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A study from 2012 showed most workers bring the office home with them each week. It reported Americans were tacking on an extra day’s work by bringing work home. A more recent study from Payscale says the practice hasn’t changed much, particularly as the lines blur between work and home as more workers than ever are logging hours remotely. But is this healthy?

How can today’s workers find a balance between their work and real life

What Happened to the 9 to 5? 

The 9 to 5 job is going away. We work later, work side hustles, and take on extra projects. 20 Something Finance calls us the most overworked nation in the world. Just look at the latest statistics: 

  • In 1960, just 20% of Moms worked outside the home. Today, 70% of households have all the adults employed. 
  • The U.S. is the only nation in the Americas to not have a paid national parental leave benefit and we are the only industrialized nation in the world without a law establishing a mandated annual vacation for every worker. 
  • More than 134 countries have laws establishing the maximum amount of hours you can put in each week. The U.S. does not. 
  • The average productivity of the U.S. worker has increased 400% since 1950. 

These statistics don’t say much for our ability to find work/life balance. Even if a company promotes the idea of balance, it still doesn’t mean workers will follow these rules. This is especially true because it’s so easy to access our work online.  

But being on the clock all the time can stress people out and make them sicker and unhappier. It can lead to burnout and cause workers to look for other jobs.

Here are some ways to find or regain work/life balance: 

  • Make a rule that all work will stop by a certain time each day.  
  • Studies show that exposure to digital devices interrupts sleep patterns. Try to get offline by no later than eight or nine pm to get better sleep.  
  • Try to stay focused at work. Get organized each day and follow the plan. Shut your office door, if you need to or do whatever it takes to minimize distractions. 
  • Compartmentalize all of your tasks. Make a list of what needs to be done at work that day. Then make a separate list of what should happen for home. Separate these lists and focus on one of them at a time, in careful increments designed to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.  
  • Stop multitasking. The science shows us that it doesn’t work. If you’re hunkered down at work focusing on a task, turn off your instant messaging or email or other potential disruptors. See if you can increase the speed in which you complete the task at hand.  
  • Employers can support better work/life balance by writing corporate values to support it. Managers should be trained to encourage it, as well. 

We know there are times when you have to take work home. We get it. But try our tips for just a week to see if your life can change for the better. If you still feel like you’re overworked and overstressed, maybe it’s time to talk to PrideStaff about your employment options.  

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