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How to improve your work-life balance and reach optimal equilibrium

Work Life Balance
Work-life balance: definition and relevance in the 21st century
Work-life balance measures: What you can do
Work-life balance measures for employers
Work-life balance measures for employees
Final thoughts: A good work-life balance is increasingly important

For companies that want to secure and keep the best talent, it’s important to provide employees with a good work-life balance.

However, the issue isn’t solely an employer’s responsibility: Employees can also take action to better manage the balance between their professional and personal lives. In this guide, you’ll find tips and suggestions for both employees and employers.

What is work-life balance?

Work-life balance describes a concept for a new, sustainable integration of work and private life. A healthy work-life balance is characterized by an equilibrium between these two areas, promoting greater harmony, preventing burnout, and supporting the compatibility of work and family life.

Work-life balance: definition and relevance in the 21st century

The core idea of maintaining a work-life balance is to better harmonize the two areas of work and private life under today’s conditions. Successful careers need to be compatible with private, social, cultural and health challenges.

Here are some signs you may have a poor work-life balance:

  • Mental and physical health issues, such as those related to stress or bad posture

  • Missing appointments, whether to see friends, personal appointments or work-related meetings

  • Working long hours beyond your contracted hours

  • Not taking all the time off that’s allocated to you

Work-life balance measures: What you can do

Work-life balance tools are available to entire companies and individual employees. As a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), you can benefit from the advantages of work-life balance measures just as much as large companies and employees can.

Maintaining a good work-life balance can help you and your team members:

  • Support your mental health

  • Improve your home life

  • Give you time to explore new hobbies

  • Help you focus at work

  • Encourage better self-care

Work-life balance measures for employers

Your path to achieving a good work-life balance involves targeted measures. Independent and flexible working, home office and remote work options and employee incentives are important steps toward a good work-life balance and healthy work environment.

Corporate benefits such as public transport tickets, gas vouchers or a subsidy for the gym are simple tools that your employees may appreciate. But it’s not just gifts that boost motivation. As an employer, you can improve your employees’ work-life balance with these measures:

  • Ensure flexible working hours. Commuters, working parents and late risers will thank you for flexitime and adaptable working models, which can also include sabbaticals. Offer flexible schedules to employees and candidates looking for a new job at your company

  • Provide transparency regarding corporate benefits and other employee offers. Whether it’s employee discounts, training, perks for volunteer work or health insurance, communicate these offers clearly and openly to everyone.

  • Promote health through sports as it can help with stress management. Collegial interactions can also improve through joint sports activities. Support your employees’ movement with vouchers, subsidies, steps challenges or even an in-house gym.

  • Encourage your employees to really take weekends off. Even if emails arrive on their smartphones, they shouldn’t be answered until the workweek. This helps refresh your employees’ motivation periodically, as success author Daniel Pink describes in his book Drive.

  • Vacation days and PTO are crucial for regeneration. Private appointments need to be managed too. Ensure that your employees take their vacations in a timely manner and don’t continually postpone or fail to take them, ensuring they make the most of their free time.

  • Use company events for social and team-building activities. An outing to a climbing wall, where employees work together in groups of three or four, is fun and good for the work atmosphere. A joint training session on self-management can also contribute to making your employees more satisfied and productive.

  • Allow your employees to work independently and autonomously. Overly detailed prescribed solutions and close monitoring can kill motivation. Trust, on the other hand, strengthens employee retention and employee well-being.

  • Set boundaries to encourage employees to work their hours. If someone is active on your business’s Slack after hours, or sending emails late into the evening, call them out. Invite them to a call and see if there’s anything you can do to take the pressure off.

Work-life balance measures for employees

Much of what employers can initiate to achieve a better work-life balance, you can start on your own as an employee. With regular and clear breaks from work, you can do a lot for your personal health management. Perhaps use the ideas above to make suggestions to your employer.

Argue that, if you’re more relaxed at work, you’ll be more productive within your own daily routine. Here are several methods you can use to improve your work-life balance:

  • Get an overview and prioritize your tasks. Whether you use a simple to-do list or the Eisenhower Principle, it’s up to you.

  • Structure your workday. A calendar helps to properly assess ideal sales meeting times, conversations and other tasks. Also, plan breaks that give you enough time for eating, drinking and exercising. The Pomodoro Method can effectively support your time management.

  • If blockers always occur in the same places at work, take notes. Discuss these with your colleagues and consider how things could be improved.

  • Use your strengths. If, for example, you have found that you are good at training juniors, actively work toward being more involved in sales training. This keeps your task fun and makes it more meaningful in the long run.

To achieve a balanced work-life balance, it’s also important to ration certain influences. Social media, for example, is a top-tier personal time consumer. Create quiet times both inside and outside of work and switch to airplane mode to disconnect.

Final thoughts: A good work-life balance is increasingly important

Working conditions are constantly changing in the digital age and the issue of work-life balance has rightly come into sharper focus. The acceleration of many work processes means that work and private lives start to overlap.

Both as an employer and as an employee, you can implement measures to achieve more balance between these areas of life. By improving your work-life balance and that of your employees, you can create a significant success factor for your company.

If you haven’t already utilized work-life balance strategies, now is the time to make a change. Whether you’re looking to reduce turnover, increase employee satisfaction or simply make your workplace a healthier environment, focusing on work-life balance can provide substantial benefits. Your efforts won’t only enhance the well-being of your employees but also contribute to the sustainability and competitiveness of your business.

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