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Work-life balance

Description: Work-life balance is a phrase used to describe an individual's feelings of satisfaction with the participation in job-related activities and his or her personal life. This state is achieved when an individual feels : the amount of time spent making money to provide for one's household and advancing career goals´ is adequately balanced´ with the amount of time spent in independent and personal pursuits, such as friendships, family, spirituality, hobbies, and leisure activities. Failure to maintain work-life balance may result in significant emotional distress and reduction of productivity. In many cases, spending more time at work may actually lead to a decrease in productivity. Some individuals feel that their workplace creates too many pressures to maintain a work/life balance, and they may feel a reduction in their feelings of satisfaction and enjoyment of life. In general, individuals who work more than 60 hours per week are colloquially called ³workaholics´. The phrase "workaholic" describes individuals who neglect their personal lives in favor of work- and career-related pursuits. Individuals identified as "workaholic" tend to experience some or all of the following characteristics: -

- perfectionism, - image consciousness, - making unreasonable demands, - experiencing difficulty in delegating tasks, - impatience,

- becoming easily frustrated with individuals whose first priority is not always work, and, basing their feelings of self-worth on their work performance. The phrase "work-life balance" became popular as a managerial concept when employers realized that their workers demonstrated increased productivity, decreased turnover, and dedication to the company when the concept was observed and respected. Many individuals who have difficulty maintaining a work/life balance may be diagnosed with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and/or anxiety disorder. Technique -Managerial/Organizational: Companies institute many policies to encourage its employees to maintain a life/work balance in order to reduce workplace stress and the likelihood of career burnout while also boosting employee productivity and company loyalty. Some companies offer flexible schedules in the form of a four day compressed work week or unconventional hours; this is called flextime. - Individuals may enact a series of small steps they may take to achieve a healthier work/life balance, such as not checking voice mails or emails when they are away from the office. At the same time, a person may increase the number of enjoyable activities in their week. - Many professionals benefit by scheduling times to turn off electronic devices and avoid computers. Scheduling time for personal interests, such as hobbies or exercise, may encourage the individual to realize the importance of working towards a more equitable balance. Individuals may choose to develop interests and relationships outside of work by joining a club or adult sporting organizations. Finally, many individuals benefit from talking with a career counselor or mental health professional to discuss issues that may motivate workaholic behavior. Theory/Evidence Individuals who experience a high amount of workplace stress or who are in psychologically demanding professions are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal disorders. Individuals who do not permit themselves to have rewarding experiences outside of work or who have employers who do not promote a work/life balance are at an increased risk for a variety of psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or obsessive compulsive disorder.

Safety A qualified healthcare provider should be consulted before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions. Ref: (www.naturalstandard.com). Doctor-reviewed article from RightHealth and Natural Standard Copyright © 2008 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.

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