I deliver dozens of workshops each year on stress and work-life balance. Many of my participants ask me about my personal work-life balance, thinking that as the ‘expert’ this has been an issue that I have completely conquered. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Four Main Causes of A Lack Of Balance:
- Role Overload.
- Work-To Family Interference.
- Family-To-Work Interference.
- Caregiver Strain
Work-Life Balance Is A Myth
Often we think that balance means equal. If I spend 7 hours at work, then I need to spend 7 hours with my family, or my life is out-of-balance.
Balance does not mean equal.
Balance is constantly changing.
Balance is about Life Satisfaction
The hardest part of work-life balance is around making choices based on your priorities and fundamentals at the time, without feeling guilty or pressured. It is about increasing our satisfaction with each of these areas of our life. We do this by letting go of perfectionism and our superhero complex, which for many of us, is not always easy to do.
What Can Employers Do To Increase Life Satisfaction?
Start by evaluating your work-life balance initiatives. These initiatives are any benefits, policies, or programs that help create a better balance between the demands of the job and the healthy management (and enjoyment) of life outside work. Do you have enough initiatives that promote and support balance and life satisfaction?
Here are some workplace wellness initiatives to consider:
- Promote Flexibility. Flexible work hours can improve the feeling of balance and control
- Allow employees to have control and input over the work they do
- Have stringent email policies that promote balance
- Ensure productive meetings
- Ensure meeting free blocks of time
- Promote frequent breaks
- Monitor workload and overtime
- Ensure employees are utilizing their vacation time
- Promote messages about life satisfaction
- Encourage a culture of openness about time constraints and workload
- Train leaders to provide support and recognize signs of stress
As champions of wellness within your company, help others incorporate these life satisfaction messages:
- Balance does not mean equal.
- Balance changes.
- Balance means making choices to increase overall satisfaction and being okay with those choices.
You and your company can support life satisfaction by incorporating work-life initiatives into your workplace wellness program. By doing so, you will find that it will increase your retention, engagement and your overall success.
Check out the Balance and Life Infographic for more information on:
- 9 Signs That Your Life Is Out Of Whack
- Questions To Evaluate Your Balance
- Strategies For Managing Balance
- 15 Ways To Take A 5 Minute Pause
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!
Additional Resources - Check out the Archives For The Following Articles
- Corporate Wellness E-briefs
- Building A Well Workplace – Four Reasons Why Health Promotion Makes Good Business Sense
- Corporate Wellness Programs: A Business Case
- 12 Steps To Setting Up Your Wellness Plan
- Critical Questions In Putting Wellness Programs Together
- Workplace Wellness: 5 Reasons Why Excellent Programs Fail
- Moving From Health Promotion To A Healthy Organization
- Boosting Your Wellness Programs To The Next Level
- Lessening The Anguish Through Supportive Conversations
- Road Map To Disability Management
- Return On Investment
- Building Your Wellness Budget
- Measuring Wellness Outcomes
- Taking Your Wellness Programs To The Next Level
- Family Friendly Programs