This Is Why World-Life Balance is Critical to Good Health
Work-life balance happens when you find a way to enjoy life while still doing well at work. Without that balance, both your work and home life suffer.
“Employees who believe they do not have time for the personal life feel drained and distracted while they are at work,” management professor Christine M. Riordan writes for Harvard Business Review.
Lack of balance is not a problem just for women, as popular culture implies. Rather, it is important for everyone.
“Work-family balance is a challenge for many working fathers,” the Pew Research Center said. “Pew Research Center surveys have found that, just like mothers, many of today’s fathers find it challenging to balance work and family life.”
The problem is, without balance, you are at risk for fatigue and poor health, along with lost time with loved ones and increased expectations at work that lead to even more hours, according to Mayo Clinic.
“You can't manufacture time,” mayoclinic.org says. “If you don't set limits, then work or other obligations can leave you with no time for the activities and relationships you enjoy.”
In addition to being tired from working many hours, other health problems arise. For example, one study found stress is the No. 1 health issue in the workplace, which leads to unhealthy behaviors such as “fast food consumption, inadequate sleep, smoking, alcohol use, low physical activity levels and reduced use of health care services,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Finding a work-life balance doesn’t mean you have to become a lackluster employee. Rather, you should join your work and home life into one life, so all your roles — partner, parent, friend, employee — flow together.
“Even in the busiest of schedules, the most practical and effective way we can live is by aligning our personal priorities of work, family, health and well-being,” Riordan writes. “Such realignment can bring huge gains in emotional and physical energy, not to mention greater clarity and focus at work.”
This balance has its grounding in research, showing family-friendly policies in the workplace lead to better workers.
“Employees with time-flexible work policies reported less stress, higher levels of commitment to their employer, and reduced costs to the organization because of fewer absences, fewer days late, and fewer missed deadlines,” researchers said in Stress & Health journal.
To achieve balance, Mayo Clinic recommends implementing these ideas at work:
- Track and manage your time, with the help of a to-do list
- Learn to say no
- Leave work at work, and reduce email access
- Use employer options (flex hours, compressed week, telecommuting, etc.)
- Shorten commitments and minimize interruptions
As for your lifestyle, in addition to eating healthy and exercising, fight stress by making time for fun and relaxation, volunteering, and boosting your support system from family at home and from co-workers at work.
Big changes are difficult so, in honor of Men’s Health Month in June, choose one or two new things to start, and take the first step on your path to work-life balance.
Sinclair Broadcasting is committed to the health and well-being of our viewers, which is why we’re introducing Sinclair Cares. Every month we’ll bring you information about the “Cause of the Month,” including topical information, education, awareness and prevention.