National Work-Life Week presents you with an opportunity each year. If you missed it last week, read on. We’ll go over some ideas to help you make sure that being the best in business doesn’t come at the expense of family life, or even a little ‘me time’.

Demands on our time

Let’s face it, running a business is not a 9-to-5 job and when you’re away from your desk, it’s not easy to switch off. According to government research, nearly one in four of us (23%) think that work and family life are in constant conflict.

Furthermore, just over one in three parents (35%) think that work affects home life in a negative way. And almost three quarters of us think that work affects relationships in some way.

Help is at hand. The Mental Health Foundation has produced a list of top tips to ensure we work smarter rather than just harder.

Don’t get sad, get even

Advice includes:

• Allocate a specific amount of time to each task
• Take proper breaks away from your desk or workspace (don’t just eat lunch at your desk)
• Try to avoid getting caught up in less productive activities (like email management)
• If you work at home, only do it in a dedicated area

Regular exercise is a recurring theme in advice on how to redress your work-life balance. Remember, you don’t have to join a gym to be able to exercise. A walk around the neighbourhood or a bike ride also helps you de-stress – and can lead to fresh ideas.

What can businesses do?

Budgets are either shrinking or under pressure and yet there’s still the same amount of work to do, if not more. And that’s just at home.

Childcare is a big concern for many parents, largely due to cost. In fact, 42% of parents would rather they could spend more time with their kids themselves. Could your business make it easier for employees to complete work at home?

Costs cut both ways, of course. You naturally want your company to avoid extra expenses, while staying productive.

There are several simple ways to keep productivity up without boosting costs:

• Control your temperature – business gas prices vary, but a regular office temperature of 21-23 degrees Celsius helps concentration.
• Regular communication – workers need to know what’s expected of them, and to be involved in setting their own goals. Schedule 15-minute meetings to keep your team in the loop.
• Easy greens – research points to plants as unlikely office heroes. Some (real) greenery in the office can boost workplace satisfaction by up to 15%.

How does your company address work-life balance? Leave us a comment or join us on LinkedIn.

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