You may feel that modern life is a constant juggling act between the commitments of work and home. But apparently, things are getting better: 24% better, to be precise.
That’s the finding of our new Work-Life Balance Index – a survey of more than 16,000 professionals in over 80 countries around the world. It looked at how much we’ve got on our plates and how happy we are that we’re getting the balance right, with surprising results:
Well over half of us (69%) enjoy work more now, than in 2010
Nearly 7 in 10 of us are happy with the amount of time we spend at home or on personal pursuits…
…And that’s despite the fact that a worrying proportion (63%) of us are working harder than ever as we’ve had to take on additional duties which haven’t been subsequently picked up by new employees
The majority of us (74%) feel that we’re achieving more at work than we were two years ago
So how’s this positive change come about? It’s simple: businesses have recognised that a good work-life balance makes people happier. And happy people are more productive.
So lots of companies have taken steps to help, like introducing flexible working (41% of respondents say their businesses have tried to shorten commute times). And there’s always more we can do ourselves to get the balance right.
Here are five ways to improve your work-life balance:
1. Free up some time – some employers allow for shorter weeks of longer days, so take advantage and claw back an entire day or just an afternoon!
2. Get your working hours in order – establish regular times for leaving home/arriving to work, and for leaving work/arriving home. This way, both your employer and your family know what to expect, and when to expect you.
3. Prioritize – use to-do lists and categorise the items as ‘essential’, ‘important’ or ‘nice-to-do’. At a glance then, you’ll be able to see what’s urgent and needs to be done and what isn’t so important but could be done, so you won’t waste time doing unnecessary bits and regain time for yourself.
4. Ask for help – make use of support networks at home and at work. Coworkers can help you complete tasks when you’re feeling particularly overloaded, while family and neighbors can assist with household tasks, shopping and the kids. Everyone needs a hand sometimes, so be sure to return the favour.
5. Look after yourself – if you’re always tired, it can be tough to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Ensure you’re eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, and incorporate exercise into your routine as it can help to relieve stress and increase your energy levels. Try to establish a consistent sleep routine too, so you’re well rested and ready for the challenges each day brings!