We all strive for the perfect work-life balance, don’t we? We want to feel challenged at work and loaded with tasks. However, this shouldn’t threaten to spill into your own time and compromise your life outside of work. As with anything, there’s a fine art to landing the perfect balance.
Why is it so sought after and important? Work plays a big part in our lives - it’s what keeps food on the table and bellies full. But with the evolution of technology and apps, you can easily stay connected with work-related matters out of hours or on annual leave.
You never switch off! Which to an extent, we never do - but it’s important that you can pull yourself away and have some downtime for your health and wellbeing. In turn, this will likely improve your productivity when you’re on-the-job too. This post will explain the full extent of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and how you can achieve this.
- The importance of a healthy work-life balance
- The benefits of maintaining a work-life balance
- How can it be achieved?
The importance of a healthy work-life balance
Within a wide scope of industries, you’ll no doubt hear employers banging on about achieving a healthy work-life balance and how their business is prioritising it. It’s a buzzword that’s widely used in recruitment, but do they have the actions in place to back up their words? So, why is it important?
Well, firstly, prioritising a healthy work-life balance is a sure-fire way of looking after yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. If team members are working long hours of overtime over a consistent period with little or no let-up, they’re going to feel the full effects of burnout, fatigue and stress.
In scenarios like this, you have no allocated relaxation time - it’s just work, work, work! That’s no fun for anybody, is it? Plus, as much as some employers would like it to be, your workplace isn’t your only priority in life. Personal lives are packed with various pressures and demands that need to be addressed also - the last thing you want is for this all to mount up and come to a nasty head.
That’s why you need to achieve the perfect balance. That way, you can facilitate the demands of your work life and personal life successfully and efficiently. With the right work-life balance, you’ll find that you’re much happier and will naturally perform better. If the pressure is on in all areas of your life at all times, that’s enough to take its toll on anyone.
You’re only human - stop trying to do superhuman things!
The benefits of maintaining a work-life balance
During busy periods at work, it’s natural for stress levels to rise. Team members are pressured by tight deadlines and having a lot of balls in the air - especially within digital agencies. The last thing team members need is more work piled on them and extra hours on top of each day. By effectively planning and scheduling, you can minimise pressures and help keep stress levels low.
If you’re stressed at work, it’s likely that this may spill into your personal life. We’ve all been there, don’t worry you’re not alone. As a result, your family could feel the effects of your work-life balance when in reality, they don’t deserve that, do they? Maintaining a healthy work-life balance allows stress levels to decrease and overall team morale improves too.
When team members have too much on their plate, it’s quite easy to not know where to start. Plus, you feel as though the time taken to complete one task is borrowed time that could be spent doing something else. It’s an awful position to be in and with that playing on your mind, your concentration levels are bound to take a hit. Therefore, overall productivity levels will dip too.
If your team is more relaxed, they’re bound to work a lot harder. Without a proper plan in place, it can feel as though you’re drowning in your work with nowhere to go. Whereas, clear minds can set defined goals and objectives to help smash through the workload. Productivity is great for team members and the overall business will benefit from it too.
Being under constant pressure and stress is enough to crack anybody! Everybody is different and copes with stress in a variety of ways. After a prolonged period of stress, it won’t take much to tip your team over the edge and for things to get messy - both projectwise and most importantly, healthwise. Therefore, encouraging a healthy work-life balance is imperative to the overall wellness of your team.
Team wellness should be one of the most important factors that you prioritise. Firstly, nothing is more important than health. No project, no task - NOTHING. When you have a team that’s firing on all cylinders, you’re best positioned for success. A happy team is a thriving team! So, always make sure that you’re prioritising overall health and wellness for your team.
How can it be achieved?
Take time off
Your annual leave is there for a reason - make sure that you use it! You’re allocated this time to take a step back from work and reward yourself for the hard work that you put in all year round. You’re free to spend it how you like, however, we find that long holidays by the beach filled with cocktails are the usual desired choice. It works for us!
Businesses may require you to take a minimum amount of days off per year. So, if you don’t use it - you’re at risk of losing those days! You don’t have to have plans to use them either. We’ve had many a good annual leave day that consists of a big lie in and back to back Netflix series. It’s all about rest and recovery and freshening up the mind for your return.
Take short breaks
Sometimes, the way the calendar falls and projects line up means that you might not always get your preferred time off days. Don’t let that hinder you from achieving a perfect work-life balance! We find that taking short breaks throughout the day is a great way of keeping the mind focused and enjoying brief spells of downtime that you need to stay sharp.
At Red-Fern, morning and afternoon breaks are usually enjoyed around the dartboard - well, before COVID that was. However, it’s not the activity you’re doing, it’s more focused on what you’re not doing. Overworking on a project can lead to hitting a wall and can be counterproductive.
For myself, whenever I get writer's block, anything that doesn’t consist of me writing is a good opportunity for a break. You never know, you may come back from the break with further inspiration for how you’d like to shape the task - you’d be surprised at how much that actually happens.
Company culture is an important factor of a work-life balance
Quite simply, if you don’t enjoy where you work, you’re already looking at your job unfavourably, right? Company culture is a major factor in enjoying work and striking the right work-life balance. Nobody deserves to go to work every day and not enjoy it but it’s so common that a lot of people put up with it.
At Red-Fern, we prioritise ensuring that our team members maintain a healthy work-life balance. After all, without them, there’s no us! With that in mind, our company culture is everything to us. For further insight into how we do things at Red-Fern, and how we operate a “work hard, play hard” mantra.
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