Issues and Challenges

The Elusive Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance (WLB) is a concept without a solid definition but generally it is about achieving an acceptable harmony or integration between your professional and personal life. No one can give us a proper formula to balance this equation. It is important to figuring out what suits you best because finding a balance is different for everyone. In today’s technological era, work-life flexibility is a better suited term as compared to WLB. It cannot be denied that technology has made all of us accessible at all times for work and to exist in a competitive environment and to earn a reputation at the work place, one needs to be flexible, however, flexibility doesn’t mean an imbalanced life. We need to create harmony in all aspects of life though it seems like an unrealistic target for many people.
A poor work-life integration can produce critical and unhealthy situations in life. People, just because of poor WLB, suffer from depression, anxiety and stress. In a culture like ours such stories are very common especially for women. According to one survey, almost 40% of women left their jobs just because of poor WLB. The survey reveals that majority of the women decided to leave their jobs because at the end of the day they were left with no time for themselves. It is highly appreciable how our society has encouraged and trained females to stand equal to men in all professions and has provided them with equal opportunities to become financially independent and share the responsibilities in the economic development of the society. The fact remains, however, that at the end of the day when a woman reaches home there is a list of obligations and expectations from her family members that she needs to fulfill and when she is unable to meet these, she feels guilty and somehow inadequate in her own eyes. It is unfortunate that men are not brought up to help around the house as that is considered a purely female domain and so they fail to share the social responsibility of a household. For men, after their work time, their personal time starts, which they can enjoy with their family and friends. On the contrary, a woman balances a hectic schedule between work and home, which leaves her in a more drastic work-life imbalance and ultimately leads her to quit her career. Women are more stressed as compared to men and this stress negatively affects their productivity as well as their personality.
To provide our women with a healthy work-life balance and enable them to enjoy both facets of life, we need to educate our men to contribute in domestic chores equally and share the responsibilities of the house and children. Society should also be flexible in terms of bombarding different social and domestic responsibilities on the shoulders of women alone.  It will surely pave the path for a satisfied career and personal life for both men and women. Having said that, it is also true that women have to exact this change, because they are the ones who carry the major burden of raising and grooming children.
Women also need to recognize their true potential and know how much is ‘too much’ for them. We need to formulate tactics to deal with balancing our work and life by keeping some significant and effective points in mind pending a change in the general working of societal norms.

Set Priorities
WLB can be attained to a great extent by setting the priorities in life. One should know what is important and cannot be left behind in work and personal life and thus, completing those tasks with full attention will save you from a chaotic life with many halfdone chores.
A Healthy Relationship at Work
It is highly favorable to have good relationship with your boss and colleagues. For that you need to be fully sincere and honest towards your work. Improve communication with your employers and try to provide them some additional services when needed so that they would also show some flexibility in your difficult time, which will help you to maintain a healthy work-life balance.  
Focused Approach
Try to line up your tasks in a smart way; instead of wasting your precious time in meaningless pursuits, you should complete your official assignments in your work time. This will definitely help you to enjoy your personal life without any strain of pending work.
Try to divide your burden by assigning different tasks to your juniors, and co-workers at work, and spouse and family members at home. It will save you from extra stress and the goals will be accomplished in a much easier way. 
Use Technology
Staying away from kids and family during office hours brings dissatisfaction and sometimes guilt in working women but technology has eliminated this problem altogether. Stay connected with family and keep an eye on your children by telephonic or video calls.
Demarcate Between Work and Home
To maintain an appropriate work-life equation, it is important to demarcate clearly between the two equally important spheres of life. Don’t confuse your work and personal life — do your work honestly while at the office and enjoy your social and family life at home.
Don’t Compromise on ‘Me-Time’
Never forget yourself in the race of your career and social life. Do gift some leisure time to yourself. Take care of yourself, read some good books, watch your favorite TV programs, visit your friends, spend some time with nature and take care of your diet. It will make you feel that you have WLB and will subsequently enhance your productivity not only at home but at the office as well. HH

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