The search for an optimal work-life balance isn’t reserved for young people. Many baby boomers are starting new careers after the age of 50 or planning to spend another 15 years or more in the workforce. However, many also want to do the things they love and spend more quality time with loved ones. As a result, some 50-plus employees continue to find it difficult to juggle their work responsibilities with family life and time for themselves. In this blog post, we’ll talk about what work-life balance really is and how you can go about creating the type of schedule you want.
What’s a Good Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance is centered around the idea that people operate in at least two domains: work and their personal lives. Ideally, neither domain is sacrificed as a result of the other, and there is little conflict among the various roles an individual performs. There are a number of assumptions about what a good work-life balance involves. However, the reality is that each individual has a different idea of what that balance looks like.
According to career expert and chief executive officer of Amplio Recruiting, Chris Chancey, a good work-life balance benefits both employees and employers. For workers, it results in a heightened sense of wellbeing, lower stress levels, and a reduced risk of burnout. Meanwhile, employers who help employees to achieve their desired work-life balance enjoy reduced absenteeism, increased loyalty and productivity, and reduced costs.
How You Can Achieve a Degree of Balance That Works for You
What does the perfect combination of work and “life” look like to you? Maybe you want to leave the office in time to pick up your grandchildren from school every day and spend the entire afternoon with them. If that’s possible, that’s great! However, your ideal day may not always be possible.
Find a Realistic Schedule
To ensure that you meet all your responsibilities, you may need to work late some evenings and dedicate weekends to your family. Some days may be focused completely on work while others are dedicated to your personal life. The idea is to strive for balance over time and not every day since that’s not always feasible.
Consider Getting a Different Job
Be open to changing jobs. While some employers will accommodate your needs, others won’t. Sometimes, the only way to get the balance you crave is to find a job that caters to your needs. If you hate your job or your employer, you won’t be happy, and this will affect other aspects of your life. If your job drains you, you may be too tired to be physically or emotionally present for your loved ones.
Take Care of Your Health and Wellbeing
It’s also important that you find ways to stay calm even when work becomes stressful. Author of “#Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life,” Bryan Robinson recommends meditating for a few minutes or simply listening to your breath or the sounds around you.
As an extension of this, pay attention to your mental, physical and emotional health. Make time in your schedule for therapy, exercise, and rest. If you’re ill, seek prompt treatment. Pushing yourself at work without taking care of yourself can prematurely end your career and prevent you from truly enjoying your personal life. When you take care of your health, you’ll be more productive at work and more fun to be around at home.
Set Boundaries at Work
Smartphones, the Internet, and remote work make it difficult to separate our work and home lives. However, you’ll need to put some boundaries in place if you want to achieve your desired work-life balance. Regardless of whether you work from home or not, you need to establish when you’ll work, take breaks, and end the workday. Otherwise, you may end up sending emails at all hours of the night. If possible, have separate devices for work so you can unplug from the office after-hours and on your off days. Notify your colleagues and supervisors about those boundaries.
Being a Supportive Employer
If you’re a manager or business owner, you can help your employees to achieve their ideal work-life balance by:
- Knowing what their goals are
- Setting the example by calling or sending emails only during regular work hours
- Offering flexible work options and making sure employees are aware of them
- Keeping up with related trends
Get Help from WiseForce Advisors
If you’d like to better support your 50-plus employees in balancing work and their personal lives, our team can help. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.