The employment sector was one of the hardest hits by the global pandemic at its height in 2020.
Employers worldwide had to make difficult decisions due to the financial constraints brought about by COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantine measures. Some employees were laid off, while others had to adapt to remote work setups.
Though remote work and work-from-home (WFH) arrangements were a welcome respite, this invariably led to feelings of stress and burnout.
Employees have experienced difficulty in achieving a work-life balance, as they cannot divide their time between job responsibilities and household duties.
Now that the pandemic is slowly waning, and return-to-office policies are in motion achieving a work-life balance remains a priority. Employers are mulling over drastically changing the work environment by adopting full remote and hybrid arrangements.
Such changes beg the question, "How do employees re-establish a healthy work-life balance?" "How have employees' priorities changed after the pandemic?"
This guide explores tips on work-life balance and how Luxoft is pioneering this change with its flexible work culture.
Many employees tend to adopt a "people-pleaser" attitude at work. They take on projects beyond the scope of their responsibilities and even take it upon themselves to handle other people's tasks.
While it is a noble virtue, a people-pleasing approach can negatively impact mental well-being. The sheer amount of work can strain the employee and decrease productivity due to having less time for their core responsibilities.
So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that one of the most crucial tips for achieving work-life balance is defining your boundaries.
Setting boundaries for yourself and your peers is an effective way of avoiding burnout.
For example, once you clock out of your shift, try not to respond to pending emails or think about upcoming projects. You may want to consider using a separate laptop or phone for work and leisure activities, so you can shut off your device once your shift is over.
If these aren't possible, use separate browsers for your personal and professional lives. Don't allow your personal life to bleed into a professional setting and vice-versa.
Try setting boundaries in every aspect of your working and personal life. Doing this will gradually help you and your peers respect workplace limitations and set expectations regarding your availability.
If you work in a company with a flexible schedule, take short breaks throughout the day.
Think about it: We spend 40 hours a week staring at our computer screens, answering emails, and doing various other work-related activities. That's about 2,080 hours in a year spent working, or almost a quarter of our lives in a single year.
The thought that we spend almost 25% of our year on our jobs would steamroll anyone. The answer? Taking short breaks.
If possible, take 5-10 small breaks throughout the day. For instance, if you're working remotely, stand up every once in a while, from your desk and take a quick walk around your house or apartment.
When setting a meeting, invite your teammates over and hold it in a cafe for a more relaxed environment. The personal touch of meeting face-to-face with your peers while being able to take coffee breaks will do wonders for your mental health.
Luckily, some companies like Luxoft support the personal life of their employees by implementing flexible working arrangements.
Those struggling to meet deadlines without feeling overwhelmed can enrol in time management training, which teaches Luxofters how to intelligently manage their time spent on working hours and their personal lives.
Just take the word of fellow Luxofters, Nguyen Ngoc Minh and Nguyen Thanh Trung who've had positive experiences with time management training. Not only are they empowered to finish their tasks, but they’re also able to inculcate a sense of reward by setting aside leisure activities after work.
Everyone must work: This is a fact of life. However, your career shouldn't hinder you from achieving a better work-life balance - quite the contrary.
When job-hunting, make sure to find a career that you'll love and appreciate, as simple as that. You don't need to love everything about your job. But you must want to anticipate it enough, so you don't wake up each day feeling dreadful.
Find a career path you're passionate about that you'll be glad to spend most of your time doing it. If you feel overwhelmed and drained at the start and end of your shift, something isn't clicking.
If you're thinking of switching careers, why not consider applying for a job in tech? The tech industry is the next big thing. Sectors such as eCommerce, computer services, fintech, and artificial intelligence are extremely profitable, as innovations and digital solutions continue to be developed.
Nothing compares to the sense of fulfilment you'll get by being part of a project's inception down to its completion.
If interested, here's a list of Luxoft IT job opportunities. Get a chance to become a web developer, software engineer, or what have you for the biggest Fortune 500 companies in the world.
With a healthy work environment that aligns with your passions and expertise, there's a perfect role for you in Luxoft.
Did you know that poor work-life balance can lead to a string of heart-related problems?
A study conducted in 2020 found that burnout increases the risk of developing a heart rhythm problem, known as atrial fibrillation. This causes the heart to beat unevenly, either too fast, too slow, or irregularly.
So, it should go without saying you must make your health a priority. Accomplishing your job responsibilities is a feat. But with poor physical health, finishing job responsibilities won't be possible.
A way to achieve work-life balance by improving your physical health is by taking a day off if you feel unwell. Don't force yourself to show up to work when you're physically unable to do so.
You may think it's a noble act, but you're doing your colleagues and the entire company a disservice in the process. This is because poor physical well-being can lead to poor performance and overall productivity.
Another technique is optimizing your personal life. Ensure you've had enough sleep before beginning your shift. Avoid eating sugar or carb-laden food that makes you tired or sleepy.
Go for meals that will make you feel active and energetic, such as nuts, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables, etc.
When discussing work-life balance, we tend to focus on only the work aspect. However, we must realize that our personal life is just as important.
