Bulletin
Investor Alert

New York Markets Open in:

Next Avenue

Dec. 11, 2021, 1:29 p.m. EST

Is work/life balance just a fantasy? Next year, get more life in your life

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Nancy Collamer

This article is reprinted by permission from  .

Are you ready to take control of your work/life balance in 2022? I ask because, despite the dramatic rise in working from home during the pandemic, many employees and self-employed people report feeling more stressed than ever.

Workplace consultant Lindsay Pollak writes that she’s “hearing from employees and leaders at all levels across all industries about how they’re experiencing higher burnout, anxiety and depression, as well as how employers are receiving more and more requests from employees for mental health breaks.” Pollak thinks mental health in the workplace will be  the  HR headline for 2022.

And in a recent McKinsey & Co. look at trends for 2022, one CEO said “Prioritizing work-life balance across all industries including those that have typically been hostile or predatory to their workforce will impact the economy in fundamental ways.”

For some, work/life balance is a fantasy

Of course, for many low-level and essential workers who labor at more than one job and rarely have the luxury of working from home, achieving work/life balance is a near impossible feat.  Low pay remains the top driver of workplace stress , followed by long hours and a lack of advancement opportunities, according to the latest American Psychological Association well-being survey.

Yet for some, the pandemic has improved their work/life balance. A recent survey of 1,010 U.S. employees from the invoicing company Skynova found that a whopping  83% of people believe they currently have a positive work/life balance .

“We were surprised to learn that this percentage is as high as it is,” said Jennifer Graham, a web developer at Skynova. “But many companies have implemented new policies to help combat resignations and employee turnover. These new incentives have contributed to the work-life balance we see in our study.”

Reason for optimism

Clearly, work/life balance during the pandemic has varied widely, depending upon the job, personal circumstances and a host of other factors. To quote Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Also see: If your employer really wants to hire the best workers, here are 4 proven paths to success

Yet despite the ongoing challenges, as a coach who specializes in helping people with second-act careers and reinvention, I think there’s reason for optimism moving forward.

More companies have embraced flexibility due to the pandemic. And with employers desperate to fill job vacancies and retain workers — a record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September — you’ll likely have stronger negotiating power for better work/life balance than you’ve had in quite some time.

Three steps to improve work/life balance in 2022

So, whether you’re looking to switch jobs or make your current position or entrepreneurial endeavor less stressful, here are three steps to help improve your work/life balance next year:

1. Define your work/life priorities . While you’ll never achieve  the  perfect balance, the first step is to get clear about your list of wants and needs. This list will differ for everyone, so make sure it reflects your priorities.

Typically, there’s a range of components that influence work/life balance. Among the factors referenced in the Skynova study: securing a flexible schedule, having more time for family and hobbies, not having to work overtime, being able to take breaks during the workday and having the ability to take sufficient vacation time without being made to feel guilty for taking it.

Page 1 Page 2
This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Retirement

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Partner Center

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.