work life balance

[caption id="attachment_18485" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Should you be working part-time?"] [/caption] I was invited to speak on BBC Radio recently in response to a BBC article Three-day working week 'optimal for over-40s'. The article referred to a study undertaken by researchers at the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne. Intrigued, I had to read the full working paper: Use It Too Much and Lose It? The Effect of Working Hours on Cognitive Ability. The findings of the study were that working up to 22-30 hours per week had a positive impact on the participants and that any hours worked in excess of this resulted in a negative impact on cognitive functioning. Why was this? It was discovered that stress and fatigue played a large part in impairing participants’ cognitive functioning. The study concluded that ‘too much work can have adverse effects on cognitive functioning’. This got me thinking about the many clients I...

[caption id="attachment_18136" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="If your job is affecting your health it might be time to move on"] [/caption] When your job begins to impact on your physical or mental health it could be a sign that it’s time to reassess your career. Some people report feeling physically sick at the thought of going into work, feeling unwell the whole time they were at work or suffering from a range of other symptoms of stress, depression or anxiety. They reasons they attribute it to their jobs is that once away from their work environment, the symptoms either diminish or disappear altogether. Whatever the cause for your decline in physical or mental health, it’s something you shouldn’t ignore. The first step should always be to contact your GP. Once you have the all clear from your GP, it’s worth taking a look at the reasons why you feel your physical or mental health...

[caption id="attachment_18588" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Working mum Shellon returns to work with 5 month old Mahdka  Photo: BBC Two"] [/caption] Addison Lee, a London based mincab company recently ran an interesting workplace trial allowing parents to bring their babies to work. The trial was documented by BBC Two and made for fascinating television as we watched the trials and tribulations of mothers, babies, co-workers and management. The trial of the scheme was prompted by the apparent success of similar schemes in the USA where a growing number of companies successfully run babies-at-work schemes. Aired over two nights, BBC2 Two’s Babies in the Office highlighted the plight of working parents struggling to afford rising child care costs and maintain a work-life balance. It also turned the spotlight on organisations and their managers who face the growing challenge of staff retention and curbing the associated costs of recruitment and training. Shellon, one of the mothers who participated in...

[caption id="attachment_18661" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Managing work life balance"] [/caption] Most of us struggle to maintain work-life balance throughout our adult lives. Whether you’re juggling work and career or feel you are not reaching your full potential, achieving work-life balance can increase your overall well-being and happiness. The benefits of successfully achieving work life balance are enormous and can include: Stress reduction Improved health Strengthened relationships Better work performance Increased happiness   Addressing a work-life imbalance is a multi-stage process with specific tasks to be undertaken at each step. Here’s a simplified step-by-step guide to help you achieve work-life balance: Identify your values What’s important to you? The things that are important to us change over time. For example, before you had children your career and personal interests might have taken centre stage. Now, you might find yourself struggling to cope with managing work and family life. Once you’ve identified your values it becomes easier to set priorities. Set goals The goals you set...