How do you manage work life balance in the UK, and what are some common practices?

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    • #8195 0 Likes | Like it

        My name is Madji and I live in Manchester and enrolled with Breaking Barriers for support in April 2023. I’ve previously worked as a support worker and hope to continue with this line of work.

        My question is:

        How do you manage work life balance in the UK, and what are some common practices?


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      • #8439 1 Likes | Like it

          Depending on your workplace there are different techniques that can help. When I have a good relationship with my manager, I try to open about any personal or professional challenges that might impact on how I am feeling at work, or how effective I am being. I aim to go with solutions and/or ideas on how I want to manage it, which means I am more likely to get the support I need and means my manager isn’t having to guess what could help.

          Other things that help include blocking time in my diary to focus on work, noting in my diary if I need to start later or finish earlier than usual, making sure I don’t have work emails or notifications on my personal phone, closing my laptop and tidying up my work desk at the end of the day.

        • #8483 0 Likes | Like it

            Hi Majdi,

            For me, it’s about setting hard limits for myself. My personal approaches:

            • I will not work past a specific time unless I had enough warning
            • I ensure that I log any hours I work over so that I can claim them back
            • I do not engage with work in any way while on holiday
            • I never put work before friends or family.
            • I try to remember that I am an expendable part of wherever I work, I can be replaced and my place of work will always put itself first so I should do the same.
          • #8501 0 Likes | Like it
            Chloe Parford

              I agree with both of the above comments. I believe that you need to know what will work best for you personally (acknowledging that this will also change, and that is ok). It is then feeling confident to implement these when looking for, interviewing and accepting a role. To have these boundaries in place will mean you can ensure, to the best of your ability, you are working somewhere than can enable you to achieve the “work/life balance” you are hoping for.

              Understanding what an employers key hours are, combined with what hours of the day you work best within. For example, if you were to work 10-4, but then recognise you’d rather complete tasks again in the evening, from 7-9, or alternatively, you are a morning worker and would like to work earlier.

              Building a strong relationship with your line manager, which can take time. Often once somebody has past their probation more flexible working opportunities are available and can be utilised.

            • #8510 0 Likes | Like it

                Hi Majdi,

                If you are someone that finds visual aids useful, it may be useful to time block. I find it really helpful to write out a daily schedule, as this allows me to clearly see whether I’m taking on too much, and makes it easier to block out time for breaks.

                Sometimes a busy week at work can feel super overwhelming, so it can be really useful to have a set finish time on your daily schedule, to ensure that you put your laptop away at the end of the working day and take a break. If I don’t plan my day out in advance, it’s easy for the end of the working day to get later and later, often to the detriment of work/life balance.

                It’s also really important to communicate if you find yourself struggling with work/life balance – this can be through having a clear line of communication with your manager, but can also just be through taking a coffee break with a colleague to help you to feel less overwhelmed.

              • #8519 0 Likes | Like it

                  Hi Majdi,

                  Being a support worker is such an important job and we are lucky to have you in the UK! With this type of role, I can see it may be more difficult to achieve the kind of flexibility at work that some other roles may offer. As others have said, I think it’s important to have an honest conversation with your employer at the beginning, particularly if you have caring responsibilities yourself, so that there are no misunderstandings later on.

                  Some people find it really easy to switch off after work – I am not one of those people! You will know what works for you, but I find exercise or a good film helps me to take my mind off work. I never work on holidays. I try to plan at least one fun thing each weekend with friends and family, where I can completely switch off from work. Some people like yoga/meditation. Ultimately, it is important to build some time into your week for yourself, to relax and recharge your batteries, even if it is just a couple of hours.

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