Work / Life Balance

Whether working from home, or having our work email come through to our phones, the boundary between our work lives and lives outside of work is becoming less distinct. It is rare nowadays to be disconnected. The feeling of constant connectivity is one of the reasons why more of us are experiencing stress, which in turn can lead to poor mental health.

In 2017 The Centre for Mental Health released a report (Mental Health at Work: Developing a Business Case) which estimated the average cost to employers in Britain for employees experiencing poor mental health to be £1300 per employee, over a 25% increase from 10 years previously.

A recent survey found that four out of five people believed stress to be a part of their daily life. Stress is an emotional strain and we often experience it at work when we feel out of our depth, perhaps in relation to our perceived abilities and limitations and/or time constraints. Having a good work/life balance can help to reduce our feelings of stress and improve our overall happiness. It is important to take a step back and consider the demands of our professional and personal lives and from there begin to form realistic boundaries. A good starting point is to define your working day hours, and within those hours prioritise events in a list. This is a great habit to practise and helps both with organisation and focus of concentration.

Create a time and space to rest each day and adhere to that time. If something is asked of you, assess your prioritised list, in relation to your workload and defined working hours, and if an extra requested task adds pressure to your workload, it is okay sometimes to say no. Perfectionism in many respects is unachievable, and in many respects adds extra pressure. Build from small steps that are manageable and adjustable.

If your health is impacting on your day to day activities and you are not sleeping, waking early and struggling with routine tasks and commitments, it is sensible to speak with your line manager, so work tasks be can be reviewed. Your line manager should be supportive and they have a duty of care, although they need to know how you are feeling so change can be made.

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