Remember back in the day, when there used to be a separation between home and work life? The invention of the smart phone has pretty much eliminated that, hasn’t it? It’s more important than ever to have some kind of work/life integration in order for you to reduce your stress level and create a happier, healthier workplace.
Face it, you probably spend more time at work than you do with your loved ones at home. Toxic people, unrealistic expectations, and tight deadlines are just a few of the stresses you face every day. But wait, wouldn’t you think that with all the technology you have at your fingertips that you’d have tons of extra time on your hands? Um, no. Not the case, is it?
We live in this instant gratification world where not responding to a text or email in 1.5 minutes may lead the sender to believe that you’re rude, inconsiderate or uninterested in connecting with them. Man, it would be nice to have some down time! The good news is, you can.
Here are three tips to better integrate your personal and professional lives.
1. Take care of yourself. Stress is killing you! Get yourself out of the stress response by doing something you have to do 24/7 – and if you’re not doing it, you’re in deep doo-doo. This is, of course, breathing. Since you have to breathe anyway, why not make it productive? My friend Dana shared a terrific technique called 4-7-8. It works like this: Breathe in for 4, hold for 7, release for 8. By doing this 5 times, you’ll start to increase your endorphin level – your dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin – and you’ll physically feel better.
2. Share the love. Look for ways to get your employees’ families involved. Whether it’s a company picnic at an amusement park, like my husband’s company does, sending handwritten notes to the home, thanking the family for the extra time their loved one had to put in for a large project, like one of my client companies does, or simply celebrating birthdays and other special occasions in the workplace, you’ll show your employees that you understand that there is life outside the office.
3. Have fun. Set up opportunities for friendships to develop. The Gallup organization uses the statement, “I have a best friend at work” in their engagement questionnaire. Notice they did not say, “I like the people I work with,” or “I have friends at work,” the quote is “I have a BEST friend.” By encouraging “play time” in addition to worktime, you’ll develop a more cohesive workforce and increase retention rates.
Use these three steps and you’ll not only create a more harmonious workplace, you’ll feel better too!