Expert urges people to rebalance work and home life
An expert in work-life balance from the University of Bedfordshire has urged busy workers to leave work at work when they finish for the day in order to protect their wellbeing and job performance.
Speaking on Go Home on Time Day (5th Oct), Prof Gail Kinman, Director of the University's Research Centre for Applied Psychology, argues that prioritising recovery time and switching off from work when at home makes for a happier and more efficient workforce.
"There is overwhelming evidence that the long hours culture is not sustainable and the most successful organisations now realise that people who work long hours tend to be poorer, rather than better, performers," said Prof Kinman.
"Many employers are now encouraging their staff to go home on time, as they realise that a well-rested employee who prioritises their personal life is happier, healthier and more productive - and they are more likely to stay with that organisation."
Although many people are tempted to take work calls and check their emails during evenings and weekends, the inability to switch off from work can be harmful to wellbeing over the long term.
"People need time to switch off and recover. It isn't enough to simply go home on time, you need to stay away from work when you are there and do something different" said Prof Kinman.
"Although better technology means more of us are able to work from home, this can encourage us to be 'always on' and work anytime and anywhere. This can be very damaging for our health, our personal relationships and our job performance. "
Throughout National Work Life Week (3rd-7th Oct), Prof Kinman has been sharing tips on how people can make time for themselves outside of work to their personal interests, and to make a clear distinction between work and home.
"Use corridors or transitions to separate work from personal life. This is particularly important if people work at home. Go for a run, take the dog for a walk, cook dinner, watch TV - do something that allows you to transition from work mode."