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Career Corner: In search of work-life balance

 

In Search of Work-Life Balance: The “New Normal”
In today’s busy world, prioritizing between your work and personal lives can be a huge challenge. Studies show that a poor work-life balance can result in unhealthy levels of stress, relationship problems, health concerns, low motivation and reduced productivity.
In a 24/7 society it can be difficult to achieve work-life balance. Email, calls, texts and never-ending work overlap into our personal lives in a number of ways. When you think about it, work-life balance is not static but is instead based on a continuum. Some projects or tasks are going to require longer hours; other times you may have a crisis such as sick children/family members or transportation issues which require your immediate attention.
 
 
WORKPLACE TRENDS CREATING A “NEW NORMAL” REALITY
• There are fewer people needing to do more work.
• Globalization and speed of information demands 24/7 responsiveness.
• The need to constantly be connected and “on” to stay competitive.
• The speed of change is more than we can keep up with.
 
To accommodate the diverse needs and personal commitments of employees, many progressive companies are now offering:
• Alternative Work Arrangements — providing flexible or alternative schedules to help employees balance work and personal needs.
• Telecommuting — enabling employees to work all or part of their scheduled hours away from the office, yet remain connected via technology and mobile devices.
• Job Sharing — splitting duties of a full-time position between employees, usually implemented in jobs requiring routine tasks.
• Sabbatical / Family Leave — giving employees who have been working awhile the opportunity to pursue other projects, rest from work or take a break, often lasting from two months to a year.
• Employee Assistance / Work Life Programs — offering confidential counseling services and professional referral service to help employees faced with challenges.
 
FINDING A WORK-LIFE BALANCE THAT FITS YOU
• Track your time.
Pay attention to your daily tasks, including work-related and personal activities. Decide what’s necessary and what satisfies you the most. Cut or delegate activities when possible. Communicate your concerns to your employer and offer possible solutions.
 
• Take advantage of your options.
Ask your employer about flexible hours, a compressed work week, job sharing, telecommuting or other scheduling flexibility. Show how it can help the organization.
 
• Learn to say, “No.”
When you quit accepting tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you’ll have more time for the activities that are meaningful to you.
 
• Leave work at work.
With the technology to connect any time from virtually anywhere, there may be no boundary between work and home — unless you create it. Make a conscious decision to separate work time from personal time, and focus on what is important.
 
• Set priorities and manage your time.
Do what needs to be done and let the rest go.
 
• Build your support system.
Create alliances with co-workers who can help when work or family conflicts arise. At home, enlist trusted friends and loved ones to pitch in with child care or household responsibilities when you need to work on special projects or travel.
• Take time for stillness and nurture yourself.
Eat a healthy diet, include physical activity in your daily routine and get enough sleep. Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy.
 
Remember, the Career Development Office is always here for you. If you would like to discuss your career plans, contact us at (716) 673-3327 or careers@fredonia.edu. You can also visit www.fredonia.edu/cdo to schedule an appointment.

 

posted @ Wednesday, January 21, 2015 4:08 PM by Kara Murray

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