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12 Best Ways to Achieve a Good Work-Life Balance in 2024

Guest Posts May 22, 2024

Finding the right balance between work and your personal life is not just a luxury, it is a necessity. 

This is a guest post from our friends at Growthbuzz Media.

73% of employees consider work-life balance as a core factor when accepting a job, and not just the salary. 

30% say they face a hard time performing well at work due to a work-life imbalance.

The reason is quite simple - poor work-life balance results in stress and burnout. This burnout adversely affects the well-being of the employee and their productivity at work. 

Therefore, both employers and employees must work together to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

What Is Work-Life Balance?

Work-life balance is all about finding the right balance between the time you spend working and the time you spend doing other things outside of work. 

It's not just about how many hours you work, but also how much mental energy and focus work demands from you, even when you're not at work. 

For example, If you're working 40-45 hours a week, but still feeling stressed out or overwhelmed even when you're not at work, it's neither a good balance nor good for your health!

The goal should be to work when you're at work, and then be able to disconnect and enjoy your time off without being constantly stressed or worried about work.

What Causes Poor Work-Life Balance?

Creating a good work-life balance leads to overall well-being. But first, we should understand the cause of it and correct the actions that have been causing the imbalance. 

1. Long Working Hours and Overtime Expectations

People often have long working hours and are expected to work overtime, which can leave them feeling extremely tired. 

They end up spending a lot of time at their desks, skipping meals and breaks just to finish their work. This can lead to having less time and energy for other important things in their personal life. 

As a result, their relationships can suffer and they may not feel as healthy and happy as they would like. And the scary part is - People working more than 55 hours a week are at major risk of dying from overwork.

2. Lack of Flexibility in Work Schedules

Individuals working with international clients and teams often need them to be available outside of their regular time zones. 

But not having the flexibility to choose when to work can lead to stretched and stressed working hours to cope with other time zones.

Moreover, not having the flexibility to choose from where to work or make slight adjustments to their usual login/ log-off times on some days due to emergency or personal matters also leads to work-life imbalance.

3. High Levels of Job Stress and Pressure

80% of employees feel stressed on the job, almost half say they need help managing and 42% say their colleagues might need such help.

Constant pressure keeps your body in overdrive causing a work-life imbalance.

This stress disrupts sleep, weakens your immune system, and leaves you feeling anxious. You also become irritable and withdrawn, affecting personal life activities and relationships too.

4. Unrealistic Expectations from Employers and Oneself

Sometimes we might work beyond our work hours or take extra responsibilities to meet certain expectations. 

But trying to meet unrealistic expectations and being stressed about it constantly can take a toll on your health. This will also harm your health and lead to an imbalance. 

If an employer is making you feel you should be more devoted to your work and spend the majority of your time managing work, then they are setting unrealistic expectations. 

6 Tips for Employees to Improve Work-Life Balance

1. Set Clear Boundaries & Create a Balanced Work Schedule 

Set boundaries! Don’t let your work activities crawl into the other part of the day and hamper your personal activities. 

Clearly define the time you will be or won’t be available for work and stick to it. Most importantly, let others know about your schedule so your team can connect with you when you are available instead of reaching out to you in off-hours.

Again, while creating the schedule, keep it realistic, include breaks in between, stay away from the temptation to work overtime, and make enough room for self-care, family, and friends. 

2. Prioritize Tasks & Delegate When Possible

You cannot do everything at once or by yourself. 

Learn to prioritize tasks and delegate what is possible to speed up the work. Otherwise, unfinished work will only continue to loom over your head and cause unnecessary stress.

When deciding which tasks to prioritize, consider those that require immediate attention, have upcoming deadlines, or are particularly challenging. 

For tasks that are more repetitive, less urgent, or can be handled by someone else, delegate them as needed based on your schedule and the availability of your team.

This will help you wrap up faster, reduce work stress, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

3. Focus on Results, Not Hours

Many workplaces compare better productivity or work efficiency with long working hours, which is not true. For most roles. it’s the output that matters and not the number of hours you spend sitting on your chair. 

To avoid this mindset, just focus on what you want to achieve and set the process to achieve it rather than worrying about the hours that stress you out and reduce your productivity. 

If your work for the day is done, you should not feel pressured to stay back at your desk. Instead, communicate this with your team and manager to normalize leaving work a little early when your tasks are all done (without feeling guilty!).

