Is balance possible between work and life these days?
It used to be that when you left the office you were off for the day for the simple fact that you couldn’t work unless you were in the office. There were clear delineations between office life and home life and most bosses expected you to go home and be with your family at the end of the day.
Unfortunately technology has blurred the lines between work and home life, and 57% of employees now say that their tech has ruined the family dinner because their bosses expect a response at all hours of the day. Blurred lines between work life and home life can lead to serious consequences, so if you are having trouble finding balance it’s time to reclaim your time.
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The 40 hour work week was held sacred for decades, but now it is starting to creep up. The average American employee work 8.15 hours a day in a paying job outside the home. Two thirds of full time employees in the United States do not feel that they have a good balance between work and home life. In fact, the United States consistently ranks near the bottom in terms of balance between work and life. Nearly 12% of American employees are working 50 hours a week or more with just 11.4 hours a day devoted to things like sleeping and eating, placing the United States at #30 in work/life balance worldwide.
Number one is The Netherlands, and by comparison only half a percent of people there are working more than 50 hours a week and they devote 15.9 hours a day to leisure and personal care.
There are serious consequences to poor work/life balance. At work it can manifest as poor performance, poor morale, high turnover, and more. At home it can manifest as tension, missed life events, and ruined family time. But there are more severe long term consequences if balance isn’t restored quickly enough. Having your life out of balance for a long time can lead to anxiety and depression, and it’s only downhill from there.
Fortunately it is possible to regain balance when your life seems to be out of control. Even negotiating work from home policies, flex time, and email restrictions can help immensely. Learn more about regaining the balance between work and home life from this infographic.