COVID-19 may no longer be as significant as it was two years ago, but many businesses still find themselves grappling with the aftereffects. It has also forced companies to reshape their thinking on working lives while the conversation surrounding mental health in the workplace has gathered pace. We believe it's due to the increasing awareness of its impact on employee engagement and productivity.
Then there is the new prevalence of remote work and hybrid working models, which play an influential role in balancing our professional and personal lives. We need to be honest with ourselves - it's critical to find a healthy work-life balance that allows us to be both productive and satisfied. The good news is that it is possible.
What is a healthy work-life balance?
Work-life balance is the state of stability where you prioritise your career and personal life equally. Meanwhile, a healthy work-life balance means you have achieved harmony between these two aspects of your life. It’s critically important that you do, considering that maintaining this healthy balance helps reduce stress and prevents burnout in the workplace.
A survey by the Mental Health Foundation showed that 58% of employees with unhealthy work-life balance feel irritable, 34% feel anxious, and 27% feel depressed.
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High-stress levels, unrealistic demands and a lack of resources are some of the challenges contributing to a poor work-life balance. But, do you know whether your work-life balance is unhealthy?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you feel like you have too much to do all the time?
- Do you struggle to find time to spend with your friends and family due to work?
- Are you unable to remember the last time you had fun?
These could be early warning signs that you’re about to burn out. Of course, you do need to be mindful of the fact that there is a difference between burnout and stress, however slight. They are not the same even if they present similarly and overlap in a few cases.
“[B]urnout refers to work-related exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed and a sense of feeling ‘stuck’, with no pathway forward. Unlike stress, where you can imagine feeling better once things settle, burnout feels hopeless,” writes Henry Ford Health.
How does DotActiv help maintain a healthy work-life balance?
At DotActiv, we know we play a crucial role in helping our colleagues maintain a healthy work-life balance. Why? Because if we don't help you look after yourself, it can affect your productivity and general well-being. We want neither of that to happen.
It's also why it's so important to us that once you begin to strive towards a healthy balance, you continue to do that. As we wrote in a previous article, we don't work with robots but with people. Of course, finding that balance is an ongoing pursuit - it's not as simple as dividing your hours in the day, and all is well.
If the underlying emotional sources of stress are still there, the time you spend on your personal life may not be enjoyable. Remote work certainly has its positives, but it has also made it harder to maintain a healthy balance when work is always a click of a button away.
You can turn off your laptops for the day, and while physically you are not focusing on work, mentally, you may still be processing things that happened while you were working.
That means that you can find yourself not fully present in the moment. It happens to everyone though. However, there is the argument that when you work for the right company, it's easy to balance your life and work.
When you enjoy what you do, it doesn't feel like a chore. Even though we would like to believe that DotActiv can be such a company, let’s be honest, when high pressure and stress come into play, eating an ice-cream sundae can feel like a chore.
Your work life shouldn't consume your whole life. However, it's also applicable to your personal life - you shouldn’t be so focused on personal responsibilities that you neglect your work commitments.
Let's take our managers as an example.
We encourage them to focus on productivity rather than hours, regularly review workloads and set realistic deadlines. We also trust our managers to lead by example, assisting, supporting, encouraging and enabling their teams to perform at their best.
We also value your families as much as we do you. After all, your families form part of the DotActiv family, and we are continuously working to increase support for you. That includes policies for parents and encouraging you to take leave, either when it's due or needed.
How can you improve your work-life balance?
Pursuing a healthy work-life balance is good for everyone involved. But where do you begin, and how can you improve that? good
Here's some straightforward advice. Change gears and fully immerse yourself.
Make a conscious effort to put your 'work hat' on when you clock in for work. When the workday is over, put on your 'rest hat'. Take time to do things for yourself - do the things that bring you joy - and ensure you re-energise yourself before the work week begins again.
Hubspot's CEO, Yamini Rangan, has a few good tips for creating a better work-life 'presence'.
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Here are a few more helpful tips to achieve a healthy balance:
- Set a realistic schedule and boundaries;
- Focus on your health;
- Take regular breaks throughout the day;
- Communicate your needs clearly;
- Draw up a list of all the activities that don't enhance your life or career and minimise the time you spend on them;
- Try to manage your stress by knowing your stress triggers;
- Take time to rest both mentally and physically;
- Recognise early warning signs and symptoms of stress or burnout and act on them;
- Get enough sleep. Believe me, because I’m preaching to the choir here. Getting the sleep you need is the foundation of a balanced life.
That last one might sound obvious. And believe me, I’m preaching to the choir here. But getting a good amount of sleep is the foundation to a balanced life.
Also, remember this: a work-life balance is attainable and not a weakness. It is possible to be successful professionally while maintaining a healthy personal life.
A healthy work-life balance is good for everyone. It means you will be happier when you come to work. You'll find more fulfilment in your role, which can help reduce your stress and the chances of burnout.
Meanwhile, DotActiv can experience increased productivity, higher employee engagement, reduced staff turnover, lower recruitment costs and an improved brand perception.
As we mentioned, it’s a win-win for everyone. But it also points to a goal we have for all our colleagues. We want you to be fulfilled and content with your work because when you are, you can do your best work.
Are you interested in joining the DotActiv team and providing category management solutions to retailers and suppliers from across the world? We’d love to hear from you. You can read up about DotActiv, what we stand for and how we operate here or browse through our open positions here.