Whether you’re at university or starting a graduate job, being healthy, happy and having a life outside of work is vitally important. In fact, when we asked Bright Network members to define career success five years from now, 38% said it was directly linked to a good work life balance - the highest of any factor.
Leading firms are demanding more from their employers and modern technology makes it increasingly difficult to switch off. Follow our eight top tips to help you achieve a work life balance.
1. Don’t let technology take over your life
New technology has revolutionised the way we work, for better and for worse. You have instant access to your emails and can be contacted wherever you are. This is fantastic for connectivity but it can also make it difficult to completely switch off. Build time into your day and weekend where you’re not a slave to your technology. Turn off your phone, don’t check your laptop and do something you enjoy with friends or family without distraction.
When work is getting too much and you’re overloaded, it’s not a sign of weakness to discuss it with your manager. Reevaluating your workload will result in better results and eradicate the scenario where you rush through the night to get it done.
3. Understand your needs
What constitutes a work life balance for you? Be honest with yourself about your priorities and what you want to achieve, then communicate this to the company. Finding your optimum working routine allows you to stay productive and motivated, which keeps you and your employer happy.
4. Have friends outside work
Building friendships at work is crucial both professionally and socially. However, don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining friendships with university or school mates and making new friends outside of work. If you just hang out with your colleagues it’s easy to focus on work related topics.
Listen to this live Q&A with Georgie Crotty, P&G Senior HR Manager on how to manage your work/life balance in 2021.
5. Use your holidays
Holidays are a time to relax and recharge the batteries. It’s very tempting to check your emails or do quick bits of work - avoid this where possible. Plan something you’re really looking forward to and ensure you get time to relax. You can’t work non-stop and without proper breaks you risk burning out, making you much less productive in the long run.
Got the January blues? Here's some advice on how to brighten up those colder months.
6. Join the club
Being part of societies and clubs it’s just restricted to university. You’re likely to be working in a big city with opportunities to get involved with whatever you enjoy doing. Having interests outside of work and plans to look forward to will drag you away from your desk for some much needed down time.
7. Do a job you enjoy
It sounds cliched, but if you do a job that you actually enjoy you’ll be happier across all areas of life. You’ll be less stressed, more motivated and it becomes much easier to find a natural work life balance. The famous quote ‘choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life’, may be slightly idealistic but you’ll certainly be happier and healthier.
Have a browse of the helpful content we put out for Careers & Wellbeing Week in early 2021 - from how to manage lockdown and studying remotely, to how you can boost your mental health. We've got this and we've got your back.