The Art of the Possible: Tips to Achieve Work-Life Balance
We hear the words “work-life balance” and wonder…is it even possible?
The days of getting to work at 9:00, heading to lunch at noon, and wrapping up at 5:00—as previous generations did—are long gone. In its place, a frenzied pace of commutes, meetings, emails, deadlines, and more. Can we buy more time?
Stanford University conducted an extensive study of workplace stressors. They found that more than 120,000 deaths per year and approximately 5%–8% of annual healthcare costs are associated with and may be attributable to how U.S. companies manage their workforces. That was in 2015, well before the pandemic.
Now, with many of us working at home and juggling competing demands—and using technology to broker our connections with colleagues rather than water coolers—work-life balance has become mission critical. But even the best of the us are challenged.
So how can you work to achieve better work-life balance?
Tips to promote better work-life balance
According to the Mayo Clinic, poor work-life balance can be costly. Fatigue can affect productivity, leading to mistakes—which could be deadly for an airline pilot or surgeon. Stress can negatively impact your health, potentially leading to substance misuse and chronic conditions. And less time spent with family and friends—time you can never get back—can damage relationships.
Consider these tips:
- Set boundaries – Separate your work life from your personal life with realistic boundaries about evaluating the time needed to get things done, saying no to stuff that isn’t important, adding flexibility to your work schedule, and detaching from work.
Going to—and detaching from—work is especially important. Create a separate workspace so you can dress for and “go to work” in the morning. Establish when you can be interrupted during the day and “leave work” by closing the door and taking a walk, catching up with family, or having a virtual “happy hour” with colleagues.
- Practice self-care – With our busy lives, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. It will help you be a better partner, parent, friend, and employee.
- Physical – Start with the basics: healthy eating and restful sleep, along with exercise. Exercise can be as structured as going to the gym or as informal as tracking your daily steps.
- Emotional – Take care of your emotional well-being by finding calm in journaling or meditation, seeking out friends or support groups, and being present in the moment. And if you find yourself struggling more than usual, seek professional assistance.
- Intellectual – Advance your knowledge by earning a degree or certificate or learn a new skill or become more proficient in an existing skill, like time management or parenting. Practice a hobby that brings joy, whether it’s gardening, woodworking, painting, or other pursuits.
- Spiritual – Finally, practice spirituality in ways that are meaningful for you. For some, it may mean practicing a formal religion. For others, it may be belief in a higher power or force that’s bigger than yourself. For example, studies show that being in nature can help calm our nerves and relieve mental fatigue (you may want to re-consider the view from your workspace!). And there’s nothing better for the soul than volunteering—from helping at your kids’ school (bonus points for volunteering and spending time with family!) to helping those less advantaged than you.
Finding work-life balance is a continuous pursuit. But actively pursuing it will make it a habit that’s hard to break.
Logicalis: Strengthening our employees’ work-life balance
At Logicalis, we strive to strengthen employees’ work-life balance. Our CEO, Jon Groves, has adopted a more empathetic, people-first approach and is actively implementing people-first policies. He is also committed to employee mental health and well-being. The more business leaders are committed to employees, he believes, the more committed employees will be in return.
For example, most Logicalis employees can choose whether or not to work from home. Giving employees this kind of flexibility promotes better work-life balance and leads to happier, more productive employees who stay with Logicalis longer as a result. In fact, almost half of employees have been with us longer than five years!
Logicalis also offers:
- Flexible time off – Logicalis employees have 9 paid holidays each year, as well as one floating holiday to celebrate a day that’s personally significant—whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, Juneteenth, Veteran’s Day, or any other day.
In addition, salaried employees receive 30 days of discretionary time off (DTO) annually to spend as we wish: for sick time, vacation, appointments, children’s activities, or whatever. Hourly employees with more than five years of service, receive 25 days off each year. Finally, every employee receives a Day of Service (8 hours) to engage in any volunteer activity we choose.
The flexibility to work remotely and take time off as needed helps our work-life balance. For me, personally, I no longer have a two-hour daily commute. Instead, I can get my kids to school, attend their school events, and care for them when they’re sick—which gives me more time with my family. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 94% of Logicalis employees agree that “I am able to take time off from work when I think it’s necessary.”
- Self-care – Logicalis also encourages employees to practice self-care and have made several apps available to us at no cost. Wise@Work offers short learning and practice modules for meditation and mindfulness, stress management, focus, resilience, and other topics.
We also use Sonic Boom Wellness, a rewards-based program where employees register for quarterly wellness challenges and earn rewards. For example, we recently had a “Beat the Boss” challenge where we linked up our fitness trackers and tracked our daily steps. Those at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the challenge earned rewards, enabling them to purchase gift cards, jewelry, sports equipment, etc.
For another challenge, we reported on our daily self-care practices. Not only were we intrinsically motivated to better care for ourselves, we gave our colleagues ideas for their self-care.
- Employee assistance – Through Ulliance, Logicalis employees can access unlimited face-to-face or virtual meetings with a counselor for any issue. This 100% confidential and complimentary service completely protects employee privacy and supplements our health insurance plan. Ulliance also provides a robust well-being site with topics on self-care, parenting, stress management, financial resources, and more.
- Employee engagement – Finally, Logicalis provides a feedback loop by conducting quarterly pulse surveys to gauge employee satisfaction. Plus, in addition to company-wide events, each business unit conducts their own engagement and team building activities. For example, the HR department has a monthly virtual happy hour that gives us time to catch up with each other.
These are just a few of the reasons why Logicalis was certified as a Great Place to Work®!
Corri Bigger is the Benefits Administrator for Logicalis US, responsible for managing all aspects of the employee benefit programs for over 700 employees in over 35 states.