By definition, work-life balance is essential in creating both a fulfilling personal life and a successful professional life. One American survey shows that during work hours 42% of employees take care of personal and family needs, and 60% respond to personal communications. On the other hand, 48% respond to work-related communications during their personal time at home and 25% work during vacations (American Psychological Association, 2015).
Needless to say that if we dealt exclusively with work matters in the office and personal matters at home life would be easier. But that’s simply not real life!!
Let’s consider the extraordinary benefits of achieving a healthy work-life balance!
1. Efficiency & Focus
Multitasking is overrated! And science demonstrates it’s ineffective. Switching between tasks compels the brain to restart and refocus which is far slower than seeing one action through to completion (Lin, 2008). One ironic researcher defined it as a “mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously as effectively as one” (Hallowel, 2007). Why deal with your personal concerns while trying to concentrate at work? To then go home and worry about what you haven’t completed in the office? Achieving a better work-life balance by compartmentalising and effectively delivering your tasks at home and work improves focus and enhances attention.
2. Productivity & Performance
Want to drive your productivity to the sky and accomplish your goals ahead of time? Science clearly demonstrates that employees and entrepreneurs with a solid work-life balance are more productive (Arthur, 2003) and better performing (Gray, 2002). So don’t hang about! Switch off your phone and get your To DO list finished, you’ll have time to deal with your spouse later!
3. Engagement & Retention
The workforce is the most valuable asset in EVERY company. Hence employee well-being and happiness is vital for the health of each organisation. Evidence suggests satisfied employees work harder and stay longer! A survey of over 200.000 employees showed work-like balance ranked third of all workplace satisfaction factors (BCG – The Network, 2014).
4. Digital Detox
The smartphone as an extension of your arm is not only annoying for those around you, it’s also unhealthy. Disconnecting from all digital devices – and the internet – is the best thing you can do for both your job and your personal life! A periodic digital detox has been proven to promote better sleep (Harvard Medical School, 2018), improve productivity and creativity (Goodin, 2017).
5. JOMO & “You Time”
We’ve heard of FOMO - that Fear Of Missing Out – but what about JOMO? The Joy Of Missing Out! Some dedicated personal solitude or “you time” will prevent frustration if you don’t make it to the latest cool bar opening or to the cheese and wine event organised by your social colleague. Whenever you find your “you time” running away with itself, read a book or binge on Netflix, since solitude is proven to increase creativity (Csikszentmihalyi, 1997) and productivity (Kim and de Dear, 2013).
Convinced of the benefits of Work-Life Balance but still struggling to put it into action? Next weeks piece - 4 Simple Steps to Genuine Work Life Balance – will solve exactly that!