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Work-life balance? Yeah, right!

Striking the balance. In a world where we’re constantly trying to adapt to new ways of working, to focus on our health and on our well-being and still, of course, remain productive, how do we do it right?

First, we should ask ourselves, is there really a balance to be struck?

Many agencies offer flexible working and wellness packages, some even offer help-lines for employees who struggle with these issues. But are senior leaders at agencies actually encouraging their staff to use these resources?

If they aren’t, what’s the point of having them in the first place?

I suspect that in some offices there’s still a fear of not being seen at your desk or concern about the stigma associated with taking an absence for a mental health break.

Too many agencies are paying lip service when it comes to implementing and encouraging the use of such key benefits. And the reason for that may be that not enough of us are taking advantage of these initiatives.

We’re afraid of not getting that promotion, of being snubbed by management, or even worse, we’re so busy in our jobs that taking the time to address these needs seems unrealistic.

This has to change.

I hear about these frustrations all too often, mainly these days in interview rooms, and it makes me desperately sad and frustrated. In a world where technology enables us to work flexibly, where health and well-being is so topical and is said to be important, why are we not focusing on cultivating happy, balanced, guilt-free working environments that truly enhance productivity?

I know it can be done, and it’s something I’ve worked hard to make happen.

As industry leaders we should call for a better balance for our people, and then ensure our employees take advantage of the initiatives we develop. More importantly, we have to remove any negative associations when they do.

Achieving wellness and enabling flexibility means creating healthy work environments. We need to understand that employees have pressures outside of work and that people have a need to switch off. And our staff should feel we are investing in them beyond the technical training many workplaces provide.

By properly changing this mindset we can increase productivity and also promote communications as a positive industry in which professionals can grow and develop.