It is not uncommon to hear someone say “you aren’t successful unless you are busy.” Even though being busy can feel good at first, that statement is not necessarily the truth. In some cases, an overly busy schedule can negatively impact cognitive function which reduces productivity which directly influences success. That is where we get the idea of a work-life balance.

What is a work-life balance? It is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” and “lifestyle.” This does not mean that there is an even balance between work and life, it simply helps one manage to be a student and employee or manage to have a job and be a parent. Every individual has different needs and therefore requires different balances between their responsibilities.

As society makes technological advances, separating work-life and home-life becomes increasingly difficult. For example, most people have notifications sent to their phones when they receive an email. Reading and responding to a work email takes you away from the responsibilities and relaxations of home-life and puts you right back behind your desk at work (at least mentally).

So why is the concept of work-life balance becoming a focal point for employers and employees alike? Well, the rewards of the balance benefit both the employee and the employer. Employees will see an increase in productivity, an improvement in health and well-being, and greater commitment and loyalty to their company (so use those vacation days people!). Employers will procure boosted competitiveness in employees, recognition as a business that people want to work for, and reduced numbers of callouts. On the hand, the consequences of overworking may not show immediately, but they can last all the way into old age. A few of signs of overworking can include a higher chance of heart attack, loss of sleep, more likely to make mistakes, and a weaker immune system.

In order to obtain a proper work-life balance, each person must take it upon themselves to initiate a few practical steps to help work stay at work, and help home rejuvenate the mind and body. There are several ways to implement a healthier balance at work and home. For example, one could communicate effectively, ask for flexibility, set manageable goals, and most of all, enjoy vacation days. At home, one could avoid overcommitting to activities, look for support from family, stay active, and most importantly, unplug.

The benefits of a healthy work-life balance are good for both employees and employers. Many businesses are beginning to understand the importance of a happy and healthy employee; however, each individual is different and must take it upon themselves to maintain a healthy balance in their lives. It may seem odd or challenging at first, but over time the rewards of self-care are more than evident.