Work-life balance is a term that signifies a perfect balance between personal and professional life in a way that one does not infringe on the other. It refers to the ability of a person in maintaining a healthy balance between family life and work responsibilities. Both are different aspects of an individual and should be kept separate without one neglecting the other.
There was a time when the males dominated the professional front and home front by the females, and thus the roles and responsibilities were also divided. In this new millennium, both the spouses are working and have to handle both personal and professional roles together. The responsibilities have increased, and each one has to take care of family commitments, elderly care, childcare, and cooking, etc.
At home and work commitment at the office. At such times, the demand is for work-life balance so that everyone can take a sigh of relief, making sure they have work flexibility enabling employees to carry out other responsibilities with aplomb.
The fast-paced world has become very unpredictable and demanding because the increased connection via technology has made life more hectic. Longer working hours, less personal time and more responsibilities have resulted in mediocre performances at all fronts. It is now necessary to find the middle ground. Work-life balance assists in avoiding conflict between professional and personal environments.
It is a challenge that needs action as quickly as possible. More and more employees in the professional world are seeking job opportunities where they will find the flexibility to achieve work-life balance.
1. Importance of work-life balance in the workplace
Organizations are working doubly hard so that their employees can provide the right kind of work-life balance in the workplace. The employers are implementing policies; for instance, flexible working hour options helps the employee to decide his work schedule as per his suitability.
The work-from-home option is also suitable for people, especially young mothers, who have to take care of small children and fit other personal commitments. Other policies include job sharing, remote working, and compressed workweeks. Managers are making sure that employees are taking the help of these policies to achieve the required flexibility to rejuvenate and recover at regular intervals.
Employers are encouraging employees to use their annual leave and set boundaries that clearly define their personal and professional space. The workforce is also encouraged not to pick up phones or work-related emails during their off-days. The importance of work-life balance in the workplace is of great significance as it helps a person to maintain a healthy relationship in both personal and professional life.
Organizations are implementing wellness programs and making it mandatory so that every employee takes part in it. This will provide 24*7 connections with health counsellors and physicians who will help in reducing stress and show how to gain work-life balance.
2. Role of Work-Life Balance in maintaining physical health
Globalization and technological advances in organizations have worked to some extent against the employees in terms of working hours. They are no longer working the traditional hours from the office instead of the use of smartphones, tablets and laptops from anywhere have increased their assignments to 24*7.
Employees are now accessible to employers and clients, and this flexibility has blurred the lines between personal and work hours. A typical week of an employee is no longer of 40-45 hours instead has increased to unimaginable levels.
The result is the poor work-life balance that leads to stress, anxiety and later depression. The level of burnout leaves a feeling of tiredness, anger, and frustration and it has a direct impact on physical health. Moreover, stress lowers efficiency and productivity, and this also leads to absenteeism and employee turnover. The associated costs are passed on to the organization that also indicates a loss.
Moreover, as physical health deteriorates the job satisfaction for the employee also minimizes. The importance of work-life balance in an individual’s life is that it will help to remove stress and uncertainties so that he can be fit and fine and on top of the world.
Regular exercises, meditation, eating healthy food and being optimistic bring forth positive changes in life and helps to maintain both physical health and work-life balance.
3. The way work-life balance helps mental health
Occasional stress is an ordinary day occurrence, but when it starts affecting our health, then there is a severe cause for concern. The symptoms start affecting the overall health and wellbeing and takes on a serious note.
The constant demands on the body make a person feel overwhelmed, and this starts affecting mental health. The person is in always two minds, and he is unable to handle either professional or personal relationships at all. When he is at home, he thinks about the office and in the workplace about his home. This struggle to balance both the settings takes a toll on his mental health that starts deteriorating.
The importance of work-life balance is that it assists an individual in separating home life from work-life so that he can get peace of mind. As per several medical studies, the mental well-being of a person is more important than his physical health.
The best way is not to take the work home because once you allow it to infiltrate your home, it will spread and affect your relationship.
4. Using work-life balance to boost productivity
Overworking puts the health of a person at risk because the constant burnout and increased stress have far-reaching consequences. Although the non-stop exhaustion keeps reminding the body to slow down, an individual becomes habituated to such signs and ignores them for the greater good, and that is working for money until he drops down.
