Work-life Balance - facts and myths.
Another day full of challenges ahead of you. In the morning, breakfast with the family, or more precisely, chasing children out to school. Then work. Theoretically, you should spend 8 effective hours in it, then close your laptop, turn your back, leave the office and, most importantly, free your thoughts from any business topics. Easier said than done, right?
Unfortunately, in reality it is not so easy to switch from “work mode" to “home-family-and-friends mode". It is often the case that many employees are unable to separate private matters from professional ones - or the other way around. In response to the problem of blurring the boundaries of life spheres, the concept of managing yourself in time, known as work-life balance, was developed.
The concept of work-life balance has become very popular among employees and entrepreneurs because common sense suggests that the social roles assigned to us should be separated. Unfortunately, it turns out that in everyday life it is not so easy. Below you will find the 3 most common facts and myths concerning the daily harmony between private and professional life.
You can do anything!
You get up every day at dawn, of course, after full 8 hours of healthy sleep. You do morning jogging, eat the perfectly healthy breakfast porridge which arrived at your door this morning with four other boxes that create a perfectly balanced diet. In addition, you quickly become the head of the most prosperous company on the market, even though you just started there not so long ago. Full 8 hours of work (not a minute longer) and you move on - a quick series at the gym because there has to be time for sport and fitness, too. After a portion of good sweat; you return home where right at the doorstep a loving wife and smiling children are waiting for you having itchy feet at the thought of playing and spending time together. And before going to bed you will also take care of your wife's needs and plan a short trip out of town without children. Just the two of you. You never open your laptop. You don't talk about the company. You don't think about work. Absolutely. You don't get back to the “work mode” until tomorrow. For exactly 1/3 of the day.
Sounds like a perfect load of rubbish, right?
“You can do it all" – these are the words you will certainly hear from most coaches and personal trainers. According to the “New era of motivation” report presented by Hays Poland at the end of 2018, as many as 50% of respondents work more than 40 hours a week and 52% believe that their private life is dominated by professional issues. Moreover, the study titled “Work, power, energy in Polish companies” carried out by Human Power in 2017 shows that 65% of the surveyed workers-leaders think about work after work and 66% check their e-mails after leaving work. A report under the same name from 2018*** proves that 27. 9% of employees do not even have time to eat a meal or drink tea at work. This shows that the multitude of duties, ambitions, the willingness to ‘prove yourself’ and the fact that work is an inseparable part of everyone's life makes it impossible to simply “switch" to a different mode at a specific time.
Work-life balance for everyone!
According to Dr. Marta Bielec, a sociologist from the SWPS University, the Polish society is still, as we say, ‘trying to make a living’. She notes that the idea of work-life balance refers only to a limited number of Poles who can strive for a life balance thanks to the access to various forms of support, such as private kindergartens and nurseries, private medical care or nannies for children. Dr Jacek Wasilewski, a media expert from the University of Warsaw, notes that the idea of work-life balance is addressed exclusively to the upper middle class and managers. Is it really so?
Every employee should cultivate the idea of work-life balance regardless of occupation, position or salary. The concept is not merely to divide the day into three equal parts – one for work, one for relaxation and one for sleeping. It is possible to manoeuvre your time freely so that nothing or no one feels neglected, while at the same time remembering about your own needs. In addition to the time we have left after the end of a working day, there are also vacations and public holidays that we can use to the full and in any way we like. That also counts as the element of the harmony of life.
Work-life balance does not exist!
There are two extreme opinions. One group of employees believes that work-life balance does not exist, the other group believes that it is an absolute necessity. Who's right? The answer is up to you because only you can decide what your work-life balance will look like. Alternative forms of employment, modern technologies and easy communication allow you to choose how much time you want to devote each day to a particular “mode" of your life. The most important thing is to divide your time in such a way that you feel satisfaction and happiness in both your professional and private life. Then one day you will have the power to work for 12 hours and on the other, to counter-balance, to spend time with friends or family. In the myriad of life duties it is worth to remember and follow the words of Confucius:
“Choose the job you love and you won't work a single day in your life”
To sum up, remember that work-life balance is a concept that tries to convince everyone to live a perfect life. It can't be done right away, so allow yourself some time let yourself make mistakes. You cannot be an ideal parent, employee, brother, sister and friend at the same time. Perhaps this is how you may find your personal work- life balance which will allow you to stay satisfied in every aspect of your life.
You can read the full data of the reports and studies here: