A good work life balance isn’t just a positive thing for the employee but the employer also sees many benefits to good work life balance policies and practices. Some include: Getting and keeping the right employees, gaining the best out of your employees, being an employer of choice and improving the productivity in your work force.
The top tips which are proven to help with a better lifestyle are -

Set boundaries between home and work
To achieve a good work-life fit, it’s important to set clear boundaries between work and home. “When you get home, change out of your work clothes and take a few moments to mentally leave work behind. Think about what activities you find engaging and relaxing – such as listening to music, reading, talking to friends, running – and do one of these when you find you are getting stressed,” says Julianne Miles, co-founder of Women Returners.
It’s also good to make sure you have a peaceful night-time routine. “Set times to turn off your phone each evening as using a smartphone late at night also can stop you sleeping, which exacerbates the stress,” she adds.

Don’t check emails in the evening
When you find your work spilling over into your personal life, it’s up to you to change it. “The truth is you have to decide to turn that switch off. No one else can do it but you,” says Tim Grimes, a writer and counsellor specialising in work-life balance. “The good news is it’s easier than you think. If you decide that you will be relaxed outside of work, and focus on
Similarly Caroline Hunt, HR director of Deloitte, agrees that you need to be proactive in improving your work-life balance. “Turn your phone off in the evenings and do something outside of the office, whether it’s a sport or hobby, to switch your mind off work.”
The more you set boundaries on your time, the less co-workers will expect you to respond after hours. “There’s also a point about conditioning other people,” says psychologist