Is There Such Thing as Work/Life Balance?
That is a good question. One that I have struggled with in every facet of my working life. It doesn't seem to matter if I am working in an office, at home for a company or running my own business, finding that 'sweet spot' when it comes to work, life and the balancing act of the two is difficult.
In this article, published by blogTO.com on November 30, 2021, it is announced that the Ontario government officially passed the Working for Workers Act requiring that most workplaces have a written 'right to disconnect' policy making it illegal for bosses to bug their employees after hours, and therefore easier for employees to spend time with family and loved ones without the added guilt that can be felt when trying to find that work/life balance.
It can be so easy to fall into that 'just one more email trap' or to feel like you need to jump to your feet, dumping your kid or partner on the ground in the process and sprint to your phone because it could be your boss needing something and you don't want to disappoint them. For some, disconnecting from work is easy, for others it can be very difficult for a variety of reasons. Having this support from the government will ensure that employees are supported in their decision to erect a healthy boundary between work life and home life.
What does this mean for small business owners and employees of small business? Nothing really. If you employ or work for a company that employees under 25 people then it's really up to you and your boss to work it out amongst yourselves. There are many ways that you as a small business owner can support your employees to find that better work/life balance. It is important for both employers and employees to remember that people are not machines and that we are in the midst of what some economists are calling 'The Great Resignation'. While Canada's employment stats have not seen the incredible wave of resignations that the US has seen, it is still safe to say that employees are no longer tolerating mistreatment from employers. If you're an employer of any size company, my advice to you is: Do Better.
Now what about if you are the business owner and the sole employee of said business? You might have the hardest time of all trying to find that balance because there is no one other than yourself to regulate and govern how many hours you put into your business in a day/week/month. It is up to you to make the rules and stick to them. Overall, it is very important that you sit down and write yourself a policy that includes things like how to manage your time effectively, stress management and burnout prevention. Involve your loved ones in this if you can as they probably are your biggest supporters and, if they are anything like my husband, will have no problem telling you to put your phone away, close your laptop or lock up the shop, and come spend some time with them.
At the end of the day, regardless of your employment situation, your entire life should not revolve around work. Trust me, you don't want to get to retirement or be laying in your death bed looking back at your life and all you see is work. As Dolly Parton once said: "Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life."