Work-Life Balance and Its Implementation

Work-life balance is a term used to describe the balance that a working person needs between the time allotted for work and other areas of life, whether it is family or personal interests. Gragnano et al. argue that a better work-life balance contributes not only to job satisfaction, productivity and organizational commitment, but also to life and family satisfaction (2). Some people believe that there should be no balance between work and personal life, that is, if a person loves their career, they should devote all their free time to it. However, the lack of proper rest and too long working days have a terrible effect on concentration, attention, ability to work and mood, family relationships, and, in general, on the quality of life. Company managers need to understand what the work-life balance is for the employee and assess how it will correspond to the company’s goals. It is necessary to understand the quality of life and the need to increase the satisfaction of all employees by separating work and personal life.

Regardless of the company an employee works for, what kind of activity they are engaged in, they must separate their personal life and work, at least not to be exposed to stress. Work-life balance is a division by priority characteristics between personal and professional activities (Kukhnavets). Previously, people more clearly separated work and personal life; now, it is more challenging to do this since new technologies make it possible to work from home. When such technologies did not exist, people had clearly defined working hours and mandatory tasks that they sought to have time to do. Now, due to home office opportunities, employees do not strive to have time to fulfill their goals at work because they understand that they will finish work at home. Thus, working both in a working environment and at home, people gradually realize that they do not have free time to spend on vacation or with their family.

Gradually, people begin to get tired, mope and realize that they are constantly working. In addition, due to fatigue and stress, the work to which a significant amount of time is devoted also does not work out well. Obsession with working moments, lack of relaxation, and rest lead to the fact that the employee’s productivity decreases, new ideas do not come, the manager notices a reduction in working indicators and becomes dissatisfied with his co-worker.

Achieving a work-life balance has proven to be extremely important for employees’ mental and even physical health. In the working environment, a little stress, which leads to new tasks and challenges, is also not harmful but even beneficial because it forces employees to mobilize physical and intellectual forces, allows you to solve complex jobs faster, and increases labor productivity. Prolonged stress damages the mechanisms of self-regulation of the body and leads to subsequent violations of biorhythms. The natural cycle of sleep and wakefulness changes; as a result, performance and self-control decrease, memory and attention deteriorate. The prolonged stress can lead to serious health problems, negatively affect work and relationships with colleagues, and its final destination is burnout syndrome.

The lack of this balance often leads to the so-called emotional burnout. Emotional burnout is a syndrome of depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and a decrease in personal satisfaction (Klusmann et al. 174). Maslach & Leiter state that there are three main aspects of burnout: overwhelming exhaustion, detachment from work and a sense of cynicism (37). Emotional burnout ultimately leads to the employees losing their efficiency and motivation for high-quality work. As for the health itself, emotional burnout leads to heart disease, sudden changes in blood pressure, and sometimes to diabetes. From the described consequences, it can be seen that a violation of the balance between work and personal life leads to adverse effects for both employees and business.

The benefits of a healthy work-life balance lead to stronger relationships, as it allows them to spend time with their family. As a result, people find each other’s company exciting and suggestions, whether it is business or personal life. This increases labor productivity, allowing people enough time to relax, be distracted from work, pursue their interests, and participate in their hobbies. This, in turn, increases productivity and creativity. In addition to increasing productivity, work-life balance helps in achieving life goals. When employees begin to attach equal importance to all aspects of life, their level of happiness increases, and they will resume their work with new forces.

A balanced time for work and personal life has a beneficial effect on human health. For example, it is reflected through a weight change. Lack of balance can lead to a sharp gain or loss of weight due to improper nutrition and lack of physical activity. Weight gain occurs because people are inclined to eat various unhealthy foods in a hurry. Weight loss occurs since people do not have time for lunch or even a snack because the time for work is not distributed correctly. In addition to changes in body weight, a person is prone to exhaustion in constant stressful situations. Insomnia, poor nutrition, lack of rest can lead to minor health problems, such as dizziness and digestive disorders, as well as to more global health problems, such as various diseases of the internal organs and the nervous system (Arenofsky, 13). This can be avoided by drawing up a balanced work and rest schedule so that all internal systems have the opportunity to return to normal after stress and “reboot.”

