Work Life - Greatest Source of Stress
Surprise, surprise - as if you hadn't already guessed. According to Steve L. Sauter of the Nation Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the workplace has become the single greatest source of stress. This is exactly what a healthy work life balance can alleviate if executed correctly.
Society has evolved to a point that pressure is placed on achieving excellence at our job to where we put all other facets of our lives on the back-burner. Yes, having a job is critical to allowing you to provide for you and your family but a 6-figure paycheck will never be able to buyback the lost time with your friends, family, youth and hobbies that you sacrificed to obtain that level of income.
Stress levels and your health
The primary symptom of a work life imbalance is stress. Albeit one needs a job to live comfortably, there are still other critical elements of life that have to be addressed: bills, sleep and medical checkups just to name a few. When you start to neglect your non-work related responsibilities the stress that follows is inevitable. Stress manifests itself in both psychological and physiological ways, according to WebMd. An extreme example of a psychological consequence is letting home-life responsibilities pile up to the point that you snap and have a nervous breakdown. Other less extreme examples are irritability, coping skills and difficulty concentrating just to name a few.
The physiological repercussions are actually very scary. Some examples include cardiovascular disease, a weaker immune system and more. It is much more difficult to undo the damage done physiologically then psychologically in most cases. A prime example is binge eating, as a coping mechanism for the stress, leading to obesity. You can't just revert back to a healthy weight overnight. A healthy and sustainable weight loss schedule amounts to losing about one pound per week. So if you find yourself 30 pounds overweight, you are looking at over six months of repair work.
Why can't work be my life?
This is a great question for today's topic. Nobody says that work can't be your life. There are plenty of happy workaholics that never think twice about what they might be missing out on from a leisure perspective. However, for most of us we carry two identities in our adulthood: our job title and our passion. While that may sound like a gross oversimplification, it really isn't. As we mature, our jobs evolve to define us, and you can tell a lot about a person based on their job responsibilities. We dedicate 2000+ hours a year to this facet of our lives so of course you should be proud of what you do. Then there are our passions which can be anything from family to ping-pong to snow skiing to simply reading. These facets of our lives bring us a different kind of joy while our work gives us a sense of accomplishment. If you can find a healthy theoretical balance between these two, you are on course to be a very happy individual.
Can employers help me find a work life balance?
Of course! It should actually be a prime objective of management to strive to accomplish this. Although impossible to please everyone, management can still aim to build a company culture with similar values. Have you ever wondered why you continue to hear more and more about "company campuses" - the ones where there are game areas, catered food, gyms and even climbing walls? These campuses encompass elements that the employees use to identify themselves when they're not on the clock. You might think this is playing with fire by giving employees such easy access to their hobbies, but it's not. This actually significantly reduces employee turnover because, think of it, how could you leave a job that not only gives you money but also easy access to your other passions and needs? It also leads to an increase in productivity. Take care of your employees and, in turn, they will take care of your business.
In summary, there are many benefits to finding a work life balance and suppressing work stress. It's a matter of Human Resources. From the employee's perspective, it's a healthier, happier life. From the employer's viewpoint, it is a more-efficient and motivated workforce. It's a classic win-win!
Vaughn is the CEO of VTR second, and a loving husband/father first. He took control of VTR in 2016 when he saw a platform and associated content that was not being utilized to it’s full potential. He has always had a passion for learning and wanted to provide the masses a low cost means to study the building blocks of running a business. VTR was born from this passion. Seeing that only MBA programs offered the knowledge that everyone deserves to know, he took an online MBA program and put a team in place that could scale down the courses in to bite-size chunks that everyone could afford to pursue. Thanks to a dedicated team VTR continues to grow and hopes to one day be the go to for Continuing Education needs.