In an age of growing work flexibility, the significance of a positive work-life balance is more important than ever. With the modern workforce having the resource and technology to work anywhere and increase productivity and workflow, it’s never been a better time to take advantage of these growing trends and enjoy the flexibility we all crave in work.
Given the technological advancements we’re now privy to, it may seem quite easy to enjoy this idea of flexibility. However, as much as the work place has evolved, it’s also up to us as individuals to ensure we don’t let ourselves become too fixated on our work and reap the benefits that flexible working allows.
Here’s some steps you can take to help maintain this positive work-life balance:
Although technology is a great thing and can allow us to do work anywhere in the world, that is also it’s biggest problem. Leaving your office and going back on the train on your commute home, you’ll always find yourself tempted to look at your phone and furthermore use it to check in on e-mails. Having instant notifications on your phone doesn’t help as well as you’ll constantly be getting reminders pop up on your phone.
Having 24 hour access to your work isn’t a healthy thing and you need to set some barriers to separate your work and personal life. Be sure once you’ve stepped outside your place of work or whenever work officially finishes, you unplug and plug back into your personal life with family or friends.
No excuses – Make time for family and friends
We all know the importance of family and friends, they’re what form part of our make-up as people. As our lives get busier, we must ensure we make time for friend and family commitments. Whether it’s a scheduled monthly meet up with friends, or planned family time once every week, to achieve that zen work-life balance, it is these types of plans we can’t let work get in the way of.
Allowing work to take over and get in the way of these plans means your once monthly meet up with friends gets cancelled on the one-off occasion, only for it to be reschedule three months later as this habit of work over life kicks in again. Remember, sometimes saying no is the most powerful thing you can do.
Talk less (about work)
It’s of course brilliant to be passionate about your work but just be mindful of not bringing that passion too much into your home life. Similarly, if you happen to be having a bit of a rough time at work or perhaps not enjoying a particular aspect of it, it’s best to leave it outside the door when you get home.
Whether positive or negative, it’s unhealthy to have an obsession with work that keeps you talking about it to your friends, family or partner. As a result of this obsession, your family life can suffer and aspects of your personal life can become neglected.
Don’t let money drive you
Being motivated by work is important. It keeps you moving forward and allows you to progress rather than stagnate as an employee. You can be motivated by a number of things with your work, and one of those things could be money. There’s of course nothing wrong with being motivated financially. If anything it shows ambition and enterprise and an individual spark that sets you at as being unique amongst the pack. However, don’t let your motivation for money take over you. Becoming too fixated on money as a driving force can bring out a number of bad qualities in a person and this can have a consequential impact on your personal life. Being driven by money alone can lead to obsessive behaviour where you can become consumed by work and you’ll take every given hour to make more money.
It’s of course important to be financially stable, but just take a moment to assess things and realise that sometimes money isn’t the be all and end all.
Plan your day and your workload
Employees staying behind after hours and burning the midnight oil can be down to a number of things, not all of them necessarily healthy. Where you might understandably want to keep up to date or be ahead with your work if you’re about to take some time off, but it could also mean you might not be great at planning your day and managing your workload effectively.
To ensure you’re not staying in at the office after going home time and not missing out on important family or friends time, be sure to plan your day accordingly. Rather than dive head first into your workload first thing in the morning, prioritise your duties for the day and tackle them in a more organised fashion. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to other colleagues for help as it’s better to take on projects collaboratively rather than suffer alone.
Contracting is a growing workforce that is recognising the importance of flexibility in the workplace. Come join one of many contractors reaping the benefits of a flexible working lifestyle and beginning their exciting journey as a contractor, by pre-registering with iContract, the new platform that connects contractors with recruiters and allows contractors to manage their working contractor lives.