Balancing your personal and professional lives can often be a struggle. The ever-increasing pressures facing your business, daily, often take priority over anything else going on in your life. The harsh reality of this is that, by not incorporating the harmony work-life balance brings, your business, your health, and your life, are all suffering.
In this first entry of our brand new e-PA: Wellbeing blog, we will discuss the importance of maintaining a work-life balance, it’s benefits to both you and your business.
What is Work-Life Balance, and why is it so important?
In summary, work-life balance is the state of equilibrium reached when an individual balances the demands of one’s career or business, and the demands of their personal life. Some of the most common pressures that can lead to a poor work-life balance include:
- Working longer hours
- Staff-shortage (either through illness or generally being under-staffed)
- Increased responsibility either at work or at home
- Having children
Work-life balance is a vital aspect of a healthy life. Maintaining this equilibrium helps prevent workplace burnout and reduce stress. Chronic stress is one of the most common health issues in the workplace and, if left unchecked, can lead to serious physical consequences, including hypertension and heart issues, along with negative mental health impacts, such as depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Obviously, these personal negative effects don’t stop at health, alone. A 2020 study, performed by Grand Canyon University (GCU), surveyed 600 business people, to get a detailed understanding of the modern worker. Alongside establishing the barriers to work-life balance, the research established the negative effects of maintain a demanding and uneven schedule can have on personal lives and relationships. They found that:
- 49% of individuals’ relationships with family had suffered
- 47% had lost friends, due to them focusing too much on work
- 39% had seen a deterioration in self-care habits
- 38% had suffered from mental and emotional health issues, caused by work
- 35% saw their physical health declining, due to not having more time to look after themselves better
- 28% had to give up hobbies, due to a lack of time
- 17% could no longer find the time for community service and volunteering work
- 16% saw a decline in being able to attend events that inspired and furthered their professional interests
- 9% stated their religion and spirituality suffered
Sadly, it was found that the top consequences of poor or non-existent work-life balance, involve the suffering or loss of relationships. When coupled with the gaps in physical, emotional and spiritual health, it is clear to see how it can be a huge obstacle to being the best version of yourself, and being successful in life and, in turn, in business.
An ACAS report, on flexible working and work-life balance, showed how a poor balance can lead to absence, low productivity and stress but, when balance is achieved, benefits can include:
- Better levels of efficiency and productivity
- Lower levels of absence, sickness and stress
- Increased and more sustainable business growth
- A motivated workforce
- Improved customer service
- Higher retention levels
- More applicants for vacancies
At the moment, it’s fair to say that, here in the UK, we’re not quite there with the whole work-life balance concept. Around 6.5 million UK workers – that’s around 30% of the working population – describe themselves as unhappy and under too much pressure at work.
As highlighted in this article, and its sources, the benefits to businesses and individuals are hard to refute and, by taking the time to switch off, recharge and refresh, all aspects of life will see dramatic improvement.
e-PA are your work-life balance partners. We don’t just actively promote work-life balance… WE LIVE IT! Get in touch to find out how our industry-leading multi-channel answering and business support services can help you achieve the harmony your business and life needs, today.
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