Talking to Your Boss about Work-Life Imbalance
Dealing with the growing demands of a career and your personal life can seem like a never-ending challenge. In today's competitive market where employees are expected to do more with less, the pressure of managing both your career and family is rising.
However, the right balance varies over time depending on whether you're single or married with children. But, a few steps in the right direction can go a long way. We've put together a brief on how you can actively work towards achieving the right work-life balance for you.
Effects of Poor Work-Life Balance
Many organisations today are offering their employees flexible hours and online access to their work. However, working from home and not focusing on your personal development is no different from spending overtime at the office doing work you resent. You're still focusing on work-related matters and ignoring your social life, your personal needs, and your family.
Not being passionate about what you're doing only leads to a further drop in your professional performance levels. So, if you're not fully engaged in your job, you'll inevitably feel the negative effects including stress, chronic depression, and health issues.
Managing Work-Life Balance
During a week or a month, depending on your preference, keep a journal and write down the bad habits, issues and other concerns you're facing both in your career and on a personal level.
Draft a list divided into two sections such as Work and Personal Life and study how work-related issues are connected and affecting your personal life. Once you've identified the connections between the two sides, you can take the right steps towards achieving the right work-life balance.
Talking to your boss about the matters you're facing is crucial. However, don't take a problem-oriented approach.
Let’s learn the tips below:
1. Approaching Your Boss
The best tactic to use when scheduling a meeting with your boss is that you have ideas which could improve your projects' turnaround time or that you'd like to discuss boosting the morale of other employees. This way your boss won't shut down your request but will instead be happy to contribute his or her own ideas.
2. Prepare for the Meeting
The key is to remember that you come from a position of strength. Your boss has invested resources in your training and professional experience and doesn't want you to quit because of burnout or overburden. An improved life balance will benefit both you and your employer. So, as you get ready for the meeting, think of the advantage your company will benefit from if you improve your life balance.
3. During the Meeting
To avoid coming across as negative, you should always present solutions to the problems you've identified. For example, if you often don't have time to take your much-needed lunch break due to a meeting scheduled during that period, you could suggest scheduling meetings earlier so that everybody is focused on the meeting and not watching the clock because they're hungry. It's a mutually beneficial insight and your boss will appreciate your concern.
4. Be Honest and Open with Your Boss
To guarantee a successful outcome, you should be completely honest with your boss about the problems you're facing and be open to finding different options. For example, you could show your boss how one day of remote work could optimize your performance and help you exceed his/her expectations.
5. Ask for Advice
If you don't know how to solve a certain situation, you should ask your boss for advice. For example, if you're facing challenges working with a specific colleague you should explain to your boss the reasons, and what tactics you've previously used. You and your boss can then brainstorm some ideas and come up with different solutions. The key is to make your boss aware of the problem, so he/she can help you.
6. Praise Your Boss' Good Habits
Another good tactic is to praise your boss for certain behaviours you'd appreciate if he/ she did it more often. For example, if you receive an email briefing on Monday morning about the targets to be met by the end of the week you could share your appreciation with your boss. Tell him that the email was helpful and gave you the right insights on how to plan your week to meet the requirements.
7. Ask for Help From HR
You could also ask for help from your HR manager but first, make sure you know the company's policies and culture because every enterprise is different. Because the Human Resources department has the power to enforce employment laws, you can discuss the issues you're facing with your boss and highlight any violations of your rights. You're not only protecting the company from risk, but you'll also see that the company is trying to help its employees. Also, the peer support programs can help lessening the daily stress of struggling employees. Leaders who implement these programs usually train champion employees to offer support to their colleagues who are dealing with mental, physical health issues, personal relationships or daily stressors.
Although the perfect work-life balance is a myth, you can get close to it. By just making a few changes connected to your workplace you'll enjoy an overall improvement of your job performance levels and in your personal life.