What can you do to improve your work-life balance?

The working culture in the UK is becoming increasingly demanding. It’s now common for people to work longer hours and take on extra responsibilities to meet this demand. This is putting them under lots of pressure, leading to high levels of stress and even contributing to longer-term mental health issues. A recent survey found that 52% of UK workers do not have a good work-life balance! 

In the last few years, companies in the UK have started to move towards a more hybrid approach to working to promote flexibility and give their employees more control of their personal work-life balance. However, as more people are now working from home it’s more important than ever for companies to have support systems in place to keep employee morale high and promote the importance of balancing your work and personal life.  

The common signs of a poor work-life balance:

Tiredness and problems with sleep – Do you constantly feel tired throughout the day and lie awake at night worrying about work? If the answer is yes, then this is a strong sign that you have a poor work-life balance. It’s vital that you’re getting enough sleep at night so you can recharge, helping you to be more focused and productive at work the next day.

Feelings of stress/anxiety – It’s natural for you to feel some stress and anxiety, for example when coming close to an important deadline or pitching your products to new clients. However, if you are constantly experiencing high levels of stress/anxiety and can’t take your mind off work then this is a sign of a poor work-life balance. This could be a result of a heavy workload, which is causing you to work overtime regularly, neglecting crucial time with your family and friends.   

Changing in eating habits – You might argue that your work schedule is too busy to maintain a healthy balanced diet, your day is jam-packed with important tasks and meetings that leaves no time for breaks to get food. You are likely to end up relying on unhealthy fast-food to fuel you for the day, which is not good for you. 

Steps you can take to improve your work-life balance

The first step, that you take almost instantly, is to schedule your day more effectively ensuring you have enough time around work for your own personal life. Something as simple as writing a to-do list at the start of the day to help you keep on track with your tasks and highlight those that are a priority. Once you’ve been able to create a schedule for your day it’s then important you are able to stick to it, don’t cram in hundreds of tasks that you know you won’t complete. Sometimes this is unavoidable, and in this case the next step is to speak to your manager. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns about your workload and how it is affecting you. Your manager will be able to delegate some of your responsibilities elsewhere, relieving some of your stress and helping to improve your work-life balance. It may be the case that you just need to take a break! Booking some time off to spend time with your family and friends might just be what you need. You can take your mind off work and when you return you’ll come back more productive with a fresh mindset. 

You will never be able to find the ‘perfect’ work-life balance, there might be days when a meeting overruns into your lunch break but equally some days you might find spare time to relax and spend time with loved ones. The goal is to be the most productive and engaged you can at work while also having time away from the desk to prioritise your health and spend time with family and friends.