The Work-Life Balance: How to Get Started

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Everyone is trying to achieve the elusive work-life balance in order to live a fulfilled life. Work-life balance is a concept that encourages efforts of the workforce to find an equilibrium of the expenditure of time and energy between career and other pursuits in their lives such as family, love, personal development, etc. For work-life balance to be effective, it requires daily consciousness and effort to allow time for family, friends, community participation, personal growth, self-care and other personal activities over and above the demands of the workplace.

Work-life balance can be attained with the assistance of a supportive employer who institutes policies, procedures, action, and expectation that provides an opportunity for employees to pursue a more balanced life.

The quest for work-life balance results to a reduction of stress experienced by employees. Spending majority of their time on work-related tasks and feeling of neglect in other important areas of their lives lead to stress and unhappiness. Work-life balance allows the employees to feel that they are not neglecting important aspects of their lives. Since many individuals desire to excel in numerous part of their lives with time as a finite commodity and your body which can’t function 24/7, finding the balance is difficult.

Employers can support the pursuits of their employees for a balanced life by offering opportunities through flexible work schedules, paid time off policies, responsible time and communication expectations and company-sponsored family activities and events. Managers also play a crucial role. If the manager is also pursuing balance in his own life, he will model appropriate behavior and support employees’ pursuits. It also creates a working environment where work-life balance is expected, enabled and supported.

Know Your Way

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Work-life balance is described as an unattainable goal for working parents or single parents. Yes, it will involve hard work and a lot of sacrifices but finding that balance is not impossible. Work-life balance starts with planning. Before accepting your next job, take time to identify your true needs from the broadest perspective. You might come to realize that a lesser paying position closer to the daycare is favorable than other options. Parents often consider job location. The commute and the proximity to the school or daycare may mean more or less timespent bonding with your child and family. For many parents, the satisfaction and fulfillment in seeing their child and family more often will translate to a productive and more relaxed time at work. During job interviews, ask and keep your ears open about the company’s policy on telecommuting, work culture, and time flexibility. The benefits are usually disclosed at the time of the job offer. Some have their policies on the company’s website. If you have the chance to chat with other employees, ask about their corporate culture, daycare benefits, personal time off, etc.

Make Mealtimes A Family Time

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Here is a common encounter for families during a work or school day – everybody is very busy in getting ready to go to work and school. Chaos on weekday mornings is a normal scene in a typical household with working parents and kids. Press the reset button and start the day in a positive mood with a sit-down and healthy breakfast. Research shows that a brief morning family meal for as short as 15 minutes provides some form of keeping touch and minimizes the stress for everyone. It also comforts your children that they are your priority. In case, you can’t meet them for lunch and dinner at least you have that one meal with them. Also, an after-dinner activity with the family is also a great routine to foster bonding.