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8 tips for managing personal and professional obligations

February 18, 2016 By Matt Krumrie | Write Comment

Toughest BossAs many employees are still reveling in the romance from Valentine’s Day, it’s a great time to revisit their relationship with work too. In a new survey of professionals from Robert Half, 54 percent said they are more committed to their personal lives than they were a year ago. That’s a greater percentage than those who are more committed to their career (38 percent), job (34 percent) company (31 percent) and boss (29 percent).

Interestingly, a greater percentage of 18-to-34 year old professionals cited increased commitment in each of the categories than professionals 35 and older.

Professionals were asked, “Compared to one year ago, are you more or less committed to …

More Committed

Less Committed

No Change

Your personal life

54%

5%

41%

Your career

38%

9%

53%

Your job

34%

14%

52%

Your company

31%

16%

53%

Your boss

29%

16%

55%

“In a strong job market, professionals have more confidence in their career prospects, which gives them the breathing room to focus on interests outside of work,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. “Companies that offer perks to help with work-life balance, such as generous vacation policies or the ability to telecommute, have a recruiting edge.”

McDonald advocates maintaining a good balance between work and personal pursuits. “With the ability to check in anytime and anywhere, it can be tempting to stay engaged with work around the clock,” he said. “This hyper-connectedness isn’t necessarily healthy and can lead to burnout.”

DeLynn Senna, executive director of Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based staffing firm specializing in the recruitment and placement of skilled financial professionals, offers these 4 Tips for achieving work-life balance:

4 Tips For Achieving Work-Life Balance

  1. Have a plan. Think about where you want to go and the steps needed to get there. Define what work-life balance means to you and how you plan to measure and achieve it.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask. If you’re looking to telecommute one day per week or are seeking a more flexible schedule, work with your supervisor to see what options are available. Then, make sure to track how it’s working and make adjustments accordingly.
  3. Take control of your calendar. Whether it’s blocking off your calendar to take a lunch break or for regular reflection, managing your time effectively is critical to your professional success and preventing burnout.
  4. Unplug when appropriate. When you’re not at work or shouldn’t be on the clock, don’t check your email or respond to requests. It’s important to take periodic breaks at the office and use vacation time. This can ultimately help you come back to work more refreshed and reenergized.

In addition, Robert Half offers these four additional tips for balancing personal and professional obligations:

4 tips for balancing personal and professional obligations

  1. Keep your eye on the prize. A steady stream of email, instant messages and other communication can make it hard to focus. Set aside time free of distractions to complete critical tasks.
  2. Exercise restraint. Often, people stay connected out of habit versus need. Think carefully before responding to email on evenings and weekends: Can the situation wait? This is especially important if you’re the boss, since around-the-clock email signals to others that it’s expected.
  3. Cut down on commute time. Explore whether occasional telecommuting or flexible schedules are a possibility in your firm. An increasing number of companies provide these options.
  4. Make a plan, and stick to it. Plan your vacation time well in advance. Think about taking a trip where you won’t be accessible – completely disconnecting may help you recharge. If you must be available, establish only specific times for checking in.

By

Matt Krumrie

Connect with Matt Krumrie on Twitter and LinkedIn

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