With the recent Mashable infographic shedding light on the fact that just 77% of Irish employees are satisfied with their work-life balance, we felt that it would be important to offer some tips to employees and employers on improving your work-life balance.
Judging by this infographic, Irish workers are by no means the most dissatisfied but is 77% really enough for Irish employers? Mexico log the greatest number of hours at 2,226 and boast 82% satisfaction, so before we hop onto the Netherlands job hunt or hot-foot it to Mexico, what can the Irish employer or employee do to increase satisfaction with our work-life balance?
The issue of work-life balance is an important one which if left unaddressed can lead to unhappy workers and by extension an unhappy working environment. Some key tips for improving your own balance and that of your employees are as follows:
- Take responsibility for your own work-life balance: If working demands begin to overwhelm you, it is important to speak up. As an employer this is when the importance of delegation arises.
- Make use of your lunch break: this might seem like an obvious one but there are a surprising number of us who regularly choose to eat our lunch at our desks whilst still working. When possible, make use of your lunch break and even take a walk to clear your mind and set yourself up for the rest of the day, you may even find yourself more productive after this time.
- Make use of your commute: If, like so many of us, you find yourself on some form of transport idly worrying about the day ahead, try making use of this time by either making a plan of your day or making a small start on some of your tasks. Having this time to focus may clear your mind so that when you step foot in the workplace you are prepared for the day.
- Don’t bring work home: Obviously, this is not always possible but when you can, it is important to draw a line between your working and personal lives which will see your rest time at home become more enjoyable and beneficial.
- Time your tasks: Giving yourself a set amount of time per task means less time wasted and will drastically increase your productivity giving you more time to utilise elsewhere.
- Schedule family time: If you feel that your working hours are consuming your entire day, step back and schedule some time for family and friends. This time will help you disconnect and remember all those important reasons why you go to work in the first place.
- Take up a hobby: Having a hobby is a great post-work stress reliever as is exercise. Focusing your energy on your other passions outside of work may be the boost your working life needs.
- Track your working hours: Make a note of your working hours in the office as well as those you spend working from home. Having a visual reference of this may help you better divide your time between working life and home life.
- Make plans: Whether it’s that holiday you’ve always wanted to take or simply a few days off to spend in the company of family and friends, having a plan gives you a distinct goal and something to work towards as well as look forward to.
- Switch Off: Unless waiting for something important, try not to consistently check your work emails. This is a big ask in today’s digital age but it something which can greatly improve your work-life balance and overall satisfaction.
Even reclaiming one hour per day for yourself outside of working hours can make a vast difference to your health and overall mood. In turn, this is beneficial to employers as a happy workforce will be a more productive workforce.