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Achieving Work-Life Balance #5: How Work-Life Balance Is Implemented in the Workplace

Achieving Work-Life Balance #5: How Work-Life Balance Is Implemented in the Workplace

Around ten years ago the only goal of a business was make a profit. Almost all businesses still have that goal, but many have added another goal to their business plan. That goal is keeping their employees satisfied. This satisfaction is most often obtained by coming to the realization that all employees have a life outside of work that is just as important, if not more, than their career.

Pleasing each and every employee is a difficult task; however, many employers have found a way to accomplish that task. By incorporating work-life balance into their organization many business owners have seen the increase in employee happiness and performance. The goal of work-life balance is to obtain a healthy balance between work and life. Even though each business is likely to implement their own style of work-life balance there are a few common practices.

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Long hours and overworked employees is a common scene in many workplaces. To prevent this scene from occurring there are many employers who are hiring two employees to fill one job. This practice is known as job sharing. Job sharing works by dividing work time, benefits, vacations, and pay between two workers. Job sharing makes it possible for employees to work a steady job while still being able to tend to their life outside of work.

In addition to job sharing, it is now becoming standard practice for an employer to offer their employees flexible hours. In many cases the hours that an employee would like to work are predetermined during the hiring process; however, they can also be established on a weekly or monthly basis. Not all companies, but a number of them are now allowing their employees to actually pick the hours that they work each week. In this situation, employees will signup to work a particular shift if they are available to do so.

Working from home is another alternative work arrangement that enables more employees to be at home with their family. There are many employers who are only looking to hire at home workers. In addition to full or part-time at home workers, it is possible for a traditional employee to occasionally work from home when it is convenient for everyone involved.

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Since a large portion of the working population has a family that they must care for there are family medical leave programs. These programs make it possible for an employee to take time off from work if they or one of their family members becomes injured or ill. Many employers will pay their employees for an agreed upon time and after that the leave can continue, but without pay.

For parents the most popular way that work-life balance is brought into the workplace is through onsite child care. Onsite childcare, also known as daycare, is often provided free of charge by many employers. A childcare center is typically located in the same building, which allows parents to visit their children whenever they want to. Onsite child care is beneficial to all parents, but it is especially beneficial new mothers who are just reentering the workforce.

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Flexible hours, job sharing, onsite child care, and family medical leaves are just a few of the many ways that an employer can incorporate the work-life balance into their organization. When an employer first establishes a work-life balance policy it is likely that the policy will be put into place over a period of time. Once that business realizes the benefits of having a work-life balance policy it is likely that the above mentioned work alternatives will all be in place.

— Jennifer Foote.
This is the end of the series of Achieving Work-Life Balance. Hope you enjoyed it.

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Other articles in the series:

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Last Updated on January 2, 2020

How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

Over time, we all gather a set of constricting habits around us—ones that trap us in a zone of supposed comfort, well below what our potential would allow us to attain. Pretty soon, such habits slip below the level of our consciousness, but they still determine what we think that we can and cannot do—and what we cannot even bring ourselves to try. As long as you let these habits rule you, you’ll be stuck in a rut.

Like the tiny, soft bodied creatures that build coral reefs, habits start off small and flexible, and end up by building massive barriers of rock all around your mind. Inside the reefs, the water feels quiet and friendly. Outside, you think it’s going to be rough and stormy. There may be sharks. But if you’re to develop in any direction from where you are today, you must go outside that reef of habits that marks the boundaries of your comfort zone. There’s no other way. There’s even nothing specially wrong with those habits as such. They probably worked for you in the past.

But now, it’s time to step over them and go into the wider world of your unused potential. Your fears don’t know what’s going to be out there, so they invent monsters and scary beasts to keep you inside.

Nobody’s born with an instruction manual for life. Despite all the helpful advice from parents, teachers and elders, each of us must make our own way in the world, doing the best we can and quite often getting things wrong.

Messing up a few times isn’t that big a deal. But if you get scared and try to avoid all mistakes by sticking with just a few “tried and true” behaviors, you’ll miss out on most opportunities as well.

