It is well established that Australians work some of the longest hours in the developing world.

With increased pressures to perform at work, and employers expecting and/or not discouraging unpaid work, many Australians are currently experiencing poor work-life balance.

What are the outcomes?

Poor work-life balance not only affects an individual’s physical and mental health, but also their relationships with loved ones, and their overall satisfaction with life.

Organisations are also affected, through reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and increased claims of stress.

A healthier work-life balance is possible

Finding the ‘right’ balance is important, as it can improve:

  • physical health
  • mental health
  • relationships with loved ones
  • improved productivity at work and
  • overall satisfaction with life increases

However, the act of balancing different priorities and responsibilities is challenging.

The concept of work-life balance can be a deceptive one as it implies that work and life are opposites. Yet work is an important part of our lives; it forms part of our identity.

Work-life integration

Another way of looking at work-life balance is ‘work-life integration’. Harmony is created between the different aspects of life, and blended in successfully. When integrated effectively, each area can support and strengthen the other in a positive way (mindhealthconnect.org.au).

Depending on our circumstances, we may not always have the ‘perfect’ work-life balance. However a healthier balance can be achieved. Work and personal life can be integrated harmoniously.

The results ultimately lie with you

If you would like to make some changes and are not sure what to consider, the following 10 tips may help. It’s also important to find strategies that will work for you…

  1. Take responsibility and control
  2. Be clear on your goals and values
  3. Engage in a positive morning routine
  4. Schedule some down time
  5. Foster relationships
  6. Prioritise your health
  7. Manage and organise your time
  8. Set boundaries
  9. Manage stress effectively
  10. Enjoy your work

Our two previous posts ‘Work-life balance – can it really be achieved? Part 1’ and ‘Work-life balance – can it really be achieved? Part 2’ provide further details on each of these strategies.

Work-life balance will be different for everyone and will vary depending on your circumstances. With a little or a lot of tweaking, you can integrate your personal and work life harmoniously.

Start with small changes and work towards achieving the work-life balance that is right for you.

We hope you enjoyed this post and until next time, wish you all great health and wellbeing, including a healthier work-life balance!

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REFERENCES:

Cameron P & Denniss R (2013). Hard to get a break? Hours, leave and barriers to re-entering the Australian workforce. The Australia Institute and BeyondBlue. Paper No. 13. ISSN 1836-8948. http://www.tai.org.au/content/hard-get-break-1.

Johnson M (2015). Workin’ 9 to 5.30. Unpaid overtime and work life balance. Discussion paper. The Australia Institute.