Is Work-Life Balance Real? These 5 Leaders Think So — This is How They Achieve It
In the hustle and bustle of today’s workplace — from transitioning to hybrid work culture, leaving jobs and navigating COVID-19 — it can be easy for mental health to get lost in the midst. As a reminder from your friends at Hive, we want you to remember the importance of prioritizing your mental health, starting with work-life balance.
World Mental Health Day — a day meant to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health — is approaching on October 10, 2021.
To celebrate, we’ve asked well-known leaders about how to best achieve balance in life, and of course, at work. To find out how you can better your mental health, keep reading below.
Defining work-life balance
If you asked someone to define what work-life balance is, the odds are, everyone would say something a little different. Typically, before you can achieve something, understanding it is key. But as we’ve discovered, work-life balance is just one of those things that can vary.
“Work-life balance means something a little different to everyone,” Forbes said in an article, “Over the years, the knowledge and approach of work-life balance has been constantly evolving.”
While some people don’t answer emails past 6 PM, others make sure to always use their PTO or stick to a solid morning routine. We’ve learned that It’s less about discovering what work-life balance is, and more about what it means for you. By asking others how they prioritize work-life balance at work, you can learn what might work best for you.
How to achieve work-life balance — as told by leaders
In the spirit of supporting mental health, we asked these trusted leaders how they aim for achieving work-life balance and a level-head, along with the ways they encourage their employees to embrace it, too.
1. Having the right resources
First, we asked American entrepreneur Mark Cuban how he supports his employees in mental health care.
“We try to listen to our people and make mental health care resources readily available.” — Mark Cuban
He makes an excellent point: simply being in a work environment where others listen can be life-changing. And with the right resources, you can find the support and care you need. If you don’t have access to resources through your workplace, these are some to keep in mind: utilizing the SAMHSA’s National Helpline, finding local resources in your area or finding a specialist that might be able to help, here.
2. Communication is key
Next, we chatted with Superhuman’s Head of People, Kristen Hayward, about how the company is making an impact through communication. They’ve set out to help people become less distracted by the constant barrage of emails and the use of communication tools, in today’s workforce.
“At Superhuman, we’ve always been focused on helping people navigate their email more efficiently. We recently conducted a survey that found that the number one distraction employees face while working from home is work communications, with 30% saying they are distracted by constant emails and other communication tools.” – Kristen Hayward
According to Hayward, “this negative impact on mental health is one of the reasons that the People team at Superhuman has taken a proactive approach to set norms around response times for different mediums and making it clear how quickly — or not — they are expected to respond.”
By creating expectations and limits on communication, the Superhuman team is bringing calm in the chaos, by working to help each employee feel present, in their day-to-day.
3. Mindfulness means more than you think
Next, we talked with author, business leader, and family business consultant, Sharon Spano, on how she defines work-life balance and helps clients integrate it into their own lives and work. “It’s more about work-life integration than balance. One must learn how to integrate work and life in this fast-paced world with intention and purpose.”
As mentioned before, everyone has a different version of what balance is, for them. For Spano, mindfulness plays a major role in creating a seamless integration between work and life.
“Balance is an impossible task, but we learn to make choices based on the moment and the ebb and flow of life. Mindfulness, and an absence of guilt, is required.” — Sharon Spano
If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness and practice it for yourself, we encourage you to try Headspace, a popular app that aims to increase the happiness of the world through meditation and mindfulness. They even offer a work-centric option: Headspace For Work.
4. Make big decisions and prioritize, prioritize, prioritize
Lastly, we couldn’t not include our very own Hive founders: John Furneaux and Eric Typaldos. They told us how they feel about work-life balance — and how they help Hive employees feel their best, every day.
“You can enhance your work-life balance in two ways: reduce time working at a job you dislike, or find a job you love.” – John Furneaux
While he takes the approach of making big decisions — that will ultimately move the needle in a positive direction in the long run — Typaldos takes the approach of keeping your priorities straight.
“Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities. And make sure your priorities include your personal priorities, not just work ones.” — Eric Typaldos
Aside from this, Hive also offers special perks to employees such as access to wellness and fitness app and monetary gifts, as a way of giving back and promoting overall happiness and wellbeing.
“One little helping hand for happiness at Hive is ‘Hive Honey,'” Furneaux explained, “This is $1,000 tax-free to spend on anything you like that makes you happy.”
Signs you need to reconsider your mental health at work
Are you in need of reconsidering your mental health at work? According to The Cleveland Clinic, These might be some signs to watch out for:
- You stop taking care of your body
- Your mental health is going downhill
- You don’t care anymore
- You feel incompetent
- There are no clear boundaries between home and work
- You feel lonely
If any of these resonate with you, it might be time to consider your mental health, starting with your work-life balance. Remember: work-life balance means something different to everyone — take what you love, leave what you don’t.