Lack of work-life balance is holding men back

Seven
in 10 men think their performance at work is damaged by a lack of work-life
balance, according to a survey of 4,000 men published today. 

The
survey, carried out by Men’s Health magazine in association with the Department
of Trade and Industry, also says that many men are working harder and longer
than they realise.

A
quarter admit they are still struggling to strike the right balance between
their work and home lives.

Despite
more than half those surveyed (52 per cent) citing their personal relationships
and almost a quarter (23 per cent) naming their health as their main
priorities, many are working harder and longer than they realise.

Many
feel this could be damaging their ability to perform in the workplace, as over
half (55 per cent) think that having enough time to exercise regularly improves
their productivity.

Nearly
half of the men surveyed (49 per cent) believe that getting out of the office
to exercise regularly helps improve motivation and concentration, with seven in
10 feeling that it boosts their self esteem to give them more confidence in
meetings.

Trade
and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt said: "More and more men are making
work-life balance a priority. It gives them time to spend with their friends
and families, to look after their health and to pursue other interests. All
this can also improve their performance at work, which is good news for their
employers too.

"But
this survey shows it’s still hard for men to get the balance right, especially
if there’s an old-fashioned culture where they work.  That’s why I’m glad that bosses are leading by example, and that
flexible working opportunities are becoming more common," Hewitt said.

Men’s
Health has helpfully identified some quick ways to de-stress at your desk.

Before
you leave work at the end of the day…


Start cleaning – take the last 15 minutes of your day to organise your work
area. Creating order out of chaos gives you a sense of ‘closure’ on the day.
Even if the area where you sit or stand at work looks like a small rubbish tip,
try to create priority piles before you leave.


Make a ‘to do’  list for tomorrow –
listing tasks is more than just a way of remembering things, it’s a way of
dealing with them.

As
soon as you leave the workplace…


Take a diversion – on your way home, take a breath. If you’re catching the bus,
don’t hop on straight away, but walk to the next stop. If you’re heading for
your car, stow the keys and walk around the block instead. Take in some fresh
air and use the extra time to walk off some of the day’s stress.


Take charge – stress often comes from the feeling of not being in control, so
remind yourself you’re still the boss in your life. Window shop. Browse in a
bookshop. If you’re really stressed, go into a department store and try on the
most expensive suit there. Take it off, then leave.

By Quentin Reade

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