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What Makes a Good Work-Life Balance?

by AXA PPP healthcare(more info)

listed in stress, originally published in issue 237 - April 2017

Getting the balance right between work and family time can be difficult. And in today’s busy society, it can be difficult to take the time to reassess lifestyles.

A recent study by Indiana University Kelley School of Business, which explored the amount of work, time pressures, responsibility and concentration demands of a job, found that time poor, stressful careers, such as frontline service jobs, manufacturing, construction and entry level service jobs were linked to higher deaths. In contrast, agricultural workers who experienced higher freedom and less stress experience 'really low' death rates.

So, is it time you reflected on your career?

Long work hours, colleague expectations and the desire to progress can all have a detrimental effect on an employee’s health and wellbeing. However getting the balance right can lead to an increase in productivity, motivation to succeed, better workplace cultures and a happier family lifestyle.

To help employees find out whether they should re-evaluate their work life balance, AXA PPP healthcare has built a simple visual quiz to challenge the UK public to reassess their lives.

Worklifebalance

If you find out you might be suffering from an out-of-kilter work-life balance, these practical steps by Psychological Health expert Eugene Farrell will help you get back on track:

1.         Prioritise work tasks rigidly and stick to doing the most important first.

2.         Schedule work into the day in time slots as you would with meeting appointments and work to that time.

3.         Take regular breaks, get up every hour and walk. Go and get some water or a drink and return to your work refreshed.

4.         Ensure you take a proper lunch break away from your desk where you can eat and drink.

5.         Take all of your annual leave each year, with a least one full week, and preferably disconnect from work once a quarter.

6.         Use out of office message and a nominated cover when you are away from work so that you don’t have to check emails all the time.

7.         Understand your limitations of work that you can successfully and reasonably achieve.

8.         If you feel uneasy about saying no to more work from your manager then negotiate taking on the work whilst delaying something else.

 9.        Being fit for work is as important as work – get good sleep, eat healthily, exercise, spend time with family and friends.

10.       If you are a leader of people, set the example and send the right message.

Further Information

For more tips and guidance on achieving a work life balance, visit AXA PPP healthcare’s Work Life Balance portal.

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About AXA PPP healthcare

AXA PPP healthcare - one of the largest and most experienced private medical insurance providers in the UK - has been helping people to access healthcare services since 1940. Today it forms the UK healthcare arm of AXA and provides cover for medical and dental care for individuals and employers, and employee wellbeing, counselling, occupational health and rehabilitation services through its specialist Health Services division. AXA PPP healthcare has been named the Best Healthcare Provider for three years running in the Your Money Awards and, in June 2015, was awarded the prestigious accolade of European Large Contact Centre of the Year at the 2015 European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards, followed in September 2015 by the Best Customer Experience accolade in the Large Contact Centre category of the UK Customer Experience Awards 2015. www.axappphealthcare.co.uk/

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