Is it my imagination, or does life seem a little more relaxed during the holiday season? Somehow, we make more time for parties, goodwill, visits to friends and family; things may slow down just enough to hit the gym or that favorite trail more than usual.
If you’re like many professionals, it’s easy to feel ‘tethered’ to the workplace and other personal obligations. According to an Ernst and Young study completed a year ago, 24% of U.S. employees said their work-life balance is getting tougher to manage and 35% of American workers reported having to work on any given Saturday, Sunday or holiday. According to Joe Staples, CMO of Workfront “More times than not, there are no parameters set by employers on what they require from employees after hours. So the default can be an ‘always-on’ lifestyle…this presents a potential for burnout.”
I will admit – with all the ‘smart’ electronic connections that I have, it often seems that my life is on high alert; always on call! Recently, I had a chance to get away and recharge. It was my first real vacation of the year. I felt a little guilty leaving at a time when seasonal programs were gearing back up at our after school sites and the budgeting process was just beginning to get traction. But I knew that I needed a break and had to ‘reboot’ my energy level and capacity.
My trip out west included hiking into the Grand Canyon and up Yosemite Falls. The beauty and grandeur of the scenery (not to mention the peace and quiet) were a blessing. This trip made me a believer in doing better at maintaining my work/life balance.
So, as we approach this holiday season, remember this statistic; 38% of employees have missed life events because of a bad work-life balance. From birthdays to kids’ baseball games to anniversaries, nearly two in five survey respondents revealed that they’ve had to skip some milestone moments due to work.
Start planning now; mark those important dates and keep those commitments to yourself and your loved ones! Get out there, enjoy and stay healthy!