In the previous blog, we have discussed the causes of work-life imbalance and how its ill effects are silently killing us physically and psychologically and adversely affecting our personal, family and social life.
The problem, no doubt, is serious, but the remedy is comparatively simple.
The First step to achieve work-life balance is to get out of the ‘Rat Race’ syndrome. Remember that howsoever fast you may run in this race, you still remain a rat. You can start off on this journey by budgeting your time in a way that you apportion reasonable chunk of time to work, family and your personal health (both physical and mental). You should also leave some time for social networking and for unexpected requirements that may crop up.
For personal wellbeing, indulge in physical activities like Yoga, sports or any other exercise. For mental peace, take up meditation. It is one of the simpler ways to maintain mental equilibrium. Rendering community service can also help you.
Have holiday breaks at regular intervals. It might be a good idea to leave your cell phone and other paraphernalia at home to ensure least work related distractions during these breaks so that you can rejuvenate your faculties to resume your work with renewed vigour.
You must spend quality time with your family every day. Remember, they need you more than your employer needs you. The cardinal principal should be to have at least dinner together. If you have children, make sure you attend as many of their school functions as possible. Share their moments of achievements and be there in their moments of despair. Plan weekend escapades, albeit rationally, with them and see its magical affect on your performance at work.
The organisations, on their part, need to appreciate that it is in their own interest to help the employees to strike a healthy balance between their office and personal life. They must realise that a work force with right work-life balance is far more productive than those on the verge of burnout.
Employees should be encouraged to close shop as per the schedule. Working overtime should be taken as a mark of inefficiency or symptom of burnout and not as a mark of hard or conscientious work. In fact, systems should be in place to see if any employee is under stress so that appropriate help can be provided.
Provide some recreational facilities like indoor games (definitely not cards) to enable the employees to de-stress themselves during lunch and other breaks. Arrange excursions and outings for them with their families. Encourage them to go on vacations. You may share their expenses of vacation through appropriate leave policies, so that they are motivated to go on vacations. Provide casual leave and, ‘work from home’ facilities for employees in need. Maternity leave is a legal entitlement of a mother-to-be, but you may grant paternity leave to the husband to be available to his wife during this crucial period. Organisations should de-stress young mothers by providing day care and crèche facilities for their children.
A lack of proper work-life balance does not adversely affect only an individual, but it affects everyone who interacts with him and, of course, the society at large. It is, therefore, vital that all of us work towards creating a society whose members have a healthy work-life balance.