6 July, 2018

Let’s face it. We live in a time of overworking, burnout and digital stress – and it’s not a good look. Work-life balance is taking a big hit.

Whilst earning a living isn’t a bad thing, the cost of overworking can be.

As Sharon Martin, a leading psychotherapist in America, points out: “You can’t perform at your best when you’re over-stressed, surviving on caffeine and fast food, and your only exercise is walking to and from your car. The problem is our workaholic mindset.”

What’s more, more than a quarter of Brits expect they’ll be healthy enough to work well into their 70s. So much for that retirement plan.

Read more: 4 compelling arguments for a career break

Consider that over half a million workers in the UK suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety. Add to that the knowledge that a stressful job is more likely to contribute to premature deaths in men with heart issues and it’s obvious that our dedication to the desk has to be curtailed.

Feel like you need a decent break? Here are three recent career trends that might help shake up your working landscape.

Take a jobbymoon

work-life balance

Newlyweds head off on honeymoons, parents-to-be take babymoons and now it’s time for workers to take jobbymoons. The idea is to enjoy a short break between a career change. Rather than finishing one job on Friday and starting the next on Monday, you take some time out for you, to get your work-life balance right.

While sabbaticals are the go-to choice for taking a desk break, the truth is they sometimes don’t work. When you’re returning to the same workplace, the pressure never truly lets up.

Read more: Why a travel break is the smartest career move you’ll make

40% of UK employees are only taking up to half of their annual leave, and 23% admit they’re working during their break to avoid falling behind. The ‘jobbymoon’ means you truly switch off without the pressure of your current job to return to.

Imagine chilling on the beaches of Bali, unwinding in the Philippines or meandering down the Mekong River. All with just the local wildlife (and cocktails) to distract you, and not a work email in sight.


Work from ‘home’

work-life balance

We’re talking about remote working.

With the rise of 4G and super-fast broadband, not to mention the imminent arrival of 5G, working from anywhere is a reality right here, right now.

Vodafone ran a study in 2016 that showed three quarters of companies worldwide have already adopted flexible working. Among these, 83% believe offering flexible options actually boosted productivity.

Clearly, when it comes to shaking up your work-life balance, being able to work from a white sandy beach or a sun-kissed terrace is more tempting than a sweaty office block. Even home.

Read more: The golden rules to a happier workplace

And you don’t have to travel far. Norway and Sweden are both in the top three countries in the world when it comes to fast internet speeds. Swap the desk for rally driving, sea kayaking, glacier hiking and a trip to see the northern lights – and still get those work emails sent every evening. Perfect.

Adopt a side hustle

work-life balance

A new study by Henley Business School found that four in 10 Brits have at least one business alongside their primary job. That number is set to become almost one in two of us by 2030.

If you can find the time to do something that unlocks a passion, it just might make the nine to five much more bearable and improve your work-life balance.

As Naeema Pasha, Director of Careers at Henley Business School, puts it: “A side hustle gives people a sense of control over their own careers, rather than give all the power of a career to a company.

Read more: Want a stress-free life? Stop working so hard and just be

“One reason people are more at ease with a side hustle than in previous times is the increase in ‘uncertainty’ in the workplace. It’s appealing to create their own path and not rely on a workplace to give regular income and career growth.”

Whether you work your way up to getting paid to travel the world or check your work emails from a beach, any of these options will give you a better work-life balance.

Take charge of your work time – and give some time back to you.

Photos: Flash Pack, Shutterstock

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