Triggers or Signs of Work-Life Imbalance

An imbalance between the personal life and work life can have serious or adverse effects on the health and well-being. This imbalance usually occurs when the boudaries between the professional life and personal life are not clearly demarcated and followed with a discipline. Work-life imbalance leads to emotional stress, depression and anxiety.

Extensive studies and research on Work Life Balance reveal that, more than financial pressures or family problems, work-life imbalance affects the health considerably and may trigger serious complications if left ignored.

Let’s analyze the Symptoms of Work Life imbalance

  • Exhaustion: By working for long hours tirelessly and regularly, you may run the risk of being faced with both mental and physical exhaustion, end up messing up with all the fronts of the life due to confusion and tiredness. An exhaustive schedule if followed for a long time, may build up confusion, increase the susceptibility of mistakes at work and affect the overall productivity. Several problems occur such as lack of hand-eye coordination, poor reflexes, problems with concentration and the risk of accidents, injuries, liability or professional upsurges are few other hazards of an imbalance in the work life schedule.
  • Absence: Work-life imbalance increases the pressure of fulfilling professional commitments within stringent deadlines, as a result of which you may miss out on crucial events of the family such as anniversaries, birthdays or special moments of get together with the loved ones. Absence may badly impact the relationship with the loved ones and build up instabilities or pressures in the personal life.
  • Staying Away from Friends: Friendships are required to be nurtured by spending quality time with close friends. By dedicating a major chunk of the time to your career, you may end up being a loner. Friends are an integral part of our life and they act as the support system by being there during moments of stress or testing times. By having the support of the friends and loved ones, one can experience a sense of contentment and lead a satisfied life. But, for the friends to remain by your side for life-long, quality time needs to be dedicated and frequent communication must take place.
  • Increased Level of Stress: Work-life imbalance can add to the level of stress and increase the risk of various health hazards or lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular diseases, compromised immune system, Headaches & Migraine attacks, Backaches, Acne, Stiff Muscles, Nervousness, Irritability, Depression, Mood Swings, Weight Gain, Fatigue, Poor Self-Esteem, etc.

Let’s understand some of the signs of stress

  • People experiencing stress may find it difficult to control their emotions or deal with it.
  • Stress can lead to lethargy.
  • Increased stress can create problems with concentration or focusing, resulting in restlessness or hypersensitivity.
  • Anxiety can be the outcome of prolonged stress.
    • Obesity: Obesity is one of the harmful side effects of Work-Life imbalance problem, which occurs when we fail to pay attention to our dietary or exercise schedule in order to stay fit and health. Obesity is directly connected to the possibilities of heart disease or many other serious health problems.
    • Increase in the rate of Employee Absenteism: Work life imbalance always increases the risk of triggering major health related complications, and therefore, employee absenteism at the workplace which is a compounded cost for the employers and a challenge which may be difficult to be addressed. An employee’s absence involves many direct or hidden cost to the organization. Employees avail sick leave for which they are paid even in case of absence from work for certain days by providing a legitimate reason. Sick leaves are a direct cost to the organization. Apart from this, there will be a loss in productivity due to the increase in the level of absenteism in an organization.
    • Symptoms of Burnout: Research studies so far reveal that the employees who tend to overwork, eventually are subjected to burnout. Burnout can be expressed as psychological responses or may be expressed by way of physical responses. It increases the cost of the company because of its direct linkage with the employee turnover ratio.

How to understand that Burnout has taken place

  • Interest Loss: Employees experiencing burnout will not be able to focus on their work and will not give adequate attention to their work.
  • Emotional Upsurges: One experiences emotional upsurges or exhibits inconsistent emotional responses while facing the burnout issues.
  • Motivation Loss: People who are burned out will be less motivated to take charge of the challenges at work or will lack the passion to deliver their best.
  • Possibility of Depression: Burnout can make people more depressive and reach a stage of hopelessness or despair.
    • Increase in the Body Pain: Increased anxiety and stress can lead to an aggravation in the pains across various parts of the body in the form of chronic headaches, shoulder and neck pain. By making a change in the daily routine and paying attention to self-care, one can tackle this problem. By taking warm shower in the morning, treating yourself with aroma therapies or spa and taking a break from the hectic schedule may help in many ways.
    • Never Finishing the Projects: Various reasons could be there to explain why people never finish their projects within their scheduled deadlines. Few have been mentioned below:

  • Lack of Self-Confidence
  • Threat of Failure
  • Weak Gut Feeling
  • Lack of Goal Clarity
  • Perfectionism and Procrastination

One can overcome stress or at least keep it under check by practising yoga, breathing techniques, maintaining a routine for walking or exercising. Moreover, burnout issue can be addressed by grabbing ample sleep and taking breaks from the monotonous schedule. By having a hobby in life and experimenting with new hobbies periodically will also help in combating stress and burnout issues.


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