Finding Work-Life Balance

Feel like you haven’t quite nailed the ‘balance’ part of work-life balance? Well, research shows there’s a good chance you haven’t. Recent findings from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation reveal that employees all over the globe, try as they might, aren’t quite getting the balance right between their professional and personal lives.

However, finding that sweet spot is one of the best things you can do for your career and your home life. Here are a few simple tips we can do to help even the scales.

1) Signs we’re a bit wobbly

Sometimes we can be at an imbalance in our work and home lives without even noticing it and knowing what to look out for gives us a better chance of re-balancing the scales and finding that happy medium. According to international business coach, Denise Chilton, here are some signs that our work-life balance might be a bit off kilter:

  • We constantly feel tired.
  • We find it hard to find ‘me’ time.
  • We’re sometimes impatient or irritable.
  • We can’t remember the last time we had fun.
  • There’s not enough time to spend with friends & family.
  • We’re struggling to focus at work.
  • We feel like we have too much to do, all the time.
  • We’re constantly striving for perfection.

Once we’re aware that the work-life balance in our life needs a bit of adjusting, we can get to work finding our best selves again, in and out of the office.

2) The benefits of a good balance

The benefits of learning to juggle our work and home lives are huge, in fact the French (who already only have 35-hour working weeks) believe the balance is so important that in 2014 they imposed a law that says workers in technology and consultancy sectors must ignore work emails (even from the boss!) after 6pm. Similarly, that year Sweden also began trialling six-hour workdays to try and improve productivity and morale among workers. What were the results? Participants logged less sick leave, reported better perceived health, boosts in productivity, and most importantly – a notable increase in their happiness.

3) Improved health & well-being

Making small changes to our work habits and routines can do wonders to our health. Something as simple as leaving work on time at least a few days a week can reduce stress, help us sleep better at night and reduce the risk of heart problems. Other ways of achieving a balance, like leaving our work in the office and not checking emails outsides of hours, can improve our mental and physical health too.

4) Higher productivity

Finding the right work-life balance can give our overall productivity a huge boost. Why? Because if we come to work feeling fresh and well-rested, we’ll have more energy to tackle tasks in the office. Doing simple things like reducing our overtime and making sure we get enough distracted sleep at night (tip: turn those phones off!) then means we’ll have even more time outside of work to get on top of important tasks in other areas of our lives.

5) Greater enjoyment

Hitting that balance between work and home life will make us happier people. We’ll enjoy work more and we’ll feel more relaxed at home. Taking up a new sport or hobby, or even organising more family activities during the week, can put us in a great frame of mind to better overcome workplace challenges when they pop up and to put in those few extra work hours when they’re needed.

6) More ‘me’ time

Cutting back on certain aspects of our life means we have more time to spend on others, like ourselves! Leaving our laptop in the office or leaving our work phone behind when we go on holiday means giving ourselves more ‘me’ time to work on improving and developing ourselves, which will do wonders to both our work and personal lives.

7) Increased presence

Hitting that sweet spot when it comes to work-life balance will mean we’re there more for the important stuff. Whether it’s coming into work early to help prepare for in important presentation or leaving work on time to watch our child’s soccer game, learning to balance our time well means making the best use of it for yourself and those around you.

8) Nailing the right balance

Balancing our work and home lives means different things for each of us, but it has the same outcome for everyone – it makes us happier and healthier people. Whether we see ourselves as career-driven or family-driven, finding the right balance will help us be our best selves in and out of the office. Being well-rested, productive and happy at work means we’ll be more relaxed and engaged at home. It’ll give our lives greater meaning, both in a professional and personal sense, plus striking the right balance comes with a bunch of wonderful physical health benefits too.

Striking the perfect work-life balance is all about remembering what’s most important to us. Knowing our priorities will help us work out the right way of juggling all the different aspects of our lives. Doing this will not only make us happier people and more productive employees, but also simply more enjoyable people to be around. It’s win, win, win

Source: This is an edited extract from ‘Finding work-life balance’, available from AFA Care and Benestar at For more information about accessing AFA Care resources available at Benestar please visit