work-life balance

Do you suffer from work-related stress? If so, you’re not alone. In 2015/16, stress accounted for 37 per cent of all work-related ill health cases [1] and almost half of all working days lost to sickness. An astonishing 11.7 million working days are lost to stress in the UK.

One way to reduce your stress levels is by trying to improve your work-life balance. Many organisations are now beginning to understand the benefits of achieving equilibrium between an employee’s lifestyle and their work, and there are also positive steps that you can take yourself.

In our guide we look at how you can improve your work-life balance and we highlight three benefits of managing your employment and leisure time more effectively.

How you can improve your work-life balance

If you’re overwhelmed with your workload, or the demands that are being placed on you are too great, you might have to start saying ‘no’.

Employers often aren’t aware of where pressures lie, and by speaking up you might effect real change in your workplace.

There may also be better ways of working. Could you get more done in a shorter time by working ‘smarter’? If you allow yourself a certain amount of time for each task, you may find that you are more focused and your work takes less time.

Also, try to avoid being caught up in less productive activities such as unstructured meetings that can eat up a lot of your time.

It can also pay to draw a clear line between work and leisure. Take a proper amount of time for lunch and get out of your office if you can. If you bring work home, try  to only work in a certain part of your home and set aside a specific time for it.

And, turn off your work phone and laptop during the evening so you’re not tempted to check on your work emails or messages.

3 reasons a good work-life balance is beneficial

  1. You are likely to be healthier

If you achieve a good work-life balance, both your mental and physical health can improve.

Mental health benefits can include a greater satisfaction with the quality of your life and less stress. Physical benefits include better sleep, higher energy levels and, ultimately, a longer life expectancy.

  1. You are likely to perform better in your job

Improving your work-life balance is likely to make you more effective at your job. For a start, you may have more energy and you will be less likely to be off work with stress or related illnesses.

If your employer is helping you to achieve a good work-life balance you will probably have a higher opinion of them, making you more loyal. You are much more likely to be committed to a good employer who is invested in you being happy both in and out of work.

  1. You’ll get more time with your family

A survey for Tilda of 2,000 people [2] found that more than half of them (57 per cent) were unhappy with their work-life balance and that long hours had affected their personal life. Almost one in three said that they spent less time playing with their children.

If you improve your work-life balance you are likely to have more time to spend with your family. Enjoying down time with your friends, partner or children is good for you, and a better work-life balance will give you time to enjoy the things – and people – that you love.

If you are currently suffering from stress, check out or for information about stress and tips on how to cope.