Across the board, employees are currently feeling more stressed than ever before. With poor work-life balances, too much work to get through in any one day, and bad management, around 80% of workers feel stressed for over half of their working lives.
Work-life balance – the inherent equilibrium between the total time you spend working and the free time you have to do whatever you’d like – is a vital quality-of-life metric to pay attention to. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to gauge whether our work-life balance is good or bad. Simply pay attention to how stressed you feel and whether you have lots of time off or you find yourself working way beyond your 5 Pm cutoff point.
Yet, stress is far from the only consequence of a poor work-life balance. In this article, we’ll dive into all of the potential negative side effects of a skewed work-life balance, outlining effective strategies and approaches that you can use to overcome them. You’ll be reclaiming your work-life balance in no time.
Understanding the negative impacts of poor work-life balance
A poor work-life balance is much more than just feeling a little overwhelmed. It’s more than doing 9 hours in the office instead of 8. Most of the time, when we factor in the time it takes to get to and from work, combined with the extended periods of time we spend thinking about work, there is little room left for free time.
When this occurs for five days a week, with only two short weekend days to recover, it’s no wonder that so many people are feeling completely burnt out.
There are a number of negative effects of poor work-life balance:
- Increased Stress – Of course, if you spend more time working to try and stay ahead of the mounting tide of work that you have to do, you’re going to feel more stressed than normal. Alongside a plethora of health-related risks of stress, stress can also contribute to a worsened sense of self-perception. When combined with employees that are perfectionists, this can rapidly become a recipe for total disaster.
- Boosted Likelihood of Burnout – One of the most common impacts of a poor work-life balance is burnout. Around 50% of all employees are currently burnout, with this figure being even higher in younger populations. With societal pressure to continue working and power through, many people find themselves overworking without any reward. From there, it’s easy to become disillusioned with your job and rapidly lose interest. Burnout will impact everything from your productivity to your mental health.
- Health Risks – People that spend too much time working are at risk of a number of damaging mental and physical repercussions. Beyond anxiety and depression, which we’ll discuss shortly, individuals that have a poor work-life balance have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Lack of Satisfaction with Life – One of the effects of a poor work-life balance that is most commonly forgotten about is the fact that employees will rapidly start to feel dissatisfied with their lives. Going beyond just feeling upset about work performance, if employees start to feel that they’re only living for work, their overall quality of life will begin to break down. It’s no wonder that a poor work-life balance can lead to anxiety and depression with this in mind.
If you have a poor work-life balance, the amount of physical, mental, and well-being risks that you’re exposing yourself to are simply disastrous. It’s time to take a step back, reassess your position, and reach out for help if you need it.
There’s no shame in needing help; your honesty helps everyone in the long run and contributes to a much healthier workplace.
Seeking support for a poor work-life balance
Most of the time, if you’re feeling burnt out in the workplace and can feel your work life taking up more and more of your days, you’re probably not alone. If one team member is feeling the strain of work, it’s likely that many people are. One fantastic way of feeling less alone is to reach out to your coworkers.
Having a conversation with your coworkers can be a great way of building companionship. When you see that other people can relate to your problem, you’re able to then start to come up with effective ways of pinpointing problems and overcoming them.
Maybe your manager is assigning too much work. Or, perhaps the blame falls more on you for taking on too much work and not saying no. Depending on what your coworkers are feeling, you’ll have a better idea of where your work-life balance is going wrong.
Once you’ve defined the core problems that are impacting you, you’ll be in a better position to then address those problems and overcome them. Don’t be shy or worried when asking for help – everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. Especially considering that we work for over 90,000 hours in our lives, it’s better to make sure those hours are as happy and stress-free as possible.
A poor work-life balance can be one of the most destructive things that people accidentally engage with. Around 72% of people are not happy with their current work-life balance, meaning you’re far from the only one that’s feeling a little burnt out. Instead of bearing the brunt of the work and pushing through, it’s always better to sit down with your manager and try to find a resolution.
If you let a poor work-life balance go on for too long, you’ll rapidly find yourself with a whole range of negative consequences. Understanding the damage that these can cause will help you make the decision to start changing your approach to work. Although our relationships with our jobs are important, it’s nothing compared to the relationships we have with ourselves and our mental health.