Achieving a work-life balance is a concept involving choices and priorities related to the professional (career, work, education) versus the personal (family, friends, recreation) aspects of daily life. These choices may be routine and impact only the short-term, or they may be more significant and life-changing.
Did you know that the average person spends 90,000 hours of their life at work? For most of us, our work is going to fill a large part of our lives and demand a significant investment of our time and energies. Juggling the demands of a career and a personal life can be an ongoing challenge, and the struggle to maintain equilibrium can create conflict and stress for the individual, which translates into decreased productivity for an organization. Achieving a personal optimal work-life balance is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle.
Work-life Balance is a Personal Concept
A person just launching a new career has different priorities than a person nearing retirement. A single person with no children will make different choices than a married person with children or a person caring for aging parents. Someone may thrive working long hours in a typically high-stress job, while someone else may prefer a job with fewer responsibilities and a lighter workload. Preconceived gender roles and societal norms also come into play, even as those roles and norms are continuing to evolve and erode.
Millennials, who have grown up in an era of instant fulfillment, are now entering the workforce looking for a better quality of life and more control over the work-life balance. When it comes to choosing a new job, a majority of young adults consider a better quality of life at work to be more important than a bigger paycheck. Key considerations for this age group tend to be non-financial factors: paid time off, flexibility in work schedules, and professional development.
Fundamentals for Balancing Your Work and Personal Life
1. Love your job. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That axiom may be an exaggeration, but its essence is true. You are more likely to succeed and thrive when you relish your job. Work successes will revitalize you and also enrich your personal life. Conversely, toiling day after day at a job you don’t enjoy saps your energy and your spirit, and the stress will inevitably affect your personal life. You need to appreciate the tasks, the people, the environment, and the opportunities.
2. Love yourself. Take care of yourself! Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and bad exercise habits can counteract any efforts you are making to achieve work-life balance. Your healthy well-being is essential for reducing stress and sustaining your productivity at work and at home. Constantly focus on your personal development and seize opportunities to enrich yourself socially, culturally and intellectually. And don’t forget to reward yourself at work and at home.
3. Know yourself. Self-awareness is crucial. Time is the most valuable commodity, so when managing your time, decide what really matters to you and what is really deserving of your limited time resources. After you set your personal and professional boundaries, respect them and expect others to respect them too. Ask for help and support if you need it, and learn how to pace yourself. Sometimes life will have you running at full speed, but sometimes you can slow down or even stop and recharge.
Smart Employers Take Work-Life Balance Seriously
Employers would be wise to adopt and adapt strategies to encourage their employees to find and maintain their balance. Workers who are stressed and distracted tend to be less productive and to have more conflicts in the workplace. Employers do have options to be part of the solution and not part of the problems by offering alternatives for employees who need flexibility and options.
Healthcare Therapy Services, Inc. (HTS) is committed to recognizing the lifestyle needs of its team members. Our generous Paid Time Off plan allows employees flexibility in allocating valuable time. No longer restricted to the limits of “sick” days or “vacation” days, employees have the discretion to use their time according to their own needs and priorities, or can cash in hours when a little extra cash is needed.
We want our therapists to be the very best, and help our therapists achieve their own professional career goals by providing the highest quality education and training to broaden their knowledge and hone their clinical skills. That’s why we offer our employees free access to the largest continuing education library in the healthcare industry. Newly licensed therapists receive personalized mentoring and ongoing clinical support to ensure that they thrive and excel in their new careers.
To learn more about career opportunities for physical, occupational and speech therapists, contact the team at Healthcare Therapy Services, Inc.