Another way to achieve a healthy work-life balance is by unwinding every chance you get. Setting aside personal time by cutting off the outside world for a few hours can help you recover from daily stress. It also creates space in your brain for creative thoughts and ideas to arise.
At Luxoft, we equally value our employees' professional and personal priorities. We believe that creativity is only possible in an environment where our employees' passions and expertise are allowed to flourish.
One way our employees unwind is by partaking in company initiatives, such as yoga classes and mental health webinars. They're a break away from the hustle and bustle of work and help promote a healthy lifestyle for all employees.
Goal-setting is vital in work-life balance as it allows you to plan what you need to do for the day, helping you improve and move forward.
Try setting short-term, achievable goals whenever you can. If, for example, you have a to-do list, your goal may be to cross out at least three or five core tasks.
Setting goals also allows you to declutter your responsibilities. This way, you can cut down on redundant and administrative tasks that don't provide any value for your work.
To help you set goals, identify areas in your work where you're most productive. It could be in the afternoon or the evening. Then, block off those hours and set them aside solely for time-sensitive tasks.
A goal can also be as simple as not getting distracted at work. In your home office, for instance, get rid of non-work-related objects like fidget toys or handheld video game consoles.
Instead of helping you focus, they're more likely to distract you away from the responsibilities at hand.
Remember that you don't have to move mountains when setting daily goals. Small achievements done consistently over an extended period are much more fulfilling and rewarding and ultimately deliver a healthier work-life balance.
Employees who are working parents understand the difficulty of spending time with their children.
Especially if both parents are working, they often have little time to spend at home and bond with their kids.
If this applies to you, you'll likely agree that your professional life often impedes your life outside work. It can be difficult, especially for young children who need as much time with their parents during their development stage.
The key is not to bury yourself solely in work. Set aside the weekends for bonding with your family, be it going to the mall, watching movies, or simply having dinner together.
If you have a flexible work schedule, use your short breaks to engage in small conversation with your friends, relatives, and other loved ones.
Nurturing your social life through simple techniques, even during work, can positively impact your work-life balance.
Research from a state university in the US found that employees experienced higher levels of workplace stress due to a lack of resources and a solid support system from their employers.
It's not difficult to imagine why. Employees tend to bottle things up when they feel overwhelmed with deadlines and tasks. A sense of helplessness kicks in and will inevitably lead to them feeling as if no one is willing to help.
But humans are social creatures. They naturally gravitate to social situations where they feel heard, seen, and accepted.
So even in work, when it seems like every man for himself, you'd be surprised at how willing your colleagues would be to assist you. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
For example, approach a supervisor or teammate if you're stumped with a problem, even if you've exhausted all resources.
You'd be surprised at how willing they are to offer a fresh lens or perspective on your problem.
And to some extent, it helps promote work-life balance: You're no longer using up your work hours scratching your head just to resolve an issue.
You're more productive as well. Having another pair of hands to work on a solution improves efficiency, allowing you to move on to the next task quickly and easily.
A healthy work-life balance is essential for your mental health, physical well-being, and social relationships.
As an employee, if you view your work as something to look forward to and not dread, you're likely to work harder, commit fewer mistakes, and foster healthier relationships with the people around you.
Here are other benefits of having a healthy work-life balance:
A company culture that's all about work-life balance leads to positive effects on employees' moods and mindsets.
They have higher energy levels for work and have much more room for creative and critical thinking. In turn, they're more encouraged to produce better output and performance overall.
Finding the perfect balance between work and outside of it encourages you to adopt a more mindful approach to things.
Mindfulness is the state of being aware and fully present of the what, how, and why of the things you do.
You're promoting more mindful thinking and behaviour by consciously setting goals, taking breaks, and eliminating distractions.
Nothing will seem too monotonous or perfunctory. Instead, every working day is something to appreciate and look forward to.
A study involving over 10,000 employees across several countries found about 70% of employees experienced some form of burnout in the past year.
Contrary to popular belief, "burnout" isn't just an imagined concept or something employees can snap out of. It's due to a host of factors, such as:
But if all of these are eliminated or minimized to a degree, burnouts are less likely to happen.
As employees are the backbone of our operations, digital solutions provider Luxoft prides itself as a pioneer in developing a model for a healthy workplace culture where work-life balance is a priority.
We are the proud recipient of the Great Place to Work Certification. Over 85% of our employees say we're a great place to work, consistently delivering agile and creative solutions for our clients with our employees' well-being in mind.
Are you looking to work for a company that values your personal and professional growth? Explore job opportunities with Luxoft Australia or contact us via email (Recruiters_AU@dxc.com) for more information.
Here are some tell-tale signs of work-life imbalance:
Here are several ways to improve your work-life balance:
Here are several obstacles to work-life balance:
Experts say that the perfect work-life balance can be achieved by working just slightly below the average of 40 hours weekly.
Another study from the World Health Organization (WHO) found that working beyond those 40 hours (55 and above) each week can increase your risk of developing a stroke or dying of heart disease.