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Work/life balance

Are you in the office all hours of the day and night with little time to spend with partners, family or friends? If you...



Work/life balance

Are you in the office all hours of the day and night with little time to spend with partners, family or friends? If you feel work is taking over your life, it could be time to rethink your work/life balance.

Take stock

If work is dominating your life, take a step back and assess how much time you spend at work and thinking about work. Also look at how you spend your time outside of work and what you would like to change.

Make changes

See how you can improve your working patterns yourself. Prioritising is key, so if time is an issue, do any work that is critical and leave what isn't until you have the time. If you are in a position of authority, make sure you delegate where appropriate and are not taking on more than you can manage. Relieve tension during the day by doing some exercise or going for a lunchtime walk. Not only will it reduce stress, but should increase productivity and enthusiasm.

Speak to your line manager

Talk to your manager about your workload. If it is too heavy, say so. If you suffer in silence, they will think you are coping. If you feel work is infringing on your personal life, talk to your manager about it and see if it can be addressed. Particularly with experienced staff, chances are that managers would rather accommodate your needs than lose you.

Don't be scared to overhaul your working life

IT professionals are in a very powerful position - skills are in high demand and short supply. Employers are often more responsive to employees' requests to work flexi-time or part-time, so if that is what you want, it is worth sounding out your manager to see if it is possible.

Check out corporate benefits

If you have children, see what your company's line is on child care. Some companies allow employees to chose what form their benefits take and it could be that child care is an option.

This was last published in January 2001

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