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Lots of people who suffer from boredom at work are doing it to themselves. They’re bored and frustrated because that’s what their choices have caused them to be. They’re stuck in ruts they’ve dug for themselves while trying to avoid making mistakes and taking risks. People who never make mistakes never make anything else either.

It’s time to pin down the habits that have become unconscious and are running your life for you, and get rid of them. Here’s how to do it:

1. Understand the Truth about Your Habits

They always represent past successes. You have formed habitual, automatic behaviors because you once dealt with something successfully, tried the same response next time, and found it worked again. That’s how habits grow and why they feel so useful.

To get away from what’s causing your unhappiness and workplace blues, you must give up on many of your most fondly held (and formerly successful) habits. and try new ways of thinking and acting. There truly isn’t any alternative. Those habits are going to block you from finding new and creative ideas. No new ideas, no learning. No learning, no access to successful change.

2. Do Something—Almost Anything—Differently and See What Happens

Even the most successful habits eventually lose their usefulness as events change the world and fresh responses are called for. Yet we cling on to them long after their benefit has gone.

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Past strategies are bound to fail sometime. Letting them become automatic habits that take the controls is a sure road to self-inflicted harm.

3. Take Some Time out and Have a Detailed Look at Yourself—With No Holds Barred

Discovering your unconscious habits can be tough. For a start, they’re unconscious, right? Then they fight back.

Ask anyone who has ever given up smoking if habits are tough to break. You’ve got used to them—and they’re at least as addictive as nicotine or crack cocaine.

4. Be Who You Are

It’s easy to assume that you always have to fit in to get on in the world; that you must conform to be liked and respected by others or face exclusion. Because most people want to please, they try to become what they believe others expect, even if it means forcing themselves to be the kind of person they aren’t, deep down.

You need to start by putting yourself first. You’re unique. We’re all unique, so saying this doesn’t suggest that you’re better than others or deserve more than they do.

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You need to put yourself first because no one else has as much interest in your life as you do; and because if you don’t, no one else will. Putting others second means giving them their due respect, not ignoring them totally.

Keeping up a self-image can be a burden. Hanging on to an inflated, unrealistic one is a curse. Give yourself a break.

5. Slow Down and Let Go

Most of us want to think of ourselves as good, kind, intelligent and caring people. Sometimes that’s true. Sometimes it isn’t.

Reality is complex. We can’t function at all without constant input and support from other people.

Everything we have, everything we’ve learned, came to us through someone else’s hands. At our best, we pass on this borrowed existence to others, enhanced by our contribution. At our worst, we waste and squander it.

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So recognize that you’re a rich mixture of thoughts and feelings that come and go, some useful, some not. There’s no need to keep up a façade; no need to pretend; no need to fear of what you know to be true.

When you face your own truth, you’ll find it’s an enormous relief. If you’re maybe not as wonderful as you’d like to be, you aren’t nearly as bad as you fear either.

The truth really does set you free; free to work on being better and to forgive yourself for being human; free to express your gratitude to others and recognize what you owe them; free to acknowledge your feelings without letting them dominate your life. Above all, you’ll be free to understand the truth of living: that much of what happens to you is no more than chance. It can’t be avoided and is not your fault. There’s no point in beating yourself up about it.

Final Thoughts

What is holding you in situations and actions that no longer work for you often isn’t inertia or procrastination. It’s the power of habitual ways of seeing the world and thinking about events. Until you can let go of those old, worn-out habits, they’ll continue to hold you prisoner.

To stay in your comfort zone through mere habit, or—worse still—to stay there because of irrational fears of what may lie outside, will condemn you to a life of frustration and regret.

If you can accept the truth about the world and yourself, change whatever is holding you back, and get on with a fresh view on life, you’ll find that single action lets you open the door of your self-imposed prison and walk free. There’s a marvelous world out there. You’ll see, if you try it!

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Featured photo credit: teigan rodger via unsplash.com

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