Work-life balance Discoveries
12 stories about that home to office equilibrium
Voices behind the roles -
Every one of us plays multiple roles in our lives. We switch hats between being a parent, friend, athlete, business owner, mentor, partner, and someone’s child. With workplace stress on the rise, there must be an impact on the rest of our lives. Here at Everyvoice, we reached out to 12 professionals in their twenties and thirties living in the United States and Europe. They shared with us what keeps them calm and motivated, along with things that cause headaches at the end of the day.
To kick off the conversations, we shared these insight statements. We invited people to identify and describe which one(s) ones they related to the most:
You want to improve your lifestyle & wellness habits to get better now and take charge of your future well-being, but you don't know where to begin.
Ups and downs are part of what makes us human, and you’re cool with that. “Go with the flow” is your motto.
Your “always-on” lifestyle is physically and mentally exhausting. Each day you wake up tired and low on energy. You are overwhelmed, have trouble concentrating, and work too much, yet maintaining high standards is a priority.
Stress and anxiety are preventing you from living to your full potential. This impacts every area of your life and you feel it holds you back.
You have set your goals, know how to get there, and have what it takes to achieve the life you want.
By selecting 1, or addressing each statement, every person was able to shed light on their daily schedules, struggles, and saviors.
The Obvious -
What people said that didn’t surprise us.
Before the crisis, we found people running ragged and exhausted. Going from caring for children to commuting, and hours in back-to-back meetings. They were caring for children, commuting, and spending work hours in back-to-back meetings. Parents of young children were especially stressed. Our subjects decompressed through hobbies, shows, and exercise. Several expressed they were so exhausted they didn’t exercise as often as they’d like.
Many we spoke with were near burnout or had experienced cycles of burnout. Those in adverse circumstances, like founder-entrepreneurs, drew on each other for emotional support. People shared that they like the feeling of accomplishing something. They also resented days where they felt like they were busy but got nothing done.
The Invisible -
What people left unsaid.
The unsustainability of the always-on lifestyle was not mentioned. This unrealistic level of productivity and output seemed normal. Exhausting, but expected. What we didn't hear was why people feel so committed to this tempo of life. Is it fueled by pressure or motivation? No one predicted their current paradigm would come to a grinding halt in a few short weeks. The outbreak of COVID-19 happened to force people to see themselves separately. It's noteworthy to wonder what people are identifying themselves by if there's never time to simply BE.
The things people learned about themselves.
People realized they often know what helps them feel calm, balanced, and centered. They acknowledged the discipline to focus on those things consistently is sometimes lacking.
People enjoyed talking about themselves. We noticed many people seemed lighter, energized, and connected.
Benefits & Impact -
Everyone we spoke with was aware of what energizes and drains them. People are smart, resilient, and have unfettered access to information online. Their struggles to be their best selves came from a lack of time or money and a supportive environment.
Speaking about their day to day routines showed people where they have space and time to add in moments of joy.
By hearing themselves share their stories, people realized they often know what to do to soothe their stresses, have some fun, and truly relax.
Our conversations reminded people they have control and power of their behavior and reactions.
What are the pathways?
How to apply this to the road ahead.
For many of us, the reality of our jobs and work routines have changed drastically. Yet, there is still a fine line between “enough and too much”. Work and home don’t have separate physical places for such a large group of people. Perhaps it’s more important than ever to focus on healthy and creative ways to keep the two in harmony with each other.
For those still going to work, the changes and rules in place are confronting and also impact your stress levels. It’s important to realize you are not alone in this situation. Sharing your story with others does service to those in similar careers with relatable issues.
As you embark on conversations with your own employees, consider asking them:
What can we work on together that will keep work and life more at peace with each other?
Which things have changed in recent months which have brought more balance to your life?
What “old habits” do you seem to be falling back into now you are settling into some potential “new normal”?