As a small business owner the hours in the day never seem to be enough. There is constant rushing from one place to another, packing in as many meetings as possible. When something breaks you fix it, when someone is out sick you cover it. Pretty soon it seems as though work has taken over your life and you start you ask yourself whether this is all worth it. When work and life get out of balance there are real long-term consequences. It’s important to recognize it and put a stop to it before it overwhelms you.
In the United States the balance between work and life is already very poor, and things are getting worse. Where once there was a distinct 40 hour work week for most professionals, now the work day is steadily creeping up past eight hours a day. Where once workers would leave the office and work would stay there, now technology has made it easier to answer emails and do other work outside of normal working hours.
In fact, 40% of American workers say that it’s ok to answer urgent emails at the dinner table, even though 57% of American workers say that technology had ruined the modern family dinner because employers expect a response at any hour. Small business owners are usually the ones blurring the lines and it’s up to small business owners to reset some reasonable boundaries.
Poor balance between work and life has real consequences. In the short term it can lead to problems such as high employee turnover and low engagement at work as well as missed opportunities at home. In the long run it can even lead to anxiety and depression.
So what are today’s modern employees looking for in terms of work/life balance? Technology has enabled people to work from home when weather is bad, and in fact many people would like the flexibility to work from home even when the weather is fine in order to cut out some commuting time now and then. People are also looking for flexibility in scheduling to accommodate their lives outside of work so they don’t have to choose between being there for their families and earning a paycheck.
Small business owners have tremendous power to reshape the landscape of modern work life. In an era when the lines between work and home are blurred by technology, it’s time to use that technology in a way that can help reverse this trend. Learn more about restoring work/life balance from this infographic!
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