What is “Work Life Balance” to you?

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Work Life Balance

Some people wake up at 6am to get a run or a workout in before they face the day, maybe do some yoga or meditation to start the day in a happier mindset or simply just because they like being up that early.

I wake up at 6am because I need to, to travel to work.

No, I am not complaining, it’s great to be working. I’m just saying that it would be nice to wake up at 6am and not run around my house like a mouse just after escaping the claws of the dreaded mouse trap because I need to get my train.

My point is that as industries grow and businesses get more and more tech savvy our jobs are changing with them. Remote work, sometimes seen as working from home/working from anywhere (depending on the role) is now part of a lot of job descriptions. This got me thinking about how we are now looking for newer ways to go to work and where to work from.

I see people every morning commuting to work on different modes of transport – bus, car, bicycle, moped, skateboard, electric scooter and regular train, bus, walkers like myself! (now I’m complaining!).

As employees, I feel we too (like consumers) are looking for new experiences in our jobs, our work environment and ways to achieve our full potential within our careers and personally, that achieve a positive “WORK LIFE BALANCE”.

The first question we need to ask ourselves is – What does “Work life balance” mean to you?

Someone recently asked me this and I was stumped. I knew I wanted it but what was it? So, I took myself aside and asked myself that very question.

Here’s what I came up with, for me work life balance is a lot of things…….but mainly it is being able to do my job to the best of my ability while having time for myself personally. It’s all about TIME!

There are so many articles telling us that working from home is bad or working from home is good, but I think it depends on the individual, their productivity and also accessibility outside of the office. A recent article from Silicon Republic referred to this luxury as a way of showing employees that the company they work for is flexible and trusts and values them.

So how is working from home a bad thing?

The same article quoted Michelle Hammond, senior lecturer in Occupational Behaviour at University of Limerick referring to the drawbacks of working from home, isolation being one of them. Full-time, I can understand this issue but part-time, isn’t it just that extra hour of rest in bed, the flexibility in the evenings or having more time with the family?

Irish Rail

Today, I am grateful for the work from home option since the trains decided to go on an unscheduled strike!

The remote access to my work allows me to do my job (time for a blog post!) in the exact same way as well as not letting down my team and supporting my clients. It also made me feel even more trusted and the flexibility spared me that feeling of always chasing time. I didn’t need to be finished at this time – to get to the next place – to get the Luas on time – to reach my train on time – to get home – Phew!

Everyone’s work, life balance is different and it is very much connected to mindfulness. For that reason, it is important to look at this and ask yourself that question – What does “Work life balance” mean to you?

Arlene Foy, Fuzion PR, Marketing Graphic Design, DublinArlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion PR in our Dublin office.

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2 Responses to “What is “Work Life Balance” to you?”

  1. Alan Ryan Says:

    Hello Arlene,

    A wise lady Sophie, taught me many things over years of being in her company. One thing remains, that the term “work-life balance” is indeed a fallacy. Its a term hijacked by authority figures and institutions to prime people that work comes first and then after that, life, well thats what people are expected to balance.

    The lady explained it to me simply which helped “life balance” and perspective. She said “You have life first and foremost, then under the heading of life, you have work, paid and unpaid, which when balanced, can compliment each other well.

    This helped me understand that there is a different way to reframe that incorrect term work-life-balance. This simple reframing changes the culture of work first, then life balance thereafter, which when thought of reasonably, sounds irrational. It can create a choice or two.

    Its simply a different way of looking at this term people take for granted and is now part of their unconscious thinking. Just because it is popularised, it does not make it right. But it might well be right for many, if thats the way they wish to look at it.

    Just a thought.

    Thank you,

    Alan

    • Arlene Foy Says:

      Hi Alan,

      Thank you for your comment. I understand what you are saying and that is why I use quotation marks around the words “Work Life Balance” and refer to how different what this is for everyone.

      It also comes down to mindset and where you may be in your life – where is the balance really missing?! Some jobs can be very demanding or highly stressed and I feel people tend to forget that you have a life first and this can mean it is very hard to find that balance.

      My argument is that if working from home on occasion can help you to grab a little bit of that balance back, it could help you look at work, your personal life and your approach to life very differently.

      Every little helps!

      Arlene

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