The Importance of Work-Life balance

As we grow increasingly more connected through technology and social media, it has become more difficult to separate work from our personal lives. Employers expect more from their people, which leads to them feeling more pressure to achieve greater results. Consequently, this leads to longer working hours, and less time spent at home. Not too long ago the boundaries between work and home were fairly clear. Today, however, work has likely invaded our personal life where checking emails at all hours, taking business calls during dinner and working over weekends has made it difficult to maintain a work-life balance. But how has this become acceptable? Understand how to better manage your time, detach from work and care for yourself.
It’s not too late to take control if you’re struggling to achieve work-life balance. Consider your relationship to work and ways to strike a healthier balance.

What’s the cost of being married to your work?
If you’re spending most of your time working, there is a fair chance that your work and home life is affected. It is time to consider the consequences of poor work-life balance.
Exhaustion. Being tired can affect the ability to work productively and think clearly. This in turn can cost you your professional reputation, lead to burnout or even worse – serious health conditions.
Being Unhealthy. Increased stress is the number reason for various medical conditions and puts us at a high risk of alcohol and substance misuse.
No time for friends and loved ones. If you’re working too much, you might miss important family events or milestones. This may leave you feeling depressed and may harm or affect relationships.
Start with a better work-life balance!
As long as you’re working, juggling the demands of a career and personal life this will probably be an ongoing challenge. However, by setting limits and looking after yourself, you can achieve the work-life balance that’s best for you. It is time to set limits. If you don’t set limits, work can leave you with no time for the relationships, activities and hobbies that you enjoy. Let’s consider these strategies:
Time Management. This is something that is important to consider. Give yourself enough time to get things done and don’t over burden yourself.
Saying “no”. It is easy to take on additional work and responsibilities to impress your superiors. But at what cost? Instead evaluate your priorities in order to strike a balance between work and at home by shortening your to-do list. Cut or delegate activities where you can or share your concerns and possible solutions with your employer or department heads. When you quit accepting tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you’ll have more time for activities that are meaningful to you.
Disconnect from work. Working from home or frequently using technology to connect to work when you’re at home can cause you to feel like you’re always on the job. This can lead to high levels of stress. Speak to your manager about expectations / deadlines and when you can disconnect. If you work from home, be disciplined and set up a dedicated workspace, if possible. When you’re done working each day, detach and transition to home life by taking a drive or walk, exercising or perhaps an activity with the kids.
What are the options available. Ask your employer about hybrid working hours, role sharing or other work possibilities. The more control you have over your hours, the less stressed you’re likely to be.
The next steps in caring for yourself
A healthy lifestyle is essential to managing stress and to achieving work-life balance. It’s important to eat well, include physical activity in your daily routine and get enough sleep. In addition, aim to:
Relax. Regularly set aside time for recreational activities that you enjoy, such your favourite sport. Hobbies can help you relax and take your mind off work, giving you that much needed time to recharge.
Rejuvenate. Spending time outdoors, meditation or even an outing with friends lead to better life satisfaction and lower psychological distress.
Develop a support system. At work, find co-workers who can cover for you in times of need and you could reciprocate by doing the same. On a personal front engage with a trusted friend or loved one if you need help with mundane tasks at times when you need to work late. If your life feels too chaotic to manage and you’re spinning your wheels worrying about it, talk to a mental health professional.
A survey conducted revealed that 88% of Malaysians, said the pandemic had empowered them to improve their work-life balance. It showed that over the past 18 months, more than three in five Malaysian respondents have reassessed how work fits into their personal schedules by a considerable amount or more. Whereas, two in three respondents said that they are experiencing higher stress levels since the pandemic began and want to make changes to their work life. Businesses that gain a reputation for encouraging work-life balance have become very attractive – especially when you consider how difficult it can be to attract and retain younger workers these days.
Creating work-life balance is a continuous process as your family, interests and work life change. From time to time examine your priorities and make changes if necessary in order to stay on the right track.


Blog by NG