Leadership Blog

Posted By: Eva Grabner | on April 1 2016

Work/Life Balance – what does it really mean?

When interviewing a potential candidate one of the most important things I need to know, as a Recruiter, is what their motivator is.  Is it salary, challenge, career advancement, location, work/life balance or whatever is at the core of an individual’s motivation?  To truly understand what someone is looking for in their next role is imperative.  It gives me a better understanding of the type of person that they are and also ensures that I represent them to the right company.  I am finding more and more that people are looking for that work/life balance over salary and recently read an article recently stating that 92% of people would change jobs for a better work/life balance.  But what exactly does it mean and does it even exist?

Nowadays we have 24/7 access to technology, we are always online and always contactable.  How many of you check your work emails on the weekend, after hours or even when you’re on holidays?  I know I do.  I am the first to admit that I am guilty of keeping an ‘eye on things’.  This, however, is not healthy.  When do you truly ‘switch off’?

When you think of work/life balance, it implies that there is a perfect balance between career and lifestyle.  Is that even possible?  Personally, I believe you create your own balance and this is defined by you.  For me, running my own business and raising a child as a solo parent means my ‘balance’ has to be adjusted on a daily basis.  When the business is busy, the majority of my concentration is there; however, when my son is at home with me, my focus has to be on him.  I certainly don’t want him growing up with an ‘absent’ parent.  I need to be there for him when he needs me, however, this is not always possible and there are times when I will fail miserably.

So how do you create the perfect work/life balance?  Well, for me I like to follow a few simple steps.  For the majority of the time at least, this keeps me on track:

  1. Firstly, prioritize your time.  Work out what is important and what can be removed.  For example, my relaxing time is walking the dogs in the evening, which I can do with my son and we have some together time.  However, cleaning the house is time I can better spend either working or on family time.  Therefore, I have a cleaner come in once a week.
  2. Telecommuting – Many companies offer this option.  Working from home a few days a week cuts out travel time and in some cases can add up to 3 hours a day to someone’s schedule.  On my admin days, I prefer to stay at home and I find I get so much more done as well as I’m not being distracted as much.
  3. Turn off those devices!  It’s essential that you turn off your phone, computer, etc in the evenings and the weekend, even if it’s only for a few hours.  Plan certain times when the whole family turn off televisions, phones, etc.  Or if you can’t turn them off, at least put them on silent so you are not distracted by all the pings coming through.
  4. Focus.  Don’t spend half your day browsing the web or checking your Facebook page, that’s not working.  Use the hours you have to your full advantage so when you are finished work, you are actually finished.  Write your ‘To Do’ notes and try to stick with them as much as possible.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days where this is just impossible and then there are days where I truly get quality me or family time.  It makes me a better, healthier and more productive person.

How do you do it?

Eva Grabner
Managing Director
Elite Executive Pty Ltd
0409 59 11 88

Eva Grabner Managing Director Elite Executive Pty Ltd eva@eliteexecutive.com.au 0409 59 11 88