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Six work-life balance interviews: here’s what we found out

Co-working space photo showing teamwork which supports a good work-life balance.

Introduction

After a thunderous couple of years of mixed working, fully working from home, and remote working, work-life balance is becoming a more and more critical trend for employees worldwide. Many workers are carefully evaluating their possibilities and choices when making the next step in their careers. 

In this article, we will be interviewing six employees, all in different career fields. Hopefully, by reading what our professional friends had to say about the topic you can find out how to achieve work-life balance in your own way! 

Interviews summaries: “What’s a good work-life balance for you?” 

In the process of selecting people from different fields, our team tried to select people with completely different job titles. Not only that but to make our article as comprehensive as possible, the participants interviewed below work from SaaS start-ups, established construction companies, hotels, Fortune 500 companies, and renewable energy firms. 

Before we share their answers with you, it’s important to mention that the questioned professionals work in the following countries: the Netherlands, the USA, Germany, and Denmark. 

Digital Marketer 

“A good work-life balance for me is the ability to adapt your work schedule with other activities you might do during the day. For instance, being able to go to your physiotherapy appointment and get off from work for one hour. Of course, this should only be possible if you’re doing everything you’re asked of.

Another aspect of work-life harmony is being able to work remotely for some period of time. I love going home to visit my family, or on vacation, and being able to work from different countries. I understand this can’t be done for a super long time due to tax issues, however, it should be allowed for up to a month. 

Lastly, on my list of how to achieve work-life balance is to be thoughtful for your mental and physical good. This means having your social interactions, having your workouts, practicing meditation, taking cold showers, etc. The idea is to build healthy habits to be able to thrive in your work and business.” 

HR Manager

“I personally believe that a perfect work-life split is unattainable. We are not machines and can’t fully “clock out” when 5 pm hits, nor never let our personal lives affect us at work. I believe there will always be some overlap. Because of that, a good work-life balance for me is a healthy relationship between doing my best at my job and feeling content in my free time.

Good time management and job flexibility help me achieve that the most. I’m lucky to work at a company that prioritizes flexibility, whether in working hours or the location. It allows me to be productive at work knowing I can adapt my schedule around my personal life.

For me, a good work-life balance means not having to sacrifice one for the other.”

Financial Analyst & Trader

“In my opinion, a good work-life balance can be found in a job, in which the work you’re doing doesn’t feel like actual work. Moreover, it’s very important to have the feeling that you and the group you’re working with have similar interests, you’re aiming to achieve a common goal, and that you work as a team. That’s how you energize each other.

You shouldn’t forget to spend time for yourself during the day. This means socializing, learning new things, to meditating.

“Lastly, I’m a big admirer of the 4-day work week, even if the working days are 9 hours long, rather than 8.” 

Engineer 

“The work-life balance equation is really easy to solve for me. In the long term try to maximize life with as low work effort and time as possible. On the way there I am ready to work hard and dedicate a lot of effort to building wealth and skills. But even then, I will always make time to spend with my family. 

For me, it is a great mistake to dedicate your life to climbing the corporate ladder, chasing recognition and reputation. Instead, I would recommend setting life goals. Amount of wealth, a dream place to live, dream places to visit, dream relationship with your life partner… then use work to reach those goals.”

Business Development Manager

“A good work-life balance allows me to work from home and cut time commuting. I can freely choose when/how to work as long as I get the work done (flex. hours). I can also take time off without having to explain why. A healthy work/life balance also means not having to work every single hour, especially when things are not that busy.”

Events and Project Coordinator 

“Overall, there is no golden rule for a good work-life balance.

Sometimes, you have to put limits between personal life and good life. For example, there are some people that know their job is just a 9-5 thing, and others will invest more time in their job, feel more connected to it, and work overtime if necessary.

It is also a skill to balance between personal and work. Otherwise, if you’re not being careful, you can experience unpleasant things such as panic attacks.

Lastly, you may enjoy starting work at 6 am but finish early. On the contrary, you could prefer starting at 10 but finishing later. In the end, it’s a process of finding out who you are as a person and what and how you can manage things.”

Conclusion

As you can see from the quotes above, the office working space has changed quite a bit since the beginning of the pandemic. Employees are demanding better benefits, care more about the company culture they’re in, and appreciate their mental health to a greater extent. There are, however, stuff that hasn’t been mentioned above, such as receiving a stake in the company, which will improve desire and quality of work by introducing a sense of ownership and pride. Other similar factors that affect work-life balance will be shared in an article coming out next week. 

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