Indeed, recent research shows that a higher percentage of people now spend more time working than they did before, and feel like they do more work for the same, or even less pay.
On the surface this may seem like the natural outcome of the tough economic times we are living in, but in the longer term, this approach can only backfire. This is because over the long haul, a motivated and satisfied person is likely to be much more productive than a burnt out and overworked individual.
Economic difficulties and job insecurity can cause immense stress and anxiety. Often people put in more and more time working and less and less time into family and personal life, in order to combat financial troubles. But this turn inevitably causes more anxiety and stress.
When all is said and done, no matter how difficult the circumstances, a happy and motivated person can be much more effective in tackling them than someone who is not.
So here are a few work life balance tips on striking a healthy work life balance and ensuring your long term happiness, despite the recession.
1. Assess if You Are Your Own Enemy
If you feel overworked and crave a healthier balance between your professional and personal life, the first thing to do is assess what is really causing the problem.
While heavier workloads and work pressures are the common cause in today’s world, this may not necessarily always the case. For instance, personal attitudes towards work could also be to blame.
Sometimes, work becomes so central to a person’s identity that they cannot pull themselves away from it. Two common traits of people who cannot draw a line between work and play are people who thrive on the adrenaline of working too much, and those who thrive on the feeling of ‘martyrdom’.
2. Stop Being Your Own Enemy
Thinking about the real causes of your poor work life balance will help you tackle the problem effectively.
If the problem lies within your attitude towards work, then working on your attitudes is the only way to tackle it. Adrenaline may keep you going, but it is short-lived.
On the other hand, having a well-rounded life can keep us motivated and happy with our professional life over the long term.
And being a martyr who does all the work serves no purpose other than to fuel your ego for a while, ruin your personal life, and annoy your colleagues.
3. Find Out if Your Employer is Recession Savvy
More commonly, the problem of a skewed work life balance lies with growing work related pressures.
While most employers are putting the personal wellbeing of employees on the back burners and focusing on getting more done from less people, the recession has also given rise to more enlightened attitudes within some companies.
These are companies that recognise that allowing more flexibility in modes of working can not only help them get more work done, but keep employees happier at the same time.
4. Make Work Flexible to Achieve Work Life Balance
Doing away with rigid office hours, and allowing for flexible working hours can help us plan our personal and professional lives in a much more effective manner.
Practices like occasionally working from home, or telecommuting to work can also be the perfect way to get more done without having to compromise on time at home.
There are many ways to tackle the problem of work life balance in the increasingly difficult economic climate – and the answer lies in creative and innovative attitudes towards work.
5. Prioritize Your Life
Ultimately striking the right work life balance, whether it is in a recession or not, boils down to prioritising.
Agreed that there isn’t always a choice, but more often than not, we do have a choice to make about whether to spend our waking hours making money or doing something that gives real meaning to our lives.
Making a choice comes with some implications which you need to handle, but at least you’ll be in control of your own time!
What kind of work life balance tips do you have for our readers?
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Article by Richard McMunn
Richard McMunn is the director and founder of How2become.com; a career and recruitment specialist.
Richard has written a number of books and helped numerous applicants prepare for and pass recruitment processes. Connect with How2become on Twitter.
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