Answers To Achieving Work-Life Balance

Nicole Dunn is the CEO of Dunn Pellier Media, Inc; PR for the fitness, health and wellness sector. getty For decades prior to the pandemic, work-life balance was similar for nearly everyone working in an office setting. People worked from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, doing most […]

Nicole Dunn is the CEO of Dunn Pellier Media, Inc; PR for the fitness, health and wellness sector.

For decades prior to the pandemic, work-life balance was similar for nearly everyone working in an office setting. People worked from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, doing most of their “life living” after working hours and on weekends. Obviously, the pandemic forced many workers out of the office into a hybrid or even fully remote working scenario, and this shifted office routines into a new paradigm. The modern workforce lost its grip on the traditional balance, mixing work with home life more than ever before.

The truth is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to work-life balance. But most leaders don’t spend enough time factoring in ways to keep employees balanced in their happiness, engagement and productivity. Professional burnout is a huge issue and has led many employees to quit in order to create a healthier work-life balance. To understand the vastness of professional burnout, 50 million people have quit their jobs since 2021. That’s a huge number of people who were fed up and missed having flexibility built into their work. They are demanding no more blurred lines.

Which Jobs Have The Best Work-life Balance?

Work-life balance can be found across all industries. According to data taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers where personal well-being, flexibility and work-life balance tend to go hand in hand include software or web developers, ​​physician assistants, dentists, fitness instructors, consultants, accountants and real estate agents.

Among the jobs with the best work-life balance, there are a few commonalities I have seen. Most of these positions allow for a flexible schedule and tend to be work that is rewarding beyond just a paycheck. Additionally, they are jobs in which you have a degree of choice in what work you want to take on rather than having everything determined by someone else. They also tend to be jobs with flexibility built into the work environment, giving one the freedom to work from the comfort of home, in a connective hybrid space or even while traveling.

How Do I Offer My Employees A Better Work-life Balance?

One key aspect of work-life balance you may have control over as an employer is being upfront about the company culture and flexibility that your company offers. Most are now offering fully remote positions or a hybrid scenario while offering self-care perks such as employee wellness days, summer Fridays off and even building in workcations where teams meet up once a year in a vacation-like setting to bond and connect.

Offering flexibility for employees who prefer to operate outside of the standard 9-to-5 structure also makes more sense for parents who need to pick up their kids in the early afternoon or for a team member who may feel most productive when they work in the evenings as opposed to mornings. You can also offer an added layer of flexibility by allotting a few more vacation days (or mental health days) to your HR plan. This gives employees more space to adjust when other parts of life, outside of work, may need more attention than usual.

As An Employee, How Do I Ask About Work-life Balance In An Interview?

There are a few key things you can ask for to get a sense of the work-life balance a position or company can offer. Ask about how much flexibility employees have in both schedule and environment. Additionally, ask what the company does to support employee well-being.

It may feel intimidating to ask these questions in an interview for a job you’re excited about, but remember that you are interviewing them too. If the company offers a degree of flexibility for employees or has programs and processes to support their team’s mental and physical health, they’ll be excited to share about it in an interview. And if they don’t offer flexibility or well-being support, then you want to factor that into your decision about moving forward with the company. There’s nothing to lose from gathering more information.

How Do I Achieve A Work-life Balance For Myself?

Creating and maintaining a strong sense of work-life balance is all about having healthy boundaries between work and the rest of your life. Work is just one part of the mosaic of our lives. From relationships to well-being to our homes and recreation, so many things to put energy toward to carve out and create that balance.

Stay mindful of your personal boundaries and be sure to make time for breaks throughout the work day. I recommend that you take five- to fifteen-minute breaks to walk around the block, enjoy a healthy snack, connect with a friend or give your pet some ear scratches. This will help you be more mindful of what you need to do to fulfill what’s expected of your role while also taking some “me time.”

Americans are working in a new way and the U.S. labor market is showing that the trend of having more balance within a job is now a top priority. Many people are realizing that the old way of working doesn’t work for everyone. Employers can benefit from letting employees create schedules that are less rigid and factor in that balance. But work-life balance looks different for everyone. So, now you get to ask: What does it look like for me?

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