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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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