Work-life balance: everybody talks about it, most people dream of it, yet not many can say they have achieved it. But what is it, really?
This concept was initially explored in the 1970s, with the “life” portion meaning “family life”. This decade was crucial, as it saw the rise of female employees across multiple workspaces. All of a sudden, women had to juggle the responsibilities that came with work outside the house, and a family and home to look after.
Nowadays, work-life balance is a much broader concept. Not all employees, for example, have a family or children to care for, but this doesn’t make work-life balance any less important to them. While, generally speaking, work-life balance refers to the ability to perform your paid work well, while at the same time enjoying your private life, the way it actually looks and feels changes for everyone.
Even within the same category of people, striking a positive balance between your professional career and your personal life can mean very different things.
But do you know what always holds true? The fact that this kind of balance is extremely important to live a happier, healthier life, both from a physical and from a psychological point of view. If you want to learn five simple ways to achieve a realistic, sustainable work-life balance, then keep reading.
1 – Evaluate Your Individual Wants and Needs
All too often, in life, we tend to compare ourselves to others. What type of house does my neighbor own, what car do they drive, how attractive is their partner?
This can apply to work-life balance, too. If you want to truly put in place a plan that works for YOU, you have to focus on YOUR needs, desires, challenges, and goals.
Stop making this about your friend, or sister, or co-worker: it’s about you, and you alone. For this reason, it’s a good idea to begin by thinking carefully about what is not working, at the moment, either at home or at work.
Do you feel like your long working hours are having a negative impact on how present you are with your kids? Or maybe, you are working multiple jobs to make ends meet. And at the end of the day, you find yourself so tired that have had to stop doing what you used to do to enjoy yourself?
Write down a list of everything that comes to mind, select your number one priority, and take it from there.
2 – Flexible Does It
Flexible work is not a trend or a cool buzzword, but a genuine, tangible, and effective tool that you can use to your advantage if you want to enhance your work-life balance.
Most jobs, especially since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, have embraced flexible, remote, hybrid working arrangements. So, the next thing you’ll want to do is to find out from your employer whether this is something that they can offer you.
Did they give you the green light? Excellent, now think about how to make the most of your newfound flexibility. A good idea is to figure out when, during the day, you feel at your best and most productive.
Flexible working, in fact, only generates good results if the employee can perform well despite working fewer or different hours or days.
Are you an early riser, and feel like you can get the bulk of a day’s work done by lunchtime? Or, perhaps, you can’t function if you wake up too early, but experience a burst of energy in the afternoon and evening?
Try to work this out based on your experience and see if your employer agrees to these new arrangements.
3 – Motivation, Motivation, Motivation
If you have started working from home recently due to the pandemic, you might have struggled a bit with feeling (and staying) motivated and productive.
The best solution is to remember what used to truly push and stimulate you in the past when you were still based at the office. Was it crushing strict deadlines, getting constant praise from your manager, winning new clients every quarter?
Once you have identified this, try to tap back into those feelings right where you are now – whether it’s a swanky garden home office or a cozy corner of your lounge. Remember: you can still DO all those things, regardless of where you are physically.
And when you get the wheels back in motion and experience the buzz and feel-good hormones that get released every time you succeed at work, you will clock off at the end of the day with a smile on your face and the mental and physical drive to look after yourself and reward you with some relaxing time.
4 – Time for a Change
Another important aspect to consider when talking about work-life balance is; if your current job is a good fit for you. There are many elements that you want to evaluate.
The first is, of course, the type of job itself. Is it something that interests you, something that you were considering doing for a long time, or maybe something that you studied for?
Then, you’ll need to look at the human factor. Are your boss, co-workers, and clients the type of people that you like to spend time with? What is the atmosphere at work like, and does that affect how you feel when you leave the office to go back home?
Lastly, reflect on what your long-term outlook at your current company is. Are there any actual opportunities to further your career? Do you even want to stay for, say, another five or ten years – or even indefinitely?
Only you can answer these questions. Be honest with yourself, even if it means realizing that you need to revolutionize your life with a complete career change. Remember: if it’s not working, you can change it.
And the best bit is that you don’t even need to go it alone. A company like Uvaro can support you each step of the way if you decide to move on to a different career, like for example tech sales. It is an industry that provides plenty of great work-life balance opportunities, professional development, and super-useful skills and knowledge.
5 – Treat Yourself
The last, essential tip that we have for you is exactly this: take some time for yourself, treat yourself to something that makes you feel happy, fulfilled, and refreshed, and make it a regular habit.
Is your current job not allowing you enough time for any of this? Are you forced to sacrifice basic things for yourself, like a good night’s sleep, quality time with your family, and/or a healthy, home-cooked meal?
Then, again, you need to have a serious think about how to change your current work setup (or your career entirely) to avoid much more problematic consequences, including anxiety, burnout, and depression.
After all, if companies like LinkedIn, HubSpot, and Bumble, to name just a few, give their employees entire weeks off work every year to mentally recharge, then why should you not be allowed the same opportunity?
Uvaro – your key to work-life balance!
Want to find a job that can offer you that well-deserved work-life balance? Let Uvaro help you. Through our tech sales boot camp, we can help you find your career in an industry that not only is great for you, but that also promotes excellent work-life balance.
Contact us today to find that work-life balance you’ve always wanted and needed.