Work- life balance  it’s a popular catchphrase and it sounds good, reasonable even.

Are you able to sync with the idea of WORK - LIFE BALANCING ACT?
Are you able to sync with the idea of WORK - LIFE BALANCING ACT?

But is it what we  should really strive for ? Does it even exist? 

Especially in urban India, the phrase is bandied about quiet frequently. To the majority of people working in corporate and entrepreneurial India, s balance between the hours we spend at work versus the ones we spend on the rest of our life’s seems unrealistic, and frequently undoable. The implications of work-life imbalance, however can be drastic. Over the years, the approach to work life balance has been constantly evolving. It’s definition varies significantly from baby boomers to generation X and millennials. 

Baby boomers carved stability in the workplace and valued the opportunity for employment above everything else. Because if this, work life balance wasn’t a priority. As a result, 80 percent of baby boomers report moderate to high levels of stress. As children of baby boomers, Gen Xers were exposed to the effect that long work hours had on personal life and therefore, Gen xers stared to view work life balance as a necessary prerequisite to a happy personal life. Work was not the sole objective of a happy life but a means through which they could enrich the lives of their family. With millennials, work ethic is thought to be secondary, or just a part of life.

59 % of millennials report feeling worried about finding a career path that will support the lifestyle they’ve envisioned for themselves. 

BUT WHY IS WORK-LIFE BALANCE SKEWED IN INDIA TODAY DOES ANYONE KNOW?

From balancing work to having a life, we’ve come full circle. Don’t confuse having a career with having a life. The most common reason for the lack of work-life balance is our inability to decide what we want as our end state. It is important to know your objective before seeking this balance.  Work life balance is skewed because people view their careers as their primary identities, and therefore prioritise that over everything else. 

What’s more overworked people enter the comfort zone of being needed, wanted and indispensible at their job, and so believe that they cannot disconnect, since their organisation won’t function without them. The other problem is financial security. Everyone needs to pay the bills, and India is now an aspirational market. Sometimes, the need to build a nest egg for a rainy day, and to lead a good life is so great that we are willing to spend most of our day working, without questioning the demands of the job. There is also the fact that technology has made us accessible at the touch of a button, and it is difficult to switch off completely, unless we are willing to make that effort to detach.

WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF WORK-LIFE IMBALANCE 

Obviously, the single major area that work-life imbalance impacts is health both physical and mental. Stress is the most important byproduct of a life that demands more of you in the workplace, making you pile up or put off all your other commitments for a later time. Also India’s infrastructure cannot really support its exploding population just commuting to and from work is a major cause of stress. Stress can lead to a variety of issues like high blood pressure, cholestero, spikes in blood sugar, anaemia, depression, anger issues and in extreme situations even cancer and heart problems. 

Too much stress over a long period of time leads to workplace burnout. Burnout can cause fatigue, mood swings, irritability and a decrease in productivity. If you stretch yourself too thin, you will soon start looking at your job with dread and forget all the reasons you chose it as a career in the first place. Also, do you want to be guilty of absenteeism in life? Don’t be that parent who misses their sons gold medal win or isn’t there for their sisters wedding because something important camp came up at work. 

HOW DOES ONE ARRIVE AT THE PERFECT WORK LIFE BALANCE? 

By accepting that perfect means perfect for the individual and by realising that you have to create this for yourself, by yourself. This isn’t something that has a black and white answer. It depends on various things, starting from an individuals financial needs, to their age and stage in their career, to what actually makes them happy. 

Try to integrate work and personal life 

Rest out stress 

Try to prioritise health 

Try to invest in building a support system.

Eat wisely.

Focus and know your peak time and place 

Focus on what really matters.

Pace yourself 

WHAT SHOULD WORKING MOTHERS AND COUPLES WHO CO-PARENT, KEEP IN MIND? 

Working Indian Women are expected to be superior wives and stellar employees. In today’s nuclear family, it is mandatory that the husband be an equal partner at home. It is important to define roles and responsibilities between the couple so that there are no overlaps or last minute surprises. This helps the couple pre plan their day effectively. It also helps in the child’s growth and development, with equal time from both parents. If you don’t have family support, choose a good day care centre or a nanny to take care of your child. Remember, this doesn’t make you a bad mother. Don’t try to be super woman. She’s fictional and exists only in the movies.
 


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