It’s an unfortunate thing that most employees today aren’t pleased with their work-life balance. When you spend too much time plugging away at the office, it can not only impact your attitude about your job, but also, your health and relationships. If you’ve been struggling with work-life balance, it pays to pursue your options for a more flexible work arrangement. Otherwise, you risk burning out and alienating the most important people in your life in the process.
The upside of flexibility
When you have the option to work from home, set your own hours, or alter your schedule to accommodate personal needs, you’re less likely to fall behind on non-work obligations. And that’s crucial to maintaining solid relationships with the most important people in your life. In fact, 87% of workers say that having a more flexible job would enable them to spend more time with family and friends, according to FlexJobs. Meanwhile, 81% feel that a flexible work arrangement would make them a better spouse or partner, and 76% think it would make them a better friend.
Folks with kids (or kids on the brain) feel similarly. A good 61% of workers who have children, or plan to, feel that a job with flexibility would make them a better parent.
Relationships aside, having more flexibility on the job could work wonders for your health. In fact, 89% of workers think that having a flexible job would enable them to better care for themselves, while 88% believe it would achieve the ever-important goal of reducing their stress.
Making the case
If your current job lacks flexibility, it pays to sit down with your boss and ask for more leeway. If your job is such that it can be done remotely, working from home, at least on a partial basis, is a good way to free up time in your schedule by eliminating or reducing your commuting hours. Working from home might also enable you to better keep up with personal responsibilities. For example, if you’re on a conference call, you might conceivably fold some laundry while listening to your colleagues update the team on their progress.
If your job really can’t be done from home (say, you manage physical equipment, or need the option to collaborate with others in person), see if tweaking your hours is a possibility. Commuting off-peak, for example, might shorten your travel time, thereby freeing up hours for you to do other things.
The more established and trusted an employee you are, the greater your chances of eking some amount of flexibility out of your boss. But if that doesn’t work, it might be time to dust off your resume and pursue opportunities elsewhere. Having too rigid an employer is hardly the ticket to an acceptable work-life balance, so if you’re keen on lowering your stress and making more time for your family, friends, and even yourself, jumping ship could be a worthwhile move if it helps you achieve that goal.