The overworking typical of our times is undermining the lives of many. After all, we all need a healthy work-life balance.
Last update: February 18, 2022
Today's times bring innovations in the workplace, such as techniques to increase productivity, team building dynamics or new programs to prevent workplace harassment. Among them stands out the work-life balance, or the balance between work and private life.
One of the destructive aspects of this new era is the lack of delimitation between work and daily life. Factors such as social networks, the flexibility of work shifts and the increase in self-employed workers make it practically utopian to work in a short period of time during the day.
In this article we present the concept of work-life balance and how to apply it. Being informed about this allows you to achieve a better work-life balance.
What is the right work-life balance?
Work-life balance is a term in English that refers to the balance between the time and resources devoted to paid work and the time and resources devoted to other vital occupations. Both work and leisure are necessary to ensure physical and psychological well-being.
A person with a good work-life balance does not exceed the established working hours, distributed in a way that reconciles personal and working life.
This means enjoying a healthy work environment and sufficient pay to meet your vital needs. In addition to this, it is necessary to invest money and effort in ensuring fair conditions for workers.
Some companies mask the work-life balance with questionable methods: Record overtime as rest days or pass team building activities as moments of leisure.
Why is work-life balance important?
Proper management of time and resources dedicated to work and daily life is synonymous with well-being and productivity. Let's see below the most important points to keep in mind in the balance between work and private life:
- If no timetables are established, work becomes the only important activity. In other words, if you don't stick to a precise timetable, the feeling of having left some activities pending will be constant. This will lead to work all day.
- Prevent Burnout Syndrome and Depressive and Anxiety Disorders it is essential for the worker to enjoy good health and be productive. If the individual does not have the opportunity to take care of all aspects of his life, sooner or later he will stop producing, whether one wants to or not.
- Life is more than working and being responsible. It is not enough to give people enough time to fulfill their responsibilities. Rest and free time are also necessary to keep the mind and body in good condition.
Let's take a freelance worker for example. Since his earnings depend directly on how much he works, he will tend to extend his working hours to almost the entire waking period. Not knowing how to fix a timetable (as well as job insecurity) will end up generating boredom, anxiety and chronic stress.
Physical health is also affected when the balance between work and private life is not respected. Injuries as a result of incorrect postures taken for several hours, excessive physical exertion or repetition of the same task are an epidemic in the world of work.
How is this balance achieved?
The company and the employee have responsibilities in terms of achieving a healthy work-life balance.
The proposals that we suggest below help to better understand how the company and the worker should work together in order to both benefit:
- Stable schedules: both in the company and a self-employed worker must establish fixed hours, as this is synonymous with health. Flexible limits in terms of work shifts favor exploitation.
- Protect health: it is easy to fall into the error that the body and mind can indefinitely produce. There are solutions that allow it in the short term (psychotropic, anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy, etc.). However, there is a progressive and imperceptible wear that deteriorates health, hence productivity.
- Private life is not just about family: it is necessary to be able to reconcile any area of one's existence with work; in the same way, even those without children have vital needs.
Achieving a healthy work-life balance is possible if companies are committed and do their part; the conscious control of the individual is also important. It is easy to fall into behaviors and dynamics that sabotage well-being and personal rights.
The new times of teleworking
A special mention should be made to telework. As an emerging modality, there are still many aspects to regulate.
The requests increase because the person does not have to move, but it is not always economically convenient and the hours in many cases are not fixed.
Situations like these hinder the achievement of a healthy balance between work and traditional life, and the risk is greater than in traditional work. In any case, it is clear that reconciling all vital aspects is beneficial for all parties.