Is Work-Life Balance A Myth?

In the digital world of today, has the emergence of flexible working conditions and 24/7 connectivity made the concept of ‘work-life balance’ dated?

Previously I wrote how the next generation of leaders prize flexibility at work. But a recent study from alldayPA revealed an increasing amount of employees are choosing to stay connected to work outside of office hours.

The survey of 1,000 workers revealed 32% of employees will take work calls during their own time while a further 36% will actively check and respond to emails. Smartphones were found to be the major cause of this disruption, with the vast majority (86%) of out-of-hours working being carried out on these devices.

With the rise of smartphones, tablets, cloud access to data and social media, we are able to connect to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once were the days where we could escape and disconnect from work for hours at a time.

24/7 Connected Employees

In theory, the concept of “work-life balance” makes sense. Numerous studies show dividing time between work and leisure leads to a more stress-free, rewarding life. Yet we’re a nation of connected consumers who expect on-demand 23/7/365 customer service and support. To accommodate this, businesses have embraced the always-on workforce.

Advances in technology have allowed employees to work remotely anywhere which has cause work and life to intertwine. The traditional work-life balance does not exist anymore.

Chasing Productivity

For many workers, there’s and unspoken expectation that the more hours worked, the more valuable they’re as an employee. Often this is reinforced by management who put in 60 to 80 hours work and expect employees to do the same.

While the always-connected business is valuable to innovation, customer satisfaction and company growth, employees who are unable to disconnect from work can suffer greatly from burnout.

A study from Workfront found the biggest byproduct of poor work-life balance is company resentment which soon morphs into low performance and poor morale.

Work-Life Unbalance

Sometimes it can be difficult to mentally separate work and life because they’re too commingled. When we’re distracted by life, we’re unable to work effectively and give 100 percent in our work. Conversely, if we have a bad day in the office we often bring this mood home.

The key to separating the two is to make the conscious decision to be present and not let the angst in one influence the other. Make sure the hours you work, or enduring leisure time, you’re completely there and your mind isn’t elsewhere.

The Best Of Both Worlds

Telephone answering services can allow for you to keep your business open 24/7 whilst taking the burden of phone calls from employees. This will allow your company to work smarter and be more productive. For employees who find it difficult to resist the temptation of checking their phone, Digital Detox services are available.

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