Monday, June 21, 2021

Work-Life Balance: At Home

We should be able to relax at home and unwind after a hard day at work. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Home has stress of its own, and it seems like the stress from work is constantly waiting to spill over into our home lives. To have work-life balance, it is important to learn how to effectively manage the stress and obligations at home.

Leave Work Stress at Work

Bringing the stress of work home can ruin your family life. Additionally, not being able to separate from work can destroy your balance, increasing your stress level. Luckily, there are a few strategies that will help keep work separate.

Strategies
  • Stop on the way home: On particularly stressful days, you may want to stop somewhere for a few minutes and decompress.
  • Vent in the car or to a friend. Use the daily traffic jam as a chance to express your frustrations to yourself instead of ranting about them to your family. 
  • Enjoy your family: Do not focus on the downside of family life. Find ways to spend time together that everyone enjoys.
  • Find outlets: Discover useful ways to alleviate work stress, such as exercise or meditation.  Practicing these will help you focus on the present. 
Turn Your Phone Off

Cell phones have made it nearly impossible to escape the pressures of life. Now there is always a way for someone to reach us. Not only are we inundated with phone calls, but we have emails and social networks to worry about. There is only one way to fix the problem and alleviate stress: TURN OFF THE PHONE! It is acceptable and healthy to occasionally disconnect. Silencing the phone does not count as disconnecting. It does not matter when you disconnect -- just that you do.

Take Some “Me” Time

“Me time” is essential to a person’s health and well-being. Often, people think that “me time” is a day at the spa or something else extravagant that they cannot afford. Actually, “me time” is much simpler. It is anything that you do just for yourself. There is no set expense or time frame that you have to follow when taking “me time.” It can be as simple as taking a walk. The only imperative concerning “me time” is that you actually take it.

Until next time... 


 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Work-Life Balance: At Work

Keeping balance when at work is difficult. Outside influences always try to creep in and destroy productivity. Becoming sidetracked, however, simply creates job-related stress that further increases the level of imbalance you experience. Fortunately, there are a few useful tips that will help you regain your sense of balance while at work.

Leave Home Stress at Home

Everyone has personal problems that create stress and hinder job performance. If these issues are severe, it may be necessary to take a leave of absence. In most cases, however, there are better strategies to help leave the home stress at home.

Strategies:

  • Get up early: Get up early enough to take a few minutes and prepare for a new day. Focus on what is ahead and not the past.
  • Take advantage of the commute: View the commute as a chance to enter your “work zone.” That is, mentally gear up for the workday. 
  • Communicate appropriately: Discuss your problems with a friend or confidant outside of work. Do not vent about home stress to your coworkers.
  • Find outlets: Discover useful ways to alleviate stress, such as exercise. This will help keep you focused throughout the workday. 
Break up Large Tasks

Projects and deadlines can be overwhelming. If you have a large task ahead of you, you might be tempted to procrastinate. This will only create more stress. A better solution is breaking up the task.

Tips:
  • List the steps that are necessary to complete the task.
  • Schedule time for each step.
  • Complete the easiest step first, and then move on to the next easiest. This will give you a sense of accomplishment.
  • Do not look ahead. Focus on the task at hand.
Delegate

People can avoid stress by simply delegating responsibility. This sounds simple, but many people, particularly those in management, have problems delegating authority. They do not trust others to do the job. There are a few tips that will help anyone feel more confident about delegating. 

Steps:
  • Choose tasks to delegate: Do not delegate sensitive or extremely difficult tasks.
  • Choose people to help: Find responsible people you trust to handle the tasks for you.
  • Give instructions: Make sure that you communicate clear instructions with deadlines. 
  • Be available: Let people know that they can come to you with questions, but do not hover over them.
Set Accurate Goals

Accurate goals decrease stress. This involves estimating the time that it will take to complete the tasks. There are a few steps that will help you set accurate goals.

Steps:
  • Familiarize yourself with the requirements.
  • List the actions that need to happen.
  • Estimate the time necessary for each action you need to take.
  • Estimate the total time necessary for a task.

Until next time... 

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Work-Life Balance: Reward Your Staff

Rewarding your staff is so important for many reasons, and is an effective method for promoting work-life balance. Employees who feel appreciated are more confident, and rewards reinforce the behavior you want to see repeated. Rewards can also provide breaks that reduce stress. Rewards do not have to break the bank. There are simple ways to thank your employees for their service.

Useful Rewards:

• Public acknowledgement of service

• Extra time off

• Awards

• Promotions

• Parties (post-COVID!)