4. Invest in Physical and Mental Health

Don’t get yourself trapped in the work, eat, sleep routine. You must focus on your health and prioritize it above work. 

Schedule physical activities you enjoy. Include exercise, healthy meals, yoga, or meditation in your routine. Go on a walk, spend time in nature away from gadgets, and work. All of these will definitely help your physical and mental health at check. 

Remember, a healthy you is a more productive you. When you feel good, you can focus better, manage stress easier, and get more done at work.

5. Schedule Personal Time for Family & Relaxation

Take breaks from work and make time for the things you love. 

Spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or simply relaxing, scheduling this dedicated "me-time" can help you recharge and feel refreshed. It can also make you more productive when you return to work. 

So, don't forget to block out some time in your daily routine for yourself and the activities that make you feel better.

6. Take Vacations

Paid time off exists for a reason, you have earned it.

It is your chance to truly disconnect from work without worrying about the next day and recharge yourself by doing things you want to do without any stress.

You can go on a vacation, explore new places, spend time with family, complete things on your bucket list, and simply enjoy the break from routine. 

6 Tips for Employers to Encourage Employee Work-Life Balance

1. Offer Flexible Work Options and Clear Expectations

87% of employees say that having a flexible job would reduce their stress level, and 97% suggest that having flexible jobs can improve their overall quality of life.

Your employees want to be trusted and don’t want to be micromanaged about when, where and how they work.

Hence, employees value employers who give them the freedom to manage their own time and set clear and realistic expectations for them. 

Have you ever considered offering a 4-day work week? Learn all the pros and cons of switching to a 4-day work week from a company whose been doing it for years.

2. Use Workforce Management Tools for Managing & Scheduling People

It's important to manage your workforce effectively to prevent employee burnout. Workforce management tools can help you accomplish this by allowing you to understand the workload of each employee and easily manage their schedules.

Make sure to understand the roles and tasks of your employees. Ask them about their working hour preferences, if they have any, and use this information to create a schedule that works for everyone.

Also, keep a tab on the work being assigned to the employees regularly - is it as per their expertise, are they getting drained, is their task stuck somewhere? 

Monitor and distribute the workload evenly across your team to avoid overwhelming one individual.

3. Promote Time Off 

Employees should work in the hours they feel more productive and take breaks in their least productive hours.

As an employer, encourage employees to turn off notifications from work during their breaks so they are not stressing over anything that pops up during their breaks. 

Let your employees know that they should not work outside of their regular working hours. This means no emails or messages during evenings, weekends, or when they're on vacation and truly disconnecting from work.

Also, restrict the number of PTOs being transferred to the next calendar year and ask your employees to utilize as many PTOs in the same calendar year. This will give them the time to truly relax and have a good work-life balance.

4. Encourage Independence & Open Communication

When you show trust in your team and give them the space for open communication, it helps them feel confident and allows them to prepare their day based on their productivity hours and workload.

They will not feel micromanaged or pressured this way, meaning reduced stress levels. 

Also, the freedom to plan their day as per the requirements will prevent them from working overtime and make room for their personal life activities. 

5. Recognize and Celebrate Employee Achievements Regularly

Taking the time to acknowledge a job well done motivates employees and shows their contributions are valued. 

This reduces the pressure to constantly prove themselves, both at work and at home.  

When employees leave work feeling they have performed well or achieved something good, they're more likely to detach and enjoy their personal lives without stressing or overthinking.

6. Organize Team Building Activities

Keeping your team connected can help you create a positive work environment. 

When team members engage with each other, it leads to better collaboration, distribution of work, and a happier work life. 

Organizing team-building activities and community events can help employees across different departments connect and work better together. Moreover, encouraging employees to work on initiatives outside of their regular work can significantly boost their engagement and job satisfaction.

Promoting Work-Life Balance at Your Organization

A strong company culture benefits everyone, and employers hold a key role in maintaining an enjoyable, and stress-free place to work. 

The best way to achieve work-life balance is by equipping your managers and leaders with the training and support they need to prevent burnout before it happens. 

Also, educate your employees on the importance of a healthy work-life balance. You can even promote awareness about the same by organizing events and workshops once in a while.


Pratik Shinde

Pratik Shinde is a Founder at Growthbuzz Media, a Content Creator at Make SaaS Better, and an SEO enthusiast. He helps fast-paced B2B SaaS startups acquire customers through organic marketing efforts.