During spring cleaning we open up the windows, get rid of the junk we no longer need (or never needed in the first place- goodbye Bumpit) and give our carpets a much needed deep clean. When we are done we feel energized, organized, and focused—ready to take on the world again. What if we could apply this principle to our lives? Hear me out ….a big area of discussion these days is how to achieve a work-life balance. Sort of like spring cleaning for your life, getting better at organizing your time and taking more time for things that are important to you and rejuvenate your spirit instead of just your home. Something tells me we would all be happily surprised with the results. Guess what, The Executive Office of the President, Council of Economic Advisers, agrees.
Work-life balance is such a hot topic these days President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted a forum on workplace flexibility and ordered a report written by the Executive Office of the President Council of Economic Advisers called Work-Life Balance and the Economics of Workplace Flexibility. Here’s the good news; around 50% of all companies report allowing flexibility in employee work schedule. More organizations are expected to follow suit in the coming years because, while allowing more flexibility may be a wash in terms of the bottom line, the practice has been shown to reduce absenteeism, lower turnover, improve the health of workers, and increase productivity.
Taking advantage of workplace flexibility can not only make you feel more energized, motivated, creative, and it can also make you a more productive, harder worker. Seems like a win, win.
There are many ways to strike a work life balance in your life, and it will be different for everyone. First, you need to determine your priorities. Rank the things in your life in order of importance. Consider getting rid of a few things at the bottom of your list if possible; remember, we are spring cleaning. Make the top few things on your list your top priority, and organize your life around those, whether that means leaving work early to go see your son’s baseball game or taking a jog during your lunch hour.
I am lucky enough to work for a company, Promega, that does recognize the importance of work-life balance. I am able to do yoga during the lunch hour and leave early for my dance rehearsals. I find that after allowing my brain to take a midday break, I come back to my desk revitalized and more productive. If you aren’t sure you work in an organization that offers flexibility, ask your supervisor. Be prepared to explain why you are looking for flexibility and how it will benefit the organization in the long run- referring to the presidential report above is a great idea. Good luck with your spring cleaning!