Work-life balance has increasingly become a global issue. This means more focus on mental and physical health initiatives in the workplace. And while customers have placed more demand on businesses with increasingly high expectations for service on demand, this requires many employees to work overtime.
The current trend in employee relations is to assist the workforce in the implementation of policies intended to reduce stress in both private and work life to benefit the organization, customer, and employee.
With the U.K. opting out of the European working time directive, employees have the option to work more hours with written consent. Many employees find the very idea of adding more work hours to their day stressful, citing no time for other commitments and personal wellness care.
Ask any manager if they take their work home each day and the answer would be a resounding, yes. Internet access and cellular phones have made it increasingly easy to have an office at home and work at the cost of privacy and much-needed downtime. At the same time, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is gaining more attention for businesses in the U.K. due to the emergence of consumer activism via social media and internet grass roots organizations, which can take a perceived injustice to a global audience causing a damaging backlash.
Celebrities and world famous CEOs weigh in on work-life issues as well, some with surprisingly insightful thoughts on self-reflection necessary to make decisions affecting a balanced life. Hillary Clinton offers a simple directive to professionals climbing the corporate ladder: “Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.” Others such as Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano agree. In his celebrity blog, Luca said, “The will of having fun in the right way, mixing pleasure with a series of “sacrifices” that in the long run will decrease in number and become the desire to be competitive, proving to oneself and to others that you know how to do what you are doing!”
You must ask yourself, in what ways am I bringing enjoyment into my life? If you have difficulty answering, it’s time to take some steps to add this crucial element to your life.
Boundaries are extremely important to a healthy work-life balance as well. Having the confidence to create boundaries with difficult people in each realm can be learned and practiced in small increments, if necessary. Success by no means should cause misery, finding a balance can now be achieved with the help and support of programs in the workforce set in motion to create more of a partnership than a dictatorship.
The global workplace is increasingly becoming a place in which the savvy employer draws in the best candidates with incentives relating to self-care. Tech giant Google is a prime example of just how these incentives bring the best and brightest to their doorstep with a whopping 97% satisfaction rating among their workforce. To be fair, most businesses do not have the capital to implement the wildly innovative perks seen at Google, but it is time for most to have a long-term plan in place to promote wellness at work and at home.