by Pete Dillon, Marketing Communications Consultant,
Managing your work life balance on holidays.
How do we maintain our work life balance all year round? What are the options?
There’s no doubt Australia does okay when it comes to maintaining a healthy work-life balance, compared to the rest of the world, but we still rank below average, according to the OECD Better Life Index
The reason why the balance remains off for most people can be one of two things – either the ethos of the individual or the business you work for.
Some top-level professionals view a 40-hour week as “part time.” Any company with this philosophy is sure to encourage a workaholic attitude, burnout and high turnover.
Getting the right balance is essential for personal health, and the health of the business you are employed by. Employees need to come into work refreshed – whether that’s following a work-free weekend or a relaxing holiday break away from their emails. Getting this right can boost efficiency and creativity. Getting it wrong can have detrimental effects on the business and the employees.
With so much at stake, what’s the answer to a work-life balance that lasts all year round?
One solution: A technology first mind-set
The solution to this 21st century problem is a very 21st century invention – hand held technology. While effective time management and a lot of self-discipline can go a long way, the best way to escape the confines of your desk and enjoy a better working life is by embracing technology.
Your working life should be flexible, allowing you to adapt to whatever your personal life throws your way and new technology allows you to do just that – whether it’s the school holidays, Christmas or Easter breaks, or just a hectic week in February.
Even without the productivity benefits of allowing employees to better manage their time, flexible working should be on the cards anyway. A rigid, office-based, nine-to-five structure just doesn’t fly in the modern office environment. We encourage our team at Focused Marketing to adopt this flexible mindset, especially where kids are involved.
The nature of the global economy means that there is no longer a standard working day. The concept of working 9 to 5 doesn’t make much sense.
With customers, clients and colleagues scattered across the globe – whose 9 to 5 would you use? It can be 9am in New York, 2pm in London and 1am here in Brisbane. It makes sense to have a more ‘individualised’ approach to working hours; be sensible and don’t stay up all night to make a call that can wait.
One of the only downsides to relying on mobile technology is that everywhere can become your office; you can pick up emails while doing the grocery shopping, monitor your sales stats in the gym and even make a call just before reading your kids a bedtime story.
Technology means you can stay connected wherever you are, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay connected to your mobile every second of the day. How many times when you are having some family time, have you heard yourself say “I’ll just finish this email and then I will be with you?” Create a mobile sundown or schedule a few hours of work time after kids have gone to bed so you can spend more time with them during the day when school is on leave.
If used with the right attitude, these innovations can greatly improve work-life balance and look to be the future of a more healthy, happy relationship with the office.
While work is important, you can’t let family members become strangers, the couch to gather dust and your holiday time go unused. How do you get the work-life balance right? Let us know your tips.