When a person is so stressed and overworked, do you think he is giving his 100% to both his professional and personal relationships? The answer is absolute no. There is a regular conflict in his surroundings as he is unable to keep anyone happy, not his boss nor anyone at the home front. The importance of work-life balance is that it helps to achieve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, and this automatically boosts his efficiency and productivity.
Creating the right balance between both spheres of your lie is one of the essential things that one should do as soon as possible. Fresh mindset gives a better perspective, and this helps to see the world through new eyes. Whether a person is working from home or the office, he will surely get a new spring in his steps, and the work-life balance that he has been able to achieve will prove a blessing in the long run.
5. Employee satisfaction
A satisfied employee is a happy one, and this can only be possible if he has been able to achieve a work-life balance. When a person can meet his commitments with ease in spite of hectic work-life, it shows success at all fronts. Helping employees to find work-life balance is beneficial for every organization, and this is why it is taking steps that will ultimately lead to employee satisfaction.
Another important advantage for the company is the work satisfaction spills over and boosts employee loyalty towards the firm. An employer who understands the employee problems and works towards finding the right balance is considered as an asset by the employee who pays back by increased efficiency and productivity.
The importance of work-life balance in the workplace is about encouraging employee satisfaction by implementing policies. This will ultimately lead to increased employee retention and less employee turnover.
6. Finding me-time by balancing life and work
When life revolves around work, a person becomes detached after some time because his social connections are severed with time. He does not have any interests outside work and a time comes when he starts taking the work at home, and it ultimately affects his personal life.
The importance of work-life balance is that it helps a person to find interests outside the work front. Interactions and sharing information with others help a person to relax and find mental peace and balance. Life should be about enjoying it to the hilt and not about regrets, and this is why everyone must find me-time. Yes, both personal and professional life is important, and so is a balance between them.
Continue to follow your passions besides nothing relaxes the body and mind than the things that you do to fulfill your desires. What is the use of working too hard if you are unable to enjoy life or any of the activities that held great attraction to you once upon a time?
It is important to find work-life balance so that you can go ahead and enjoy whatever you want to do besides your personal and professional commitments. Me-time is very important in everybody’s life as it helps you to rejuvenate.
7. Minimizing burnout
Many employees realize the importance of work-life balance. They try to prioritize their work and home life to give equal credence to both. Several job profiles require working long hours, and people ignore the hours for a higher paycheck.
It is a fact that increased income is not a criterion for happiness but long work hours do result in burnout and stress. Working at a fanatic pace is emotionally, physically and mentally draining, and the casualty is your body.
Moreover, because of burnout, a person runs out of ideas and his creativity is hampered. The importance of work-life balance is to keep the energy levels up by working only the hours that your body is capable of. No need to overexert and burnout because at the end of the day, it is your physical and mental health that is important and should not be compromised.
There comes a stage when it does not matter how many zeroes you have at the end of your cheque, but work-life balance does matter to a very great extent. Remember moments in life need to be cherished, and it is the work-life balance that allows you to do so. If you are suffering from burnout, then you will not be able to savor such moments and life will seem like dragging and boring.
Moreover, when you have a job that provides work-life balance, the chances of burnout will be less and fulfillment will be more in the long run.
8. Helps to Boost creativity
The importance of work-life balance is that it encourages creativity in a person. The desire to find the right kind of stability makes him eager to explore various options. He gives his mind free rein, and this encourages his brain cells to work in a faster mode.
He will try to find enough time so that he can unwind and let his creativity out. Remember the day when you were having a relaxing bath, and suddenly the right idea hit you.
This helped you in making some changes in your project that was appreciated by one and all, and at the end of the task, you got a good bonus for your efforts. Yes, the thing about creativity is that the brain hits on good ideas when it is relaxed and can think about things from every angle.
9. Increases engagement
Employees are expected to be available at all times, and this leads to exhaustion of body and mind. The work-life balance in such circumstances often goes out of the window because trying to find the right balance in such cases is not easy.
Organizations think that the employees are on call twenty-four hours and this will increase their work productivity and efficiency, but the fact is that it is counterproductive and results in loss of output. Overwork is the cause of diminishing returns; hence, it is important to stay away from it.
The importance of work-life balance is that it becomes profitable for both employers and employees because it increases employee engagement and this results in employee retention and less employee turnover. Remember employee loyalty is very crucial for every company.
It improves the relationship between the workforce and the management and ultimately helps to find the middle ground for work-life balance.
Here is a video by Marketing91 on Work-Life Balance.