National Work Life Week takes place in October – an initiative created by Working Families that gives employers the chance to showcase how they provide work life balance for their staff.
How can we as individuals take responsibility for our own work life balance? Here are some tips that you can implement into your day-to-day routine…
1. Don’t be afraid to speak up if work demands and expectations are becoming too much. If you are overloaded with tasks, it is okay to let your boss and colleagues know so that they can pitch in and help. Staying silent will leave you feeling isolated and worried, and could cause problems for your employer further down the line.
2. Prioritise urgent deadlines and try allocating a set amount of time to tasks, focus on these tasks and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by emails or phone calls. Completing them in a structured way will give you a deserved sense of achievement when ticked off your list.
3. Take a proper lunch break. A recent survey by Eggland’s Best found that fewer than half of British workers leave their desk at lunch time, and the average lunch break is 30 minutes or less. It is important to step away from your desk, and the office if you can, to pause and refresh ready for the afternoon.
4. Exercise is a great way to destress, as well as giving you an endorphin kick. Make time for hobbies, too, as focussing on something that you are passionate about is stimulating to the brain and helps to ward of feelings of anxiety.
5. Put down devices before you climb into bed. Many office workers will spend hours every day using screens, then watch TV at home, then browse their phone or tablet before finally closing their eyes to sleep. Try putting down your device at least 15 minutes before you go to bed – scrolling through social feeds right up until you switch off the light will keep your brain active, making it more difficult to drift off to sleep. (Apple’s iOS 12 update includes a feature that tells you how much time you have spent on your apps!)
6. Leave work at work. It isn’t always possible, but try and leave work at the office when you are finished for the day. Of course, during particularly busy periods, it’s necessary to check your emails whilst your out of the office, but not at the expense of your health. If you do have to work from home, try and do it in a dedicated area of the home and keep it there, away from areas where you relax and rest.
You can also read our 10 tips for a productive workday here.