Work-life balance: 5 secrets

Work-life balance means different things to different people. Plus, it’s not always easy to achieve. But there are some sure-fire ways to help people feel more in touch with all areas of their lives. We take a look.

Working long, hard hours can reap serious benefits, but it can also be exhausting if you never switch off. It’s essential – even when you love your job – to remember there are other things to life than working.

It’s also okay to create a work-life balance that allows you to enjoy your time off. And if you’re managing others, it’s up to you to make sure that they can too.

According to a survey by Gallup in 2017, 53% of employees said that having a good work-life balance and healthy personal wellbeing is “very important” to them.

So, whether it’s finding smarter ways of working or just knowing when to take a break, we look at ways of striking a happy balance.

Collaboration is key

Collaboration is key

Your approach to team collaboration is critical. In order to ensure projects and tasks get done on time and to a high standard, everybody has to pull their weight. The alternative is that some members of the team have to do extra work.

Using the right collaboration tools can help businesses to keep track of every stage of projects, including who has what responsibility and the progress of each task.

Workplace by Facebook, for example, allows you to share documents of any size, host video conferences, keep tabs on each step of business processes and many other things to enable effective multidisciplinary collaboration.

Consolis is just one company using Workplace to help improve team collaboration and work smarter.

Prioritise tasks during the working day

Prioritise tasks during the working day

According to the Mental Health Foundation, working long hours makes 27% of workers depressed and over half of employees irritable. So why are people doing it?

In his work-life balance blog, Matt Might laments the fact that Britons work longer hours than Europeans on average but still produce less. He urges employees to adopt smarter ways of working to achieve daily goals without having to forego evening and weekend relaxation.

One way to do this is to prioritize properly during office hours. Give each task on the to-do list a certain length of time in which to complete it, and keep to a tight schedule, aiming to leave the office at a specific time.

Harness the power of saying no

Harness the power of saying no

A can-do attitude is important to have in a workplace – but it’s not good for anyone to become the company pushover. If people think someone will always take on extra work without asking questions or pushing back, they’re more likely to take advantage of them.

Managers should support people in standing their ground and letting people know that if they’re busy, they can’t take on extra work. This ensures employees finish the things they need to and can leave work feeling satisfied and ready to relax.

Know when to switch off

Know when to switch off

With professional collaboration platforms like Workplace making it easier to stay connected from anywhere in the world, more and more people have the opportunity to work remotely.

However, people working from home must take extra steps to separate and balance work and home life. It’s not a question of leaving the office and shutting off if you’re working from your living room or kitchen.

Remote employees need to feel able to turn off all work notifications and their work phone at a specific time. It can also help to take a walk or leave the house after finishing work, to create a distinct barrier between work time and relaxation time at home.

Learn to cut unnecessary things out

Learn to cut unnecessary things out

Everybody falls victim to it. Accidentally overloading yourself with things to do and people to see, in and out of the office. To improve your work-life balance, learn when to cut non-essential things out of your schedule.

That means politely declining or rescheduling that one extra weekend invitation, or cutting down on unnecessary, unscheduled meetings in the workplace.

Instead, ask yourself what you need to achieve. Can you do the meeting over video or voice call instead? Can you discuss the topic via a Workplace group chat? There are plenty of ways for teams to stay connected without calling physical meetings.

By cutting down on unnecessary face-to-face time with colleagues or friends, you’ll be better able to prioritize your own time and find a healthier work-life balance.

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