Millennials get a bit of a bad rap for doing those silly things that millennials do – remember the plank challenge? One thing they do seem to be nailing though is the focus on building a better work-life balance. Now more than ever there is a focus on having a career that enables a person to prioritise their health and wellbeing. With improvements in leave entitlements and increased flexible working arrangements, the crew at Uptasker thought it would be an excellent time to find out what the sitch with work-life balance is? By informing you, the reader, we hope this blog will help you to live your best life (singing the Snoop Dogg track while I write this).
Work from Home
There is an increase in people working from home in South Africa; according to data collected from the ABS in 2016, one in three people are now working from home regularly. There are so many benefits for this work model and staying in your PJs for the day tops the list. Escaping the rat race that is the daily commute is top of lots of people’s lists in fact, as is the ability to reduce costs such as childcare and fuel.
While there are many benefits to working from home, there are also some identified downsides. Some people may find that their productivity is reduced when working from home and that distractions such as washing and ironing can get in the way. Another bone of contention for some remote workers is that they find it difficult to separate their personal and work life. Has their home become their office or their office become their home? Whichever way you chose to look at it, it’s a little unsettling. Those with high-stress levels may find it tough to unwind; the work from home model best suits those who are cruisy by nature.
Bring Your Child (or Dog!) to Work
Some really sound employers allow staff to bring their children or pets to work when there is a need. There is a collection of cool businesses that provide a recreational area for the little ones, and this is a truly wonderful benefit for parents in need, particularly those that do not have the support of a partner or family. While bringing your child to work may not be written into your enterprise agreement, it is worth checking with your Human Resources team to see if it is an option.
Alter Your Hours
Another smart work-life balance tool that millennials are taking advantage of is mixing up their working hours. An example is increasing work hours thus enabling an employee to work fewer days. By doing so, they have more time midweek to focus on their real passion (not to say that your main gig isn’t exciting!).
Work life balance can be achieved in the office. Employers are increasingly moving away from clinical interiors and transitioning to an attractive, comfortable and welcoming work environment. Tech firms are particularly savvy in this space with hammocks, beer fridges and even PlayStations frequently showing up in the workplace. Google offices are famous for having the best swag; snack drawer anyone?! While we understand that not all offices have the time or money to pump into office pimping, there are a couple of little adjustments that you and your co-workers can make to boost morale. Some suggestions are:
• Start a social club
• Organise a weekly bake-off
• Pimp your pods
• Lunchtime yoga
• Start a book exchange
Time is of the essence
Sometimes life will throw you lemons, and you will have to work in a sucky office. No perks, no flexible working arrangements, not even any damn coffee (say what?!). In this instance, you need to take matters into your own hands by managing your time better. Why? Because improving your productivity will reduce your stress and give you more free time to play with.
Have you ever worked with someone who complains incessantly about the number of tasks they have on their plate, yet they have time to gossip with their pod neighbour or play candy crush? Yep, we all know someone like this. The thing is, these characters often believe that they are playing the system, when in fact they are being played. Sure they might be getting paid to stalk their tinder date on Facebook, but ultimately the stress they suffer from not meeting their deadlines is detrimental to their mental health.
By making little changes to your work-life, you can reclaim your downtime, maximise your day and start to enjoy the small wins. Cheers to flexible work arrangements!