What is Work Life Balance? Definition and Meaning

Employee time management philosophy

For a reminder of what the concept of work-life balance means, let’s start with pure theory. The definition states that it is a time management concept aimed at finding a balance between “work” and private life.

Work Life Balance – What is it? Examples

For a reminder of what the concept of work-life balance means, let’s start with pure theory. The definition states that it is a time management concept aimed at finding a balance between “work” and private life.

In practice, work-life balance has a positive impact on the efficiency and satisfaction of an employee.

Employers are increasingly helping to find balance by using types of organizational culture in the company that help the employee manage their time more effectively, build a better emotional bond, and reduce stress levels.

Studies show that the factors affecting work-life balance are more important for employees than higher earnings – Workers Preferences and Workplace Ability study, 2014.

Assumptions of Time Management Concept

1. Work cannot be an end in itself, but a means to achieve it.

Of course, in theory, everything sounds very simple. We can find many guides that will show us, for example, through practical tasks, how to incorporate theories into our own lives. However, before we move on to useful tips, it is very important to…

Have you ever caught yourself thinking about work instead of enjoying your morning coffee with your spouse? Or maybe instead of relaxing with friends on a Sunday evening, you’re constantly thinking about the upcoming Monday and all that needs to be done. Of course, these thoughts are normal and it can be difficult to shake them off. However, it’s worth trying.

“It’s just work” is a statement that we often hear.

2. Work-Life Balanc

Work is a crucial part of our lives. We perform one task and immediately another one appears. However, work should not interfere with the balance between our personal and professional lives. Remember that if we are not fulfilled in one company, we can always change our job. Even if something unpleasant happens and we lose our job, we will find another one. It’s great when work is our passion and we feel fulfilled in it, but even the most fulfilling job should not overshadow the rest of the world and our surroundings. We must have time for our loved ones and for life itself.

Only by properly distributing our efforts do we have a chance to achieve well-being. By well-being, we don’t necessarily mean a large sum of money, but rather a sense of psychological, physical, and social satisfaction that make up our life in a greater sense. That’s why employers are eager to use the Wellbeing approach, which is available within the cafeteria system, and also offers psychological and health support.

Examples of Work-Life Balance in a Company

Employers are increasingly recognizing the importance of work-life balance and offer, among others:

  • Flexible working hours
  • Shorter working days
  • The possibility of remote work (in the era of COVID, this type of improvement is one of the more popular)
  • More paid vacation days
  • Vacation subsidies
  • Subsidies for competency trainings and participation in industry conferences
  • Subsidies for language trainings
  • Free nursery and preschool services (sometimes the nursery and preschool are in the same building as the working mother’s or father’s place of work)
  • A place for breastfeeding mothers (significantly affects her comfort)

Benefits for the Employer, Team Leader, and Employee

From the point of view of the employer, the team leader, ensuring the well-being of the employee – an environment that allows for satisfaction, a sense of security, mental and social satisfaction, is key in the motivation process of the employee. A motivated employee is more efficient and more likely to take on greater challenges on their own initiative. It is worth remembering that every employee can have different needs and expectations – a young mother will pay attention to different employee benefits than her office colleague.

Benefit for the Whole Enterprise or Organization

Maintaining the basics of work-life balance brings benefits for the entire company. Work-life balance increases productivity. Actually, the amount of hours worked, overtime, or coming into work very early in the morning doesn’t always bring real benefits. In the end, what’s most important is getting your tasks done. In many countries, a 6-hour work system has even been adopted – an employee who is more rested and has more time for private life is a creative and focused employee. Such people are also healthier, so they get sick less often. They have better feelings, more time for sports, and therefore – energy. They are also less likely to experience burnout.

Employee Benefits

Individuals who maintain a balance between work and private life also have higher job satisfaction because they simply enjoy it. It is not a unpleasant and stressful obligation. The employee who doesn’t use all their energy solely on work is also able to realize and develop in other areas. This not only brings greater satisfaction to their life, but also gains new skills that can be beneficial for the employer. The employer also gains a better reputation (employer branding) and the loyalty of employees who simply do not want to leave. As a result, such a company reduces recruitment costs, and even if such recruitment must be carried out, a company that prioritizes work-life balance is often recommended on the market.

Summary – Healthy Time Management Approach

However, the most important aspect of a private life is simply health. Lack of balance leads to stress, and long-term stress carries consequences, sometimes very serious. These can lead to alcoholism, deterioration of mental health, drug addiction, nicotine addiction, eating disorders, a decrease in one’s own value as an employee, as well as a lack of family and work safety. This can be a problem for each of us, so it’s worth thinking about it more broadly, closing the computer at 5:00 PM, focusing on your loved ones, and living according to the work-life balance doctrine.

Neglecting one’s personal life often leads to the breakdown of marriages, lack of relationships with family, children or friends. It is not worth sacrificing these most important people in our lives for the next task or set KPIs. The words that one should simply rest, sit down and take a moment to relax and reflect or just not think, may seem trivial. However, what is simple and trivial, is often the greatest value. However, one should remember not to go from one extreme to another – watching Netflix for five days in a row is also not balance.