Achieving work life balance has always been an obstacle for anyone with a full-time job (and many part-time jobs/freelance work).And in the age of cell phones and email, it’s hard to ever get away from bosses and tasks and looming deadlines.
You’re probably guilty of the good old “casually checking my work email at a social outing” cliché. In fact, we’re all guilty of this.
We can no longer go home from work and leave our responsibilities at our desk – or in a briefcase. We carry our responsibilities with us everywhere we go on our cellphones.
Employees are expected to be available whenever an *URGENT* email enters their inbox. It’s Mother’s Day? Not for our clients overseas!
Does this sound familiar? Have you fallen victim to the complete lack of work life balance from electronic communication devices?
Achieving work life balance in the digital workforce doesn’t have to be as hard as climbing Mt. Everest. With a little clarity, communication, and commitment, you will be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
Achieving Work Life Balance in the Digital World:
This involves lucidity between those who manage you, those that you manage, and yourself. Everyone must have an understanding of the expectations and realities in your job especially in relation to theirs. Proper delegation saves time for all parties involved.
Furthermore, there should be an understanding that during non-office hours and weekends, employees are not required to respond to emails. Unless something goes extremely wrong and needs to be fixed, employees (including yourself) are entitled to their time off. With that being said – vacations are meant to step away from work. Stay true to your out-of-office and keep your mind out of the office as well.
If you’re working towards having more clarity on your team or in your department, your communication practices should be investigated. For starters, are you attending regular meetings with those that you work with? If not, how do you expect everyone to be on the same page? Those late night email requests usually stem from confusion and misunderstanding.
With great communication, you’ll find things being done right the first time. Achieving work life balance with great communication is one surefire way to make sure you leave the office with no weight on your shoulders.
This is the most crucial of the 3 C’s of work life balance. If you don’t commit to trying to be better about separating work life and home life, you’ll never see improvement. This means you need to be on top of your schedule.
At the beginning of each week, make a checklist of all of the things you need to get done this week. If you rely on other peoples’ timeliness to get your job done, make sure you have reoccurring, scheduled meetings to hold each other accountable to responsibilities.
Commitment also involves not returning to old habits. Go out to dinner with your family, leave your phone at home. Go on vacation – leave your computer and phone off. Learn to find peace knowing that you left work for the day (or before your trip) having done everything you needed to do.
Time and time again, tomorrow brings a new day to focus on tasks and responsibilities. Everyone yearns for achieving great work-life balance. Don’t penalize employees for not answering an email after work hours. Don’t expect a vendor to answer you on a Sunday evening. And most importantly, be an example of someone that respects a level work life balance. The more people that actively and noticeably get on board, the easier it will be to achieve work life balance in the digital world.