ACHIEVING A WORK LIFE BALANCE.
25 February 2020
Striking a balance between your work and personal life can be challenging, but this is essential in order to maintain your physical and mental health.
A work-life balance is about nurturing both your personal and professional life. With chronic stress representing one of the most common health issues in the workplace, many employers are beginning to realise the importance of championing a work-life balance to improve their employees’ wellbeing. However, actually achieving this is a hurdle many of us are struggling to overcome. In this article, we highlight some steps you can take to implement balance and establish a positive working culture.
A recent study showed that 63% of full-timers now work flexibly. Being in an office from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday seems like a thing of the past, with many organisations opting for a flexible working structure, including remote working. Employers who trust their employees to work from home often see enhanced concentration and 13% experience an increase in performance.
At Firefly we have embraced working from home one day a week. This transition has been facilitated by using the AnywhereWorks and Teleport apps, which allow us to catch up and discuss projects as seamlessly as when we’re in the studio. This method of working enhances flexibility, which can be particularly beneficial for employees with children or people to care for. Moreover, not having to commute to work can reduce additional stress.
Setting yourself clear boundaries can be difficult; particularly if you work for yourself, find it difficult to say no, or just love your job. However, whether it’s avoiding working overtime, prioritising your workload or setting realistic daily goals, it is important to make sure you implement boundaries that work for you. If working overtime is unavoidable, receiving time back in lieu can be a great way to counterbalance this.
What may seem like small actions can really help to reduce stress and prevent burnout. Carving out time to spend with friends and family, meditate or do whatever it is you find relaxing may be more productive in the long run than checking your emails in your free time. Having a dedicated laptop and phone for work and avoiding calls out of hours can also help to achieve this balance.
Your working environment can have a powerful impact on various personal factors, including fatigue, memory cognition, depression and cardiovascular health. A functional and aesthetically pleasing space can make a huge difference to a team, inspiring creativity and facilitating collaborative working.
At Firefly, creating an office space for creativity to thrive is something we’ve worked hard to achieve. While constructing the studio we have today, we explored salutogenic design, which, put simply, means designing a space for wellness. The light, noise, temperature, comfort and decor were all taken into account. We are also huge advocates for plants – we really do have a lot of them! Among their many benefits, having plants in your office can help to purify the air by absorbing pollutants and increase oxygen levels.
For many, working in an organisation which encourages learning and personal development is a key consideration. This is beneficial for both the employer and employee, as there is no doubt that constantly building upon your knowledge and skills will have a positive impact on your work.
We believe you should never stop learning, which is why we allocate an hour every week for our team to focus on their own development. How each person chooses to spend this hour is different, and can include completing an online course, reading up on a particular topic, attending an industry event or watching a webinar.
Socialising with your team can help to develop strong connections and increase morale. Taking part in fun activities with your colleagues, unrelated to your day-to-day work, can give teams an opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level and help to build trust. This can encourage everyone to feel more comfortable at work and create a supportive environment.
Although we understand that implementing all of these practices isn’t possible for everyone, there is no doubt that times are changing and workplace practices are evolving to become more fluid, and as a result productive. The industry or country you work in, as well as personal responsibilities or life changes, are also contributing factors when it comes to establishing a balance that works for you. However, it is encouraging to see that many organisations are taking positive steps to adapt and address the current issues facing their employees, with many paving the way for a more progressive working culture.