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Striking the Balance

 17th Oct 2019

The stresses and strains of modern living can be considerable. Balancing commitments at home, at work and with family and friends can often be a task in itself but it is a blend that is hugely important in terms of wellbeing and in the relentless pursuit of happiness.

As recruiters we often see people at a time when this challenge has just got too much. The work and life balance is out of kilter and the demands and expectations of a role are no longer deemed reasonable and the reward insufficient. Conversely, we often see people who feel the challenge has dropped out of their role and they need re-invigorated, they want a fresh challenge and need to feel motivated again and so it is time to turn up the pressure and for them to push upwards and onwards. In both scenarios the common goal of the individuals is to get that sense of balance back.

It is this balance that companies and individuals are both becoming increasingly aware of, with many companies introducing initiatives to help employees achieve it. Flexible working is both topical and more importantly sensible. It allows individuals to ensure that they are able to balance their work and personal commitments, often de-stressing situations and allowing a common sense approach to work, usually improving productivity as a result. Equally important however, is that individuals look after themselves. We all have a duty of care to do this for ourselves, for our families and our employers.

There is no magical formula for balance and often individuals look for complex options where simple ones suffice. Solutions are all specific to individuals but may simply be to participate in things like regular exercise, or setting aside small amounts of personal time to read, to watch a movie or to meet with family or friends to relax.  It may also be to set ourselves positive goals, something to look forward to, a holiday or visit somewhere, a fun run, endurance event or fitness objective, to get involved in initiatives that help others like volunteer work or charitable work, and to set goals in line with our employment and careers. It is setting these targets that will help us look forward, engage ourselves both mentally and physically and that can help inspire us and offer huge sense of both achievement and satisfaction.

I am in no way qualified to advise upon such issues but to me this is simply all a case of common sense and self-awareness. It is therefore incredibly important that we all stop and actually consider what truly makes us happy, what motivates and stimulates us and to realise that by indulging ourselves in whatever does, we can actually influence and improve our own happiness, well being and productivity in both our personal and work lives. We all enjoy spending time with balanced people, people who are positive and energised. These people will very likely have found that equilibrium in terms of work and life balance and found mechanisms to ensure they feel comfortable yet challenged on an ongoing basis. In the vast majority of cases a happier person will make a better friend, family member or colleague, and a more productive one, but above all it can make you feel better equipped to deal with the challenges of modern life.

We owe it to us to ensure we look after ourselves as well as others. Plan a holiday, take up a new hobby, put aside some personal time, discuss your career goals and development with your employer but make sure you give yourself the best chance of striking a sensible balance that works for you. If it does, it should work better for those around you too.


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