2018 research found that one third of Brits feel that their jobs now take up almost half of their life, according to research from Gympass. While many employees may struggle to get the right balance between personal and professional life, a recent interview with pop legend Rihanna has unearthed some of her best tips for establishing a healthy work-life balance.
While the famed singer Rihanna may have a desirable career that allows her to travel the world, go on tour and arguably choose working hours that suit her, it is likely that she suffers from a lack of sleep and an exhausting work schedule that has the potential to result in burnout if she doesn't look after herself.
Like with any employee, HR should be concerned about how staff achieve a healthy work-life balance for themselves as this will result in better efficiency, output and increased morale whilst at work. Therefore, employers should make sure that employees aware of the importance of taking time away from the office.
In an interview with Interview Magazine, Rihanna explained that it was only over the last few years that she has started to make time for herself – after realising that personal mental health is dependent on it taking breaks.
“If you’re not happy, you’re not going to be happy even doing things that you love doing. It’d feel like a chore. I never want work to feel like a chore.
“My career is my purpose, and it should never feel like anything other than a happy place.”
I hope #Rihanna has a work work work work work-life balance— Rachael (@rachaelrequests) April 14, 2016
So, what has the pop legend done to improve her overall wellbeing and strengthen her work-life balance?
“I’ve made little things a big deal, like going for a walk or going to the grocery store. I got into a new relationship, and it matters to me. I was like ‘I need to make time for this’. Just like I nurture my businesses, I need to nurture this as well. I’ll shut things down for two days, three days at a time. On my calendar, we now have the infamous ‘P’, which means personal days. This is a new thing.”
While HR can oversee the workforce's overall wellbeing, in many ways it is the employee's prerogative to maintain a healthy work-life balance for themselves and take time off for personal days. So, what can employees do to better their own work-life balance?
Just say no – Being available 24/7 and being bogged down by unhealthy workloads is no good. Before it gets too much and your wellbeing takes a turn for the worse, explain that you would like to help but on this occasion you’re over-capacitated. Most reasonable bosses will understand this polite decline.
Leave work at the office – While it can be difficult to totally segregate professional and personal life due to the hypoconnectivity of today’s digital world, try and keep these two entities separate. If you’re concerned that you will take work home with you in the evening, write a list for you to tackle first thing in the morning and it can be a problem for the next day.
Don’t try and be a perfectionist – A common afterthought of leaving the office is that you could have finished a task, sent one last email or finished off that report which is due at the end of the week. However, the more overworked you become, the lower the standard of output. So, be clear on when it is time to just call it a day.
Step away from emails – Presenteeism is one of the greatest dangers for employers. Just because an employee appears to be tapping away on the keyboard and replying to a swarm of emails, doesn’t mean that problems are being solved and output is productive. So, make sure you get some time away from emails to get perspective and then replying to emails will actually pay off.