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National Work Life Week: October 2nd-6th 2017

Posted on: 6 Oct 2017

Striking a good balance between work and the rest of your life is the key to staying happy but no doubt there are many of you out there who do struggle to ensure that their home life is given as much focus as their career. With National Work Life Week just starting today (October 2nd) and going on until the 6th, there’s no better time than the present to take stock and see if there are any positive changes you could make right now to balance your working and your home life more effectively.

For employers, now is the perfect opportunity to put on a wide range of different activities for staff members to show how much they’re appreciated, as well as showcasing your flexible working practices as it may well be that staff members aren’t aware of what the policies actually are. Businesses that don’t currently offer flexible working might be spurred on to start.

And for employees themselves, you could come up with some suggestions at work to help yourself and your colleagues strike a better balance. If you have 26 weeks of service with the same company you have the right to request to work flexibly – and you don’t need to be a parent or a carer in order to make this request.

Your request will need to be in writing and dated, explaining the changes you’d like to make, when you want these changes to come into force, the effect it would likely have on the business and how this could be dealt with and so on. For an employer to turn down your request, it would have to be for a permitted reason such as detrimental impact on performance or quality, the burden of additional costs or the inability to reorganise work among existing staff members.

There are other ways you can strike a better work/life balance outside the world of work – it doesn’t always have to come down to a meeting with you and your bosses. For example, always make sure that you leave work at the office and don’t take any home with you to do in your spare time. Only check your emails three times a day so you’re not constantly feeling harassed and as if all you ever do is reply to messages from clients.

Learning to say no is an absolute must as well. It can be hard but starting is the first step – it’ll soon become second nature to turn down requests if you know you don’t have the time… and you’ll find you’ll have a lot more time for activities that actually mean something to you and not to someone else.

If you’re really struggling, going to see a life coach might also prove quite fruitful. They’ll be able to help you change counterproductive behaviours, build your self-confidence, manage your stress levels and make you more productive both at home and the office.

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