Maintaining a healthy work/life balance

The importance of having a healthy balance between work and home life has become ever more important over the past couple of years, as the line between the two blurs for those of us who have moved to a hybrid way of working post-pandemic.

We’ve all had to become more flexible in our working lives but working too much, or being too consumed by your job, can lead to stress, poor mental health and can often affect your physical health as well.

What is National Work Life Week?

National Work Life Week, run by Working Families, runs from 11-15 October 2021. It’s an annual campaign to get employers and employees talking about wellbeing at work and how to ensure a healthy work-life balance.

What is a work/life balance?

A work/life balance is the amount of time and focus someone gives their work compared with other aspects of their life – raising a family, caring for an elderly relative, taking part in a hobby, relaxing or anything else outside of work.

What is a healthy work/life balance?

Maintaining a balance between home and work doesn’t mean splitting your time 50/50. Rather it means that you feel happy and fulfilled in both aspects of your life and can cope with what life throws at you. This could include:

  • Meeting deadlines at work, but still having time to meet friends in the evening
  • Getting enough quality sleep and not skipping meals
  • Not worrying about work once you get home

Ask yourself the following:

  • Do I regularly work longer hours than I’m contracted to do?
  • Am I missing time with my family or are family commitments affecting my ability to concentrate at work?
  • Do I think about work even when I’m at home?
  • Am I losing sleep worrying about how to fit in my work and home responsibilities?
  • Do I feel unable to cope with both work and home life?

How do I maintain a work/life balance?

There are ways to ensure you flourish at home and stay happy and healthy at work:

  • Stick to a routine at work and at home
  • Consider flexible working if your employer offers this
  • Manage your time well at work by being organised – make a to-do list, prioritise tasks and check it every morning
  • Set boundaries: learn to say no, whether that’s at work or at home
  • Make time for yourself at work by taking breaks and make time to relax and recover outside of work
  • Take some exercise. Evidence shows that being active can improve your fitness and improve your mental wellbeing. Meditation and mindfulness can also help reduce stress and anxiety

Speak up if you feel overwhelmed by work or if a family issue is affecting your ability to concentrate at work. Remember that your employer has an interest in your wellbeing since employees who are happy in their work are more engaged, more productive and less likely to take time off. If the thought of approaching your manager makes you even more anxious, Benenden Health has some useful tips on how to talk to your boss about physical or mental health.

Our approach to a work/life balance

Our staff and patients' health and wellbeing is at the forefront of everything we do. We promote flexible working and a healthy work/life balance, and our employees have access to a range of free resources to support and encourage healthy minds in the workplace. Find out more about why our staff love coming to work on our careers section.

Published on 11 October 2021