If you’re struggling to achieve a good work/life balance, a coworking space could be the answer to your prayers and it can benefit both your mental and physical health.
Many surveys have concluded that when employees have the time and space to live a whole and rounded life, rather than being overloaded with work, their sense of wellbeing improves, and they feel happier.
A happy workforce is good news for the business too!
A report on flexible working in the UK by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service revealed a poor work/life balance led to stress, employee absence and low productivity.
When you get it right, there are lower levels of sickness and stress, and higher levels of efficiency and productivity. This can apply to anyone, in any circumstance.
What is work/life balance?
A healthy work/life balance means different things to each individual. It’s not as simple as dividing your time 50/50 between work and leisure activities. It means ensuring you feel content and fulfilled in each area of your life.
A healthy balance might mean meeting your work deadlines without feeling stressed and still having enough time to enjoy family, friends and hobbies afterwards. It can mean having time to sleep and eat properly because you’re not stressing about work when you’re at home.
It can be challenging if you also have additional worries such as caring for a family member, health issues or a particularly demanding workload with a lot of responsibility, for example. However, there are always ways of improving your situation if you give it some thought.
Work life balance importance
It’s too easy to normalise exceptionally long working hours and feeling under extreme stress at the office. If you’ve been feeling this way for a long time and all your colleagues are in the same position, you assume “that’s the way it is” and carry on regardless.
If you’re working 9-5 and find yourself having to stay late some evenings or work weekends to catch up, or because you’re worried you don’t earn enough to pay your bills, you could be getting burned out without even realising it.
Work/life balance has to be an ongoing cycle, not an achievement that you hardly ever attain. When you work in a corporate office, however, it can be more challenging to take stock and make a change.
Self-care can positively impact your home and work life. People who are feeling stressed at work often bring their problems home with them. Apart from feeling unable to switch off, causing them to snap at family members, they might be continually checking work emails on their mobile device, for example.
How to improve work life balance
If you struggle to turn off from work and are often found working too much overtime, you may need to make a few changes.
When everyone’s leaving for the weekend and saying, “See you on Monday,” but you’re worrying about putting in some unplanned overtime over the weekend to be prepared for next week, take a step back and recognise something needs to change. Ask yourself, what’s currently causing me stress and anxiety? How is it impacting my job and my personal life? Most importantly, ask yourself, what am I going to do about it?
A survey of 4,200 workers by Business in the Community reveals 51% of UK employees feel they “can’t switch off from work” at the end of the business day. In addition, 41% of employees have had to work unscheduled overtime when they haven’t felt like it and have even struggled to take annual leave because of work commitments. Around 55% of respondents stated they felt “pressurised” to check emails and respond to business calls after working hours.
The survey concludes that the mental health impact for employees who can’t switch off from work is “going in the wrong direction” – with people suffering excess stress and anxiety as a result.
You need to set boundaries with your boss and colleagues to establish a clear division between work and your private life.
You may not be able to control everything in your job, but with a flexible workspace, you can take steps to set out boundaries, so work doesn’t take over your life.
The basic rule is when you’re at work, focus on the job, but after you go home, concentrate on your personal life and put work on the backburner ‘til you’re next in the office.
A coworking space can be the key to establishing clear boundaries between work and leisure time. If you have a heavy workload, set out a sensible schedule so you can complete it efficiently without letting it take over your “me” time.
For example, you could arrive at the office earlier one day, set aside time for sufficient breaks and then be prepared to work through to the end of the day to complete the bulk of your projects.
In a coworking space, it’s up to you what hours you put in. If you know in advance that you’re going to work one long day and have a viable schedule planned, once it’s done, you’ll end the day feeling as if you’ve achieved something.
On the other hand, if you’re working the traditional 9-5, you’ll end up downing tools at the set time and worrying you’re going to have a similarly tough day tomorrow. Once you exit the coworking space, you can leave work behind and focus on your personal life.
How can coworking help with socialising?
While you can thrive and feel inspired in the creative buzz of a coworking space, you can also enjoy the privacy of a private meeting room for those confidential moments.
Work doesn’t have to feel like a chore in a coworking space. There’s also a greater sense of community when you’re coworking.
Take time out to relax and recharge your batteries: have a coffee, attend a yoga session, or even just have a chat with others in the break room to boost your mood and leave you feeling energised and refreshed.
If you’re coworking in London, there are plenty of opportunities to socialise after work with colleagues to unwind. With a myriad of bars, restaurants, coffee bars and other places to socialise in the capital, choosing coworking office space in London means you have the best of both worlds. Not only will you have the ultimate flexible workspace facilities, but you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy a great social life.
Coworking in central London has advantages for everyone including freelancers, entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. Working with like-minded people, in a more relaxed environment, can help improve your work/life balance through chatting with fellow co-workers to help overcome any business challenges.
The sense of community and collaboration ensures you don’t feel swamped, even during the most challenging days and situations.
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