Until next time... 

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, April 12, 2021

Work-Life Balance: Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Given the unavoidable stress of life, most people face times when they need assistance. EAPs provide employees access to counseling and other services. Without the aid of EAP counselors, the effects of stress can spiral out of control. Employee assistance programs give individuals the opportunity to seek help and learn the skills necessary to improve their work-life balance. 

Typical EAP Topics:
  • Personal crisis
  • Work stress
  • Finances
  • Substances 
EAPs are useful investments because they prevent turnover and reduce absences as they teach strategies for work-life balance.

Until next time... 


 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, March 29, 2021

Work-Life Balance: Ask Employees for Suggestions

Employees have some of the best ideas on how to improve their jobs and the company as a whole. These ideas, however, are not always communicated. Many employees do not feel that people in management care and most managers do not have the time to sit down with each employee. The best way to hear about new, innovative ideas is to create an employee suggestion program. 

Tips:

Make it Simple: Create a simple process for giving suggestions; complicated rules do not encourage creativity.
Respond: Let employees know that you have their suggestions and will consider them.
Thank: Thank each employee who gives a suggestion, even if they are suggestions you do not use. 
Reward: Employees who come up with useful suggestions need to be rewarded.

Until next time... 

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, March 1, 2021

Work-Life Balance: Stress

Work is the main source of stress for most Americans. Stress’ connection to obesity for workers in sedentary jobs is more significant than diet, according to research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The effects stress on heart health can be deadly.

Signs of Stress:

Overemotional: People under stress can find it difficult to control their emotions.

Lethargy: The physiological impact of stress can cause lethargy.

Restlessness: Stress can make it difficult to focus, causing hyperactivity and restlessness. 

Anxiety: Prolonged stress can cause anxiety disorders.

EMPLOYER RESOURCES

Employers have the opportunity to improve work-life balance for their employees and increase productivity at the same time. Using the resources that employers have at their disposal to change work conditions may seem counterproductive, but they are effective. 

OFFER MORE EMPLOYEE CONTROL

Traditionally, employers set all of the parameters concerning jobs. Keeping all of the control, however, augments stress on employees. Simply offering employees more control over their lives and establishing better work-life balance will help alleviate this stress. Studies show that employee control actually increases loyalty and productivity. 

Ways to offer control:

• Flex time

• Job sharing

• Telecommuting

These are just a few examples of employee control. Anything that empowers an employee to take charge of his or her life offers employee control.

Until next time... 

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Work-Life Balance: Improved Health

It is common knowledge that stress is directly linked to different diseases. Numerous surveys have discovered that work is a leading cause of stress related illness and injury, such as stroke, heart disease, and mental breakdowns. A balanced life will improve both physical and mental health.

How to Improve Health:
  • Awareness: A balanced lifestyle increases personal awareness, allow individuals to identify potential health problems early.
  • Lifestyle: A balanced lifestyle automatically improves health. It encourages healthy choices and helps develop the body and the mind. 
INCREASED MORALE

Work-life balance is an effective tool to increase morale and improve company culture. Employees seek out companies that support healthy work life balance. The only factor more important than balance to job seekers is compensation. According to several surveys, work-life balance improves happiness and overall job satisfaction. Additionally, employees are more invested in companies that support their work-life balance. Work-life balance typically translates to employees who work harder and are more productive.

SIGNS OF AN IMBALANCE

The signs of imbalance are unmistakable. We see people suffering from poor health, burnout, and stress every day. For companies, this increases costs in the form of absenteeism, health costs, and turnover. If you recognize these signs in your life or your organization, take action immediately and focus on work- life balance.

Health Risks

Imbalance promotes poor health. Over time, this can lead to devastating, and possibly life changing consequences. More companies are taking an interest in the health and fitness of their employees. It is now in an organization’s best interest to do so. Healthy employees are productive, absent less, and their health care costs less. 

ABSENTEEISM

Poor health increases employee absenteeism and thus is a costly problem for employers. There are hidden and direct costs that must be paid when an employee is absent from work. 

Cost of Absenteeism:
  • Sick pay: Employees with sick days are still paid, which is a direct cost.
  • Loss of productivity:: Even with someone to work the position of the sick employee, the employee familiar with the job will be more productive. This is an indirect cost of sick days.
While most people who take time off are legitimately sick, stressed employees will take days off to catch up with personal obligations, and they usually feel justified doing so. 

BURNOUT

Most people know that overworked employees eventually burnout. Burnout is the physical and psychological response to long-term stress. 

Until next time... 

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP