This year has been – well – a pretty strange one, with most of us spending the majority of the year working from home. As many of us start returning to the office or managing a home/office hybrid approach, it’s important to remember to keep our work at work. How do we do this? By finding work-life balance.
Work-life balance is about striking the right mix between the demands of our working lives and personal lives. According to Employment New Zealand, full-time work is defined as 35-40 hours a week, plus reasonable additional hours. But issues can arise when there is a discrepancy between what an employer considers to be reasonable, and what we as individuals do.
Technology can blur the lines even further. Smartphones mean we’re accessible 24/7, which can come with the expectation that we will be checking emails and responding to messages long after we’ve left the office. This can make workers feel stressed out, overworked and overwhelmed.
Working remotely throws another spanner into the works. Outside of a ‘conventional’ work environment, many can feel compelled to keeping plugging away on a project outside of the 9 to 5, conduct meetings outside of work hours, or checking their emails or responding to messages well into the night.
The good news is you can set clear boundaries between the work you’re paid to do and the other things in your life that give you joy. After all, a good work-life balance can make us healthier, more focussed, and less susceptible to burnout – which, in turn, makes us more productive, and more committed, workers.
Here are five tips for achieving work-life balance.