In the lead up to Labour Day, many Hong Kong professionals may still be working excruciatingly long hours whilst struggling to find time to spend with friends and family. Many professionals may be feeling constantly stressed because of their workload or worried that taking more personal time would give an impression that they are not dedicated enough to their work.
This is a common concern, particularly for workers in Hong Kong, where research reveals that Hong Kong employees work, on average, 50 hours a week – the highest amount for any city in the survey out of 71 cities around the world.
Poor work-life balance can have adverse effects on health. It can cause stress, unhappiness and even lack of sleep. In fact, research from Robert Half reveals that a positive work-life balance is becoming increasingly important to Hong Kong employees.
Here are five effective work-life balance strategies:
Your ideal work-life balance can look completely different to someone else’s. It’s therefore important to take some time to decide what your own work-life balance should look like. How much time do you need for work? And how much time do you want for your personal/leisure time?
Understand what your key priorities are so you can make time for the most important things. At work, you may create a list of tasks and consider delegating some of the less important responsibilities. Whilst it may seem hard initially, if always saying “yes” leaves you feeling unhappy and stressed, it’s a necessary step.
Although you may be reluctant to sit down with your boss or reach out for help, this is the best way to find out whether there are any other options available to you, such as flexible working and working from home. These are all methods that have been shown to considerably increase job satisfaction, productivity and lead to higher motivation. Working from home also has the added benefit of saving time from your usual commute.
To help create a better work-life balance, get the most out of technology. Mobile devices can allow you to easily communicate and collaborate with colleagues, even if you’re working from home, from one of Hong Kong’s many coworking spaces, or whilst on the go.
Do you find that your personal time becomes an afterthought? If you fit in leisure activities around your work, stop. In the same way as you’d schedule a work meeting, schedule in time to spend with your friends, family and even yourself. This way, it’s in the diary and needs your attention.
What to do if finding a balance is still a struggle
If you’ve tried these above suggestions and are still struggling to juggle your work and personal time, or the company you work for doesn’t value this balance, it may be time to consider looking for a new job.