National Work Life Week (11 – 15 October) is Working Families’ annual campaign to get both employers and employees talking about wellbeing at work and work-life balance.
There are many reasons why employees may feel that their work life balance has gone or is going slightly out of kilter; from feeling overworked or overwhelmed to putting in additional hours at home after work or one weekends to wanting to carve out more or a better quality of family time.
As well as more formal arrangements around flexible working, there are a number of tips and suggestions that, with a few small adjustments, can help to make your working life and life outside work a more harmonious balance.
Reset your focus:
It can be tempting to try and get another task off your desk before the end of the day, however it is important to effectively manage your workload so you are clear on the most important deadlines each day and for the weeks ahead. If, after carefully considering your priorities, there are too many tasks to juggle or tight deadlines are looming, speak up and see where there may be some flexibility or team members with less pressing workloads available to assist.
Plan downtime into your working day:
Think about ways in which you can build in something for you during your working day whether that is using your daily commute to read or listen to an audio book or taking a proper break at lunchtime and getting outside for a brisk walk or attending an exercise class. If you are primarily working from home, its easy to fall into the temptation of a more relaxed start to the day but perhaps use some of the time saved on your commute to get some fresh air whether that’s an early morning walk or leaving the car behind to do the school run so you feel more energised for the day ahead.
Set some clear boundaries:
It is important to have a clear distinction between your work life and home life; avoid bringing work home as much as possible. There may be occasions when work is particularly busy and it becomes unavoidable – if so, make sure you schedule some time off at the earliest opportunity to recharge. If needing to work outside of your regular hours is becoming the norm you need to look at whether your workload, time management and expectations are realistic – make sure you speak to your manager so you can work together to find an amicable solution. If you work from home, as much as possible, try and put in place a ‘working day’ so you have a clear time frame for starting work and a recognised end of the day and ideally have a dedicated work area that you can leave behind.
For more information on National Work Life Week visit https://workingfamilies.org.uk/nationalworklifeweek/.
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