Maintaining an equitable work-life balance is something we should all be concerned about, but we often find it very hard. Driven as we are by the desire to earn money and advancement in our professional fields, we devote our entire time to work. However, if we don't maintain a good balance between our profession and personal lives, it will only harm us, affect our health and reduce our productivity in the long run.
It is even more challenging for women to maintain an equitable balance since they usually have to bear the burden of housework and work harder at their workplace to overcome gender biases. However, these very reasons make it even more critical for women to strive to achieve the correct work-life balance, which, if they don't, might break them down physically and mentally.
This article will discuss the work-life balance meaning and some of the best ways for women to maintain a good work-life balance.
What is Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance is defined as the relative importance an individual assigns to their professional and personal activities and the level of activities related to their job at home.
The second aspect of the definition mentioned above has become even more important recently. The advent of work from home has removed many barriers segregating the home and the workplace.
Problems Faced by Women in Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Across the world, women were usually responsible for the majority of housework, especially if they had children. At the same time, research has demonstrated that workplaces also place an undue burden on women. For example, a study by Statistics Canada in 2016 found that women do 50% more unpaid work at home than men and that women, in general, reported feeling less satisfied with their work-life balance than men.
A poor work-life balance can lead to increased stress, affect your physical and mental health, lower productivity, and eventually lead to burnout. Hence, every one of you needs to adhere to the importance of work-life balance.
Benefits of A Good Work-Life Balance
Some of the benefits of having a good work-life balance are:
Improved physical health: If you're working all the time, you won't have time to care for your body. You'll eat more junk food, and if you work an office job, you won't get opportunities to exercise. On the other hand, working too long can also cause your body to break down, even if it's a sedentary job; office workers, for example, often suffer from back and neck pain due to lack of exercise. With a better work-life balance, your physical health will also improve dramatically.
Improved relationships: With a better work-life balance, you'll have more time to devote to your family and friends. The quality of your family time will also improve: if you're constantly exhausted, stressed out, and thinking about work, you won't be able to focus on your near and dear ones even while spending time with them.
Increased productivity at work: When employees are happy and motivated while working, they'll work harder and be more loyal to the employer. The best way to cultivate such a productive environment is to give employees enough leisure opportunities to have an excellent work-life balance; employees work best when less stressed out and anxious.
Increased happiness and a sense of fulfillment: The total of the above benefits of work-life balance is that you'll feel happier and more fulfilled. When you control your life and career path, you'll be happier and more satisfied with your job & personal life.
Tips to Achieve a Good Work-Life Balance
Some of the tips you can follow to know the answer to how to maintain work-life balance:
Look for a job that you genuinely enjoy: We are used to hear that "if you find a job you love, you'll never have to work a day in your life" is, to a very great extent, true when it comes to maintaining an excellent work-life balance. If you like the organization you're working for but dislike your tasks, try switching roles. Take online classes to learn new skills which can net you a better job, or even share your resume on LinkedIn or Qweens.
Define your boundaries: If you're working from home, you'll need to set some boundaries to segregate your family and working life. E.g., Ask your family not to disturb you while you're working, fix a time to stop working and stick to it even if you're forced to keep working, create a designated workspace or office, and don't bring work outside it.
Take your vacations: If you have left available, then utilize it! Please don't feel guilty for taking a break: it only reduces the chances of you burning out, increasing your productivity in the long run.
Don't be afraid to ask for help: If you ever feel overwhelmed, don't be afraid to ask for help, be it from your colleagues or your family members. Sharing your burden isn't a sign of weakness; we sometimes need a helping hand.
Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and the work from a home phenomenon, maintaining a good work-life balance has only become harder. We might feel that any breaks we take from work will hurt our chances of success, but they'll improve them. Women's work-life balance should be highly prioritized by various organizations these days. So please don't be ashamed to take a break when you need it! Be the woman who believes in stepping stones, trying for new opportunities, and never looking back again.
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