Work/life balance is the compromise that your professional and personal self make with each other to keep you happy and healthy. While we tend to hear of cases where work dominates the scale, your personal life can also affect your career. In remote work, you may likely be more susceptible to both of these scenarios. That’s why it’s very important to be aware of your work/life balance and the things that can affect it most. We will talk about the benefits and recent obstacles of a healthy work/life balance and ways you can improve yours!
Importance of a Work/Life Balance
Balancing the energy and time you put into work and the rest of your life can be difficult but ultimately beneficial to your wellbeing. This doesn’t necessarily mean a perfect 50/50 split. You may have higher or lower than average career aspirations or a varying degree of familial responsibility. Personal relationships, self-care & wellness, administrative duties (bills, taxes, etc.), community vocations, and hobbies/fun activities are things that most people have to plan around their work-life. This all factors into the ratio of work and life you will want to aim for. Everyone will have a unique mix of these, so an important step is understanding your own needs and wants.
The balance comes in when you match your goals/expectations with your everyday activities. It’s usually not a demanding role or atypical hours that frustrates a person; it’s the unexpected or unwanted nature of these things. When there’s a disconnect between what you want to be doing and what you are doing, your quality of life can suffer. Neglecting leisure, personal care, and responsibilities to those in your life can lead to increased stress, unhappiness, and a downturn in your physical health.
Recent Stressors on Work/Life Balance
We’ve acknowledged the concept of work/life balance in some manner for a long time. We developed cities, created businesses, and changed industry standards all in part due to the balance of work/life required by the workforce. Recent developments in technology as well as the Covid-19 pandemic have reshaped understandings of this concept and present new difficulties.
Mobile versions of email clients and other business communications software (MS Teams, Slack) extended our ability to conduct business remotely. This can be especially beneficial to team members who are often out of the office or work remotely. However, it can also blur the lines of work time and “you” time. Logging off the work computer or leaving the office doesn’t always mean the end of communication for many professionals nowadays. An update about a project you were worried about or a pressing issue only you can solve might bring you right back into work after you’ve checked out.
Pandemic lockdowns sent us home and transformed the way many companies conducted business. In the process, many industries saw large-scale conversion to remote work, measures which have become indefinite for some organizations. The staffing industry was no different, and the blueStone team had to adapt to this new normal along with other staffing agencies. Remote work has been an improvement for many professionals due to easier work-related tasks like commute and operation, but it can be especially difficult to balance work and life. The added pressures of lockdowns were particularly hard on WFH team members with decreased leisure and social opportunities. This led to upticks in burnout and dissatisfaction among professionals who felt like work was most of their daily life.
Improving Your Work/Life Balance
Being aware of these challenges is crucial but so is demonstrating and benefiting from it. Whether you tip further toward work or life than you want to, there are ways to restore that balance.
After-hours messages and emails can be managed by your device’s native settings or third-party software. These configurations allow you to set spans of time that your phone or computer will show you emails or messages. You can set strict boundaries around your agreed-upon work hours or allow for some time before and/or after work hours to catch any last minute or time-sensitive things.
Many email clients can also be set up to send automated messages to mail received after work hours. This can help communicate to others what they can expect from you to plan accordingly. This may help put your mind at ease if you struggle with establishing time boundaries.
Sometimes all the tools in the world won’t fix your work/life balance if a role is too demanding. This may be apparent when trying to apply boundaries to your job that satisfy your needs and then finding out that your performance/activities are not up to your management’s standards. Especially after acknowledging this scenario with a manager and meeting continued resistance, you may want to consider looking for another opportunity. There may be a similar role that allows for a work/life balance that is more aligned with your needs.
Everyday life can affect our jobs when things change or overflow our plans. Remote work in specific can have unique effects on your work life due to the physical distance of your personal life to work activities. Distractions can be harder to ignore but can sometimes be easier to manage in person.
Communication with living mates and/or family members can be a key factor in controlling the effect your personal life has on your work life. This can improve understanding, acceptance, and support of your work duties in those who are closest to you. This is a bit idealistic sometimes though, and you may very well still experience some conflict. However, you can only improve your situation with proper communication, so keep this in mind.
If your personal life demands more than you can give it with your current job, this may also be a sign to consider another role. You may require a balance leaning toward life but working in a position that leans toward work. This disconnect can cause a lot of issues, and many people modify their work to better suit their after-hours life. For some, relationships and hobbies may be non-negotiable forces in managing work, so extra scrutiny is paid to finding a role.
Our Commitment to Work/Life Balance
blueStone Staffing believes the wellbeing of its team is the top priority, and this is reflected in our culture. We design role descriptions and interview processes with the utmost transparency and agency in mind. We provide clear expectations, diligently try to understand your needs and goals, and create from that an acceptable contract that works for both parties. As a result, we build exceptional trust and comfort in our team that translates to remarkable performance.
We also respect our members’ boundaries, observing their preferred timeframes and working with them accordingly. We understand that the staffing industry in specific can be a rapidly-moving and sometimes unpredictable environment; this makes attention to employee wellbeing that much more important. It’s especially critical in a fully-remote environment like ours, where working habits can tend to become more blurred. These tenants are fully supported by the management team, a necessary requirement for successful work/life commitments.
blueStone Staffing is a Certified Woman-Owned IT Staffing Company. We were founded in 2002. One of North America’s premier staffing firms, we assist mid-tier to Fortune 500 clients. We find talented candidates that can help complete your project on time and within budget. Our company is transforming the staffing industry. blueStone has excelled over the last 19 years, becoming the vendor of choice for many of the Fortune 1000 companies located in the United States. We hope to be the consultant that you trust your professional IT project needs to! We will surround you with meaningful attention. Our team creates long-term relationships with our clients, candidates, and associates. In brief, we help great people execute their vision.
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