Work-life balance

Is working full throttle, 10-12 hours a day, still the norm that we accept without batting an eye? The generation that remembers the previous system cannot imagine it being otherwise. For them, “honest” work is working full throttle throughout life, on weekends, and after hours. Is it still like that? Or maybe something has changed? Modern young people appreciate the value of family and free time. They want to have the opportunity to pursue their passions, enjoy life. This need is increasingly recognized by employers who see the relationship between employee productivity and their well-being. Is it possible for employers to care about the well-being of their employees? Let’s take a closer look at this issue.

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Table of content

From this article, you will learn:

  • What is work-life balance?
  • What are the assumptions of work-life balance?
  • What are the benefits of implementing work-life balance in a company?
  • How to start practicing work-life balance in a company?
  • Work-life balance – examples
  • What does the idea of work-life balance require from an employee?
  • When does work-life balance not work?

Work-life balance – what is it? Work-life balance – definition.

Today, we cannot imagine working under conditions that were common in the 19th century during the industrial revolution. Since then, much has changed thanks to the commitment of trade unions and workers’ rights activists. However, the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries was not an easy period for employees. Currently, as a result of many changes: social (increased social awareness, knowledge of psychology) and technological (development of mobile communication), we see that it is possible to both perform one’s duties well and conscientiously and enjoy life.

Very often, the idea of work-life balance is misunderstood as an 8-hour workday without overtime followed by disconnecting from work commitments. Although many employees can afford to work in such a scheme, the idea of work-life balance involves a completely different approach.

The idea of work-life balance in Polish means balancing between work and personal life. It involves reconciling work obligations with personal life. Why such an approach? Its essence is the belief that both professional and personal life are equally important. Both employees and employers are beginning to appreciate the idea of work-life balance. Since when is it known? It gained popularity in the last few decades, as workplace and social life trends changed. Certainly, the relative social and political stability and ongoing socio-technological development had an influence on the possibility of its introduction.

Work-life balance examples

Are you wondering how the idea of work-life balance could work in your company in practice? We’ll show you that introducing work-life balance is not so difficult and can bring a number of positive effects. Use our suggestions:

  • Allow the employee to decide how to organize their workday. For example, they can start work at 8/9 in the morning, work for a few hours, take a break (without stating a reason), and return to work at 4 p.m. In this model, it is not about the number of hours spent at work, but about the effect of that work. Of course, by agreeing to such a work model, both sides should agree on what the result of the work should be and predict the necessary time to complete it.
  • Remote work. This solution allows both flexible time management and working from various places around the world.
  • Provide vacation. Days off, including paid leave, allow employees to rest, relax, and spend time with family and friends.
  • Offer wellness programs. Activities such as yoga, pilates, relaxation massage, or dietary advice allow employees to take care of their physical and mental health, which translates into better efficiency at work.
  • Organize family and friends events. Nothing creates a better atmosphere in the company team than integration and building relationships outside of working hours.

Benefits of implementing work-life balance

Everything we’ve written about work-life balance sounds quite pleasant. Right? And now the question: what will the employer get out of these activities? Is it just a one-sided benefit? Absolutely not! Below we present the benefits that may arise as a result of introducing the idea of work-life balance into your company’s policy:

  • good atmosphere in the workplace,
  • increased productivity and employee engagement,
  • employee satisfaction,
  • rested employees,
  • reduction in the number of unjustified sick leaves and unpaid leaves,
  • no need to replace absent employees and shifts in positions,
  • improvement of the employer’s image,
  • easier and more effective recruitment, when presenting an additional benefit at the stage of job offer publication.

Work-life balance – what does it require from an employee?

The idea of balancing between work and personal life sounds interesting and attractive, however, if you want to work like this, you need to remember a few important issues. First of all, ask yourself about your needs – both in the professional and private sphere. The most important thing is to be able to set clear boundaries between work and personal life. Good organization is essential. You must also remember that working on your own terms can sometimes be stressful, so it’s worth finding healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with pressure.

Can work-life balance not work?

From what we have written so far, it follows that work-life balance is a fantastic solution, especially for employees. However, there are situations, circumstances, work environments, and professions in which this concept will not be a beneficial solution. In the following situations, it will be difficult to achieve a balance between work and personal life:

  • promoting employees for availability outside of working hours, for piecework – such a work system does not give the employee space to rest, it depends on intensive work to receive good remuneration,
  • lack of flexibility in some industries or workplaces – there are professions in which the employee’s availability at the workplace at certain hours is essential, for example, medicine, the technology industry, transportation, and logistics,
  • periods of intensified work – balancing between work and personal life sometimes needs to be forgotten during times of tightening or project implementation,
  • personal problems – factors such as personal problems, stress.
Hanna Korzeniowska
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