Mary Alexander: Hi, I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care. And today I am talking about how to balance work and in-home care. Right now we are going to talk about the negative effects of not having balance in ones life. Let's start by talking about what work-life balance does, and doesn't mean.
First of all, it doesn't mean spending an equal amount of time at either activity. We all know life and work love to throw us curve balls. So we need to have flexibility built into our schedules in order to manage both, life's challenges and joys. For most people, your work-life balance can and will vary over your lifetime.
For example, a new job or a new baby can swing your priorities in one direction and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Your work-life balance gets out of whack when there're prolonged stresses on one or both sides, such as a demanding work schedule or caring for an ageing parent. The added duties can prevent you from not doing most of what you need to, or not doing it well. Unfortunately, the end result is increased stress.
Some people wonder how it came to this. How did life and work change so much that we sometimes yearn for simpler times? From a workplace perspective, the global market place, the internet and new technologies have blurred the lines of what was once an eight hour workday, into one that literally lasts 24 hours. Advanced communication technologies such as cellphones and personal digital assistance, means many of us are on call to work at most hours of the day and night.
The tough economy also means many employers are asking for longer work hours. Employees are compelled to comply or lose their job. If you're trying to do all of your work and balance it with child-care, social and community obligations, other family matters and the added duty of caring for an elderly parent, you're likely to experience some of the stresses of having little or no work-life balance.
Let's talk about some of those symptoms. One of the first things you may notice is being over tired or fatigued. Your ability to think and your eye-hand coordination decrease when you're tired. This means, you may be less productive and may make more mistakes. These mistakes can lead to injury or rework and negatively impact your professional reputation. When it comes to family, you may miss out on important events, such as your child's milestones, important birthdays, or family gatherings, all of which may harm relationships with you loved ones.
Stress can also affect friendships. Trusted friends are a key part of your support system, but if you're spending time at the office or caring for mom or dad, instead of with them, you'll find it difficult to nurture those friendships. Sometimes they say, the reward for good work is more work. Well, if you regularly work extra hours, you may be given more responsibilities. This could create a never-ending, an increasing cycle of additional work causing more concerns and challenges, both at work and at home.
So how do you find the best work-life balance? We'll give you some ideas for the care-giving side in the next video.