In addition to the fact that the balance of work and rest improves physical and mental health, interpersonal relationships are also maintained in a normal state. Everyone needs to communicate, spend time with family and friends, and share their experiences and thoughts with someone. At work, this is allowed only for working moments, so it is necessary to allocate time free from work. Emotional relief through communication will let us not think about work, share any information with loved ones, and refresh the mind for new ideas.

Moreover, there is a benefit for employers in the balance of work and personal life. Employees who have everything in order with a work-life balance increase the company’s productivity and reduce conflicts between colleagues and management due to increased motivation and lower stress levels. Employees are more likely to feel motivated and less stressed at work. A favorable environment in the team, high labor productivity, and new ideas all contribute to the positive development of every employee and the entire business. The managers should contribute to the satisfaction of their employees, as this will help preserve their business and make it more efficient.

This part of the essay will provide recommendations for managers to improve the workflow for employees. In addition, recommendations will be given directly to the employees themselves, which will help them improve their quality of life and avoid burnout. Managers need to organize the working day of employees in such a way that they can manage to complete the tasks on time and at the same time do not experience stress when performing too heavy tasks. It is necessary to distribute tasks among employees. For example, someone gets a complex job but with an extended deadline, and someone gets several simple tasks with shorter deadlines. In addition, managers need to designate several short breaks for employees, during which they can relax, have a snack or spend time at their discretion. This type of break should be separate from a long lunch break. A company that values employees’ well-being and moral contribution will be more severe and professional both for customers and for other employees.

Employees need first to organize their workplace and to have all necessary materials and objects at hand, while everything that is less necessary should be excluded from the work area. Thus, they will not spend valuable time searching for a particular tool and will remain calm and not stressed. Furthermore, employees need to organize their work schedule and strictly adhere to it, that is, not to spend extra time except for the time allotted for parsing mails on small tasks when it is necessary to perform more voluminous ones.

To improve the quality of life, people need to separate work from rest. That is, when they spend time with their family and friends and relax, there is no need to check their work email or sit in working social networks. Quality food will also improve the quality of life. It is recommended to buy fresh products and cook them at home and do it as simply as possible. A properly balanced menu will allow you to keep your figure and not disrupt the digestive processes in the body. Regular sports activities will be a good option for maintaining health and well-being. Physical activity can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline while maintaining physical functions (Dillon). There are various training programs for home, gym, and even for the office. The last recommendation is to spend the day in the way that people feel comfortable and have a rest mentally and physically. Any action that helps distract attention from work and that will help relax will be helpful for mental health and maintaining life balance.

In conclusion, conscious planning of working and free time, and high quality of life will help employees feel calm and balanced, and managers will achieve their business goals and objectives. This is possible if one maintains a balance between work and personal life. All people need to rest, mentally unload and maintain their health to achieve a high level of productivity at work. Managers need to monitor the workload of their subordinates because their condition directly affects the success of the business. People need to monitor their stress levels, as this directly affects every area of life. In addition, it is essential to monitor the state of health and, in a critical case, refuse the job, which carries negative consequences and does not give rest.

Works Cited

Arenofsky, Janice. Work-life Balance. Greenwood, 2017.

Dillon, Kirsten. How to improve health and quality of life for long-term care residents: Sit less, move more. The Conversation, 2021, Web.

Gragnano, Andrea, Simbula, Silvia, and Miglioretti, Massimo. “Work-Life Balance: Weighing the Importance of Work-Family and Work-Health Balance.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 17, no. 907, 2020, pp. 1 20.

Klusmann, Uta, Aldrup Karen, Schmidt Juliane and Ludke Oliver. “Is Emotional Exhaustion Only the Result of Work Experiences? A Diary Study on Daily Hassles and Uplifts in Different Life Domains.” Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, vol. 34, no. 2, 2021, pp.173-190.

Kukhnavets, Pavel. What is Work-Life Balance and Why is it Important to Encourage it? Hygger, 2021, Web.

Maslach, Christina and Leiter, Michael. The Handbook of Stress and Health: A Guide to Research and Practice. Edited by Cooper, Cary and Quick, James, Wiley Blackwell, 2017.