Best Practices to Achieve a Better Work-Life Balance : Under30CEO Best Practices to Achieve a Better Work-Life Balance : Under30CEO
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Best Practices to Achieve a Better Work-Life Balance

| August 11, 2013 | 6 Comments

Dilberts work life balance

For most of us, juggling the demands of our career and personal life is an ongoing challenge. Achieving the elusive work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat, especially for those of us who strive to give 100 percent into everything we do. Even if you don’t have much control over the hours you work, you can focus time and energy on creating a successful balance between work and your personal life to reduce stress and increase happiness.

Recently, the job site Indeed.com recently released a list of the top 25 companies nationwide in terms of work-life balance determined through an in-depth content-analysis of former and current employee reviews.

Here’s a closer look at how a handful of these companies are generating unique ways to achieve work-life balance:

Think outside the box (and your board room).

Work-life balance is often determined by the time you spend at your desk versus the time you spend on yourself. Companies are now embracing this idea and infusing it into the daily work regimen. For example, the application development firm Fifth Tribe, works with collaborators over an intensive four-mile hike rather than a conference room. This strategy not only promotes thinking outside the box, but the experience of cooperatively overcoming a physical challenge builds camaraderie in a way rarely replicated in a boardroom.

Flex your time.

In today’s world, most people work for the sole fact that they need to make a living, as most of us aren’t putting in long hours at the office out of pure enjoyment. Working an 8-5 schedule everyday leaves little flexibility for other things in our lives such as dropping off/picking up the kids from school, or being present at an important family gathering. That’s why companies such as the web application firm 37signals, has put immense importance on providing a flexible work atmosphere for employees. 37signals allows employees to make their own schedules with their own times, which empowers employees to focus their energy in the most productive ways possible.

Take adequate time off.

Vacations are a time for you to take a moment for yourself to breathe, recharge your batteries, and come back to work excited and motivated. In addition, while you’re on vacation, your employers have an excellent opportunity to see how their team operates without you there.  It makes your company appreciate your hard work more, once they understand how much time you are consistently dedicating.

Don’t be scared to put family first.

Any parent understands that raising a child (not to mention several) is a full-time job in itself that may require unplanned attention at any given point in the day. Companies such as American Express provide options for parents such as on-site daycare services and the ability to address family emergencies when they arise, having backup plans within the company to cover for employees who have a last minute family obligation. This is a great strategy for companies trying to support employees with high career and family ambitions.

Share your best practices in how to achieve a better work-life balance.

Trae Lewis is a recent graduate of University of Colorado and a staff writer for CollegeFocus, a website dedicated to helping students deal with the challenges of college, including housing, finance, style, health, relationships, and transferring from a community college to a four-year university. You can follow CollegeFocus on Twitter at @CollegeFocus101 and Facebook at www.fb.com/collegefocus.

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Category: Career Advice, Entrepreneurship

  • cesar romero

    Hey Trae, great article on a subject that is very elusive for a lot of people. I think this will always be a daily constant battle to keep that balance but it’s important to put ourselves first each day by doing simple things like drinking water, having good breakfast, exercise, reading, writing, etc. Also, I think the rigid 9-5 schedule doesn’t work anymore as it doesn’t provide the necessary flexibility with your time to take care of other obligations, but for people that find themselves under this schedule, it’s important to always have time for yourself everyday, when you wake up and when you go to sleep; these small changes really set the tone for the day.

  • http://www.twoodo.com/ Andrea Francis

    I agree – the idea that working 10 – 14 hours a day will eventually pay off is silly for knowledge-based work (which is what most of the readers of online productivity are doing!). Your head will explode. Time off is incredibly important. I’m interested to know – do Americans feel that 14 vacation days is enough per year? Is that the norm? Is it enough to recharge fully?

  • Tim Ryan

    Trae – Good stuff. Love the concept of a four-mile hike to discuss important business. I’m trying to encourage our team to take downward dog breaks throughout the day. Get’s the blood flowing and stretches out the shoulders and hamstrings in a minute or two.

    Keep up the good work.

    fyi – I’m a CU grad too.

    Tim Ryan
    @youearnedit

  • Daniel DiPiazza

    Good stuff here, Trae. I think the key to balance is remembering that although you may have a lot of priorities, not every priority carries equal weight. If you can organize things around areas of your life that hold the most importance, you can spend time on the areas that really matter rather than trying to get a bunch of tasks done just for the sake of checking them off a list.

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Belinda Summers

    Making a living is a mandatory aspect in order to support our needs and the needs of people we tend to. However, many misunderstood that concept. Making a living isn’t just having a job or working hard so you can get a raise. Doing your hobbies, playing with your kids, going on a trip is all part of having a life.

    Thanks for the inspiring article! Cute comic, too.

  • Justin Tan

    Hey Trae this is good stuff but I think you could add one more point: prioritizing. Usually we (or at least I) do a lot of non valuable things just because they are easier to do as opposed to something that is actually important. With that mindset, you can then really maximize the time you have available to you