Given the fact that everyone spends an important amount of time in the office, it is no surprise that work matters to us. Finding the right equation between building a successful career and enjoying time with friends or developing our hobbies can be indeed a delicate balancing act. In one of our recent studies that we have conducted across the UK, we found out that 69% of Brits feel their personal life is affected by work commitments. In addition, 64% office workers stay behind after work at least twice a month and almost half of them stay behind on a weekly basis.
As Head of Marketing at Paymentsense, I know how hard it is to find the right work-life balance. Yet, I’d like to share with you my insights that I’ve gained through our research and my personal experience.
Flexible working: a way to adapt work schedules around other commitments
For one part, making work more compatible with your personal life could be one option to gain a better work-life balance. In the UK, all employees have legally request the right to flexible working, with 46% of employers already offering it as an option to their staff.
Flexible working however, does not only give you the option to start later or to finish earlier. Think about remote working for example, which could be an attractive option for employees with kids who want to be able to see them more throughout the day, but maybe also for travellers who don’t want to be bound to an office chair. However, for those who’d prefer to take one additional day off per week, I’d recommend asking for working compressed hours.
Thinking about cutting down on hours? Part-time jobs or job sharing could be the ideal solution for you. In case of the latter you’d be sharing the same job with another colleague and split the working hours between yourselves.
Stepping up to gain more self-control about your work-life balance
What if it is not about finding the right work schedule, but rather about receiving more responsibilities that give you the opportunity to manage your time yourself?
Although it might sound quite contradictory, we found out that 53% of managers who have been promoted from non-management role stated their work-life balance has improved after climbing up the ladder. If you think this could be something for you, don’t hesitate to talk to your superior to find out which next step you could take within the company. But never forget to ask yourself: ‘Is this the right move and will I be happier with this kind of position?’
For those willing to going their own way and making their own decisions, becoming your own boss could perhaps be the ultimate way to improve your work-life balance. A new year could maybe also mean a new start? In our research, 20% of our respondents were thinking about setting up their own company this year.
However, bear in mind that every shoe doesn’t fit every foot: Improving your work-life balance can be solved in different ways. Think about which option would suit your lifestyle best. Changing your work schedule might take a bigger effort – but we often forget that we can also start with smaller steps, such as turning off your working phone in your free time.