When you want to succeed, it’s understandable that we can often put too much of our time into work. That’s when striking the balance between our work-life and our personal-life becomes difficult, and we find ourselves letting work take over most of our time.
But the long-term effects of bad work-life balance can be seriously detrimental to our health, so it’s important that we fully understand the effects that it can have.
Understanding the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance will hopefully get you motivated to take the necessary steps to get yourself on the right track. So, without further ado, here are the benefits you can see when you strike up the right balance:
It’s good for your mental health
Over-working can put you at risk of mental health issues. Research from the Mental Health Foundation found that 27% of employees feel depressed from overworking, 34% feel anxious from overworking, and 58% feel irritable from over-working – stressing the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Sacrificing things we enjoy to work more has a bigger effect on our mental health than many would like to admit. When we aren’t taking time for leisure activities or spending time with our loved ones regularly, especially when you’re replacing it with stressful activities, we neglect the things that make us happy.
When we have a good work-life balance, however, we can combat all the issues linked to mental health and keep ourselves happy and healthy.
It’s good for your physical health
Working more often directly links to aspects like increased stress and exhaustion. In the long run, however, these are linked to higher risks of damaging health issues like strokes and heart disease – something which, alarmingly, many people still don’t take into consideration.
It’s as simple as truly understanding that prolonged stress can have a serious impact on our physical health. It might not end as serious as cardiovascular disease, but we’ll definitely make ourselves more susceptible to illnesses like cold and flu when we’re overworking.
Bad health caused by stress or burnout can be hard to bounce back from – so the key is spotting the signs before the effects fully set in. We’ll not dive into it now, but we have a great article here on combatting workplace burnout before you feel the full effects!
You’ll enjoy your work more
There has been a lot of cases of people loving what they do, only for them to become burned out and think that they don’t enjoy their work anymore. Spending too much time becoming stressed over our work means we’ll grow to resent it. Whereas if we have a good work-life balance, we’re more likely to look forward to going into work in the morning knowing that we can get stuck in to work that resonates with our values.
And, well, if we don’t look forward to work even when we’ve got a healthy work-life balance, that’s probably a sign that we need to find something different.
You’ll be naturally more creative
This might be at work, or it might even be outside of work hours. Wherever it happens, having a good work-life balance allows you to be more productive. When we take personal time and truly leave work at work, we come back with a new perspective on our work as we feel more refreshed and relaxed. For example, having a real break from thinking about work is likely to result in us coming back and finishing that one piece of work we’ve been struggling with for a while. Or, coming up with a new solution to an issue that’s been occurring for some time!
And, overall, you’ll be happier
Surveys have found that as our weekly hours increase, so do feelings of unhappiness – so it’s only fair to assume that lesser hours means greater happiness. Even if we love what we do, spending too much time doing it (and spending our little free time worrying about it) can lead to unhappiness. Ditching the ‘always-on’ culture means that we can spend our free time doing whatever we please without worrying about work. We’ll be overall happier out of office when we leave our work stresses where they belong: at work.
But let’s not forget all of the benefits to employers, too. When our employees are all of the points mentioned above, employee engagement soars and so does the quality of work. We’ll see a lot less instances of sickness and absenteeism, and we’ll become an employer of choice to top talent. So, let’s not just leave the case of work-life balance to our employees. Begin promoting it from the top! Check out our article on effective well-being initiatives for every budget here to get started.