adds to more work pressure. In the same way, when an employee starts growing older, family responsibilities increase because of which they tend to lose their work life balance. Hence, age can be one major factor for a drop in work life balance.
- Responsibilities:Sometimes certain employees, regardless of the their age, gender or any other factor, tend to have more financial and family responsibilities that make them focus too much on their job so that they can achieve the best results and make their family conditions better. This makes them focus more on work life than their personal life. The opposite category do not really have to face this situation hence they can manage the balance.
- Gender: Functions, duties and responsibilities for each gender differ. Males have been taught seen their childhood that they are the earning pillars of the family and females are taught thatthey should nurture the kids and manage the home. However, today, women have started competing men at par. Women also go for work and along with that manage their home. In such a situation men can manage a work life balance peacefully as per gender responsibility and women tend to tumble a bit.
- Goals and aims of life: Employees who are very goal centric and have always been overachievers tend to give away a lot of time to their work life than their personal life. They tend to be the active, hardworking and motivated employees in the company but fail in being a good son/daughter, father/mother or a friend for that matter. This is how an overachiever can also lose out on a perfect work life balance.
Reasons could be many for an employee to imbalance between work and life but there is always a scope of improvement. Some of the creative ways to manage work life balance could be:
- Prioritize the right thing at the right time: Learn to compare the urgency of the report allotted to you to that of a friends outing. If the urgency of the friends outing seems more, then go for it and keep the report for later. In the same way if the urgency of the report is higher than the friends outing, then go for the report. An individual needs to understand that both of the duties are equally important as an employee from one end and as a friend towards the other. But the urgency of both the duties might weigh a little different. Grab that as the exact reason and prioritize your plans accordingly.
- Use Technology wisely: Technology today has made things so flexible that an employee can also perform his work responsibilities right from home. The same way one can check their office emails and action them at home. However, one needs to understand that work emails, presentations and reports are given as office work and this should be done at the office desk and not on the bed while your kids are yelling and jumping around to spend some quality time with you. Hence, the best is to use technology wisely.
- Do not panic looking at the backlog: Not every employee has a clean desk with no backlog sitting over them. So relax. Do not make it a habit to carry backlog work to home so it can be completed. Adaptto the fact that once you leave from the office door, your personal life responsibility begins. That will stop you from carrying work to home. Remember, one can always clear the office backlog but can never clear the personal life’s backlog. Hence cherish the moments as and when they arrive.
- Employers can help too: Employers can organize a lot of activities through which employees can manage a work life balance. By organizing a “Nanny Service” for young kids of mother employees so that their child can be taken care of properly. They can also provide appropriate maternity leaves so that the would-be mother can take rest and relax and enjoy her most important days of her life. Apart from this, companies can keep a resting room, a gaming zone, a gym and much more for the pleasure of the employees. The company can also organize functions, picnics and celebrate festivals. This will help the employee in managing a healthy work life balance.
- Your health is only your wealth: Go for walking or jogging, do some exercises daily, meditate and do yoga. You may also play some sport like badminton or football. Go for vacations or hiking. This will help you in giving time towards yourself first, then others and then work. After all, when you activate yourself, your brain gets sharper and you will be able to concentrate on work better. This again helps in balancing work and life.
Therefore, an employee should always learn to balance the coin of work life and maintain a healthy living. What we need to remember is that, we should never get too busy making a living that we forget to make a life!