Work-life balance is a process that can be continuously improved to ensure better quality of life. People want to improve balance between different areas of their lives achieving wellbeing and reducing stress caused by overlapping work and family life. It is essential to understand that there is no single situation that would work equally well for everyone, since it depends on personal subjective view and it is a process of seeking and finding best practical solutions and emotional satisfaction with what is happening.
When balance between work and home cannot be achieved, it can lead to:
- Dissatisfaction with life;
- Dissatisfaction with work;
- Various practical difficulties;
Difficulties to achieve work-family reconciliation arise when responsibilities at work and at home overlap. It can be related to certain periods in people’s lives, including starting a family, illness of someone in the family or looking after family members. In such situations people inevitably start having more responsibilities at home. Difficulties to balance work and home can also arise from the nature of work, such as:
- Working too many hours;
- Night work;
- Too much work or lengthy trips, which do not allow people to perform any duties at home or balance their lives with the lives of other family members.
Apart from personalised solutions to find a balance between work and home, there are many things that everyone can do for themselves:
- Government: Provides paid parental leave, sets maximum working hours allowed by law, gives additional days off for parents with children, etc.
- Local municipalities: Provide childcare services, improve environment and develop infrastructure for spending leisure time.
- Employer: Provides paid leave, additional days off for parents with children, childcare facilities at the workplace or co-financing of childcare services, etc.
Do you know what support is offered by your employer?
Some employers offer opportunity to work from home, flexible hours or part-time job, offer other additional benefits to support balance between work and home, e.g. organise events for children. Often such support measures are included in contracts between the employer and the employees. Some practices adopted by employers, see in the video.