Healthy Work/Life Balance: Myth or Reality?
Imagine a day where you wake when you’ve finished sleeping, go for a walk, eat a healthy breakfast then start work in a positive, productive mindset. Once you’re done for the day, perhaps you could spend your evening helping the kids with their homework, meeting friends at the cinema or even investing time learning a new skill.
Of course everyone’s idea of the perfectly balanced day is different, but most of us can probably agree that the ideal work/life balance includes working in a job we enjoy, spending quality time with our family, socialising with friends and enjoying our hobbies.
Sadly, most of us don’t live a life that looks like this. Instead, we’re increasingly finding ourselves on a hamster wheel where we get to work early, leave late and are too tired to do very much of anything when we get home. This is so common that a quarter of UK professionals say they’re unhappy with their work/life balance. And the worst part? It looks like we’ll be doing this until we’re 68!
The average full time worker in the UK spends 42.7 hours at work every week. As if that wasn’t enough, the distance we travel to our workplaces has increased significantly over the last decade. The average worker now commutes more than 9 miles each way. If we add this travel time to our usual working hours, most of us are spending around 48 hours every week getting to and doing our jobs.
Basically, if you’re in a traditional full time job you’re probably out of the house for almost ten full hours each weekday. This doesn’t sound well balanced by anyone’s standards! This has become the norm and many of us have just accepted that this is how it is…. but surely there must be a better way?
Self-employment is becoming more and more of an attractive option 4.6 million of us were registered as self employed in 2014. There are a lot of reasons why this is becoming a more viable choice, but one of the key ones is flexibility. When you work for yourself you have more freedom to create a life for yourself that is better balanced between work commitments, family time and lifestyle choices.
Are you prepared to accept that a normal working life means imbalance? Or are you open to rethinking the norm and trying something new?
Consider this: what would your life would look like if you could choose to work the hours you wanted around your family, be in control of your income, take time for your health, and love what you do?
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