Work life balance is the art of striking the right balance between work, which includes your career and related aspirations ; your personal and social life including your health, leisure ;your obligation towards your family and their well being and ,of course, to the society at large.
We are living in the age of ‘Rat Race’. In our youth, we take up a career and then go whole hog to rise to the top. We put in extra hours and stretch ourselves beyond a reasonable limit to achieve our dreams. When we finally hang our boots, we realise that in our eagerness to win the rat race, we have sacrificed our physical and mental health and alienated our family to the extent that we are treated almost as an outsider. We feel left out and alone when we need the emotional support, of our family and friends, the most. This further adds to our emotional distress. All this happens because we fail to maintain a proper work-life balance during our productive years.
Work life imbalance is perhaps the most vicious Silent Killer. It does not affect only an individual, but also the organisation one is working with; one’s family and the society at large. Its effects on an individual are manifested primarily in change in one’s temperament and negative impact on one’s health. The person gets tensed up and irritated on flimsy reasons; he may develop stress related ailments like Hypertension and diabetes. His output suffers both in quality and quantity. He may become irregular and absent himself from work at increasing frequency.
The distortion in the Work-life balance of a person hits the individual’s family most severely. The spouse not only feels neglected, but has to suffer the irrational behaviour of the spouse. She is forced to bring up children virtually as a single parent. The children are denied the love and care they crave for and deserve in their formative years. They helplessly witness the frequent quarrels between their parents and suffer silently. This adversely affects their social behaviour. It may push them to grow up as uncaring delinquents.
The root cause of this work- life imbalance is work culture of an organisation. Though, the nature of an individual also plays a significant role. These organisations seem to focus only on their short-term gains and ROI. They are insensitive to the wellbeing of their employees. They encourage them to do overtime for days on end by giving overtime allowance or other incentives. They exploit the employees to the extent that it causes the employee’s burnout. Employers do not realise that this burnout of their employees, slowly but surely, eats into their profits due to drop in the quality of output and growth of the team as a whole.
The ever increasing number of people suffering from work-life imbalance syndrome will make the society morons on short fuse, ready to blow up with slightest instigation. There is, therefore, an urgent need to restore the much needed work-life balance in our lives.
The problem of Work-life imbalance may be huge but the solutions are fairly simple. Remember the old saying,” All work and no play makes John a dull boy”? This is true even today. What are the simple steps to re-establish this balance and overcome this vicious silent killer will be discussed in the next blog. So, watch out for the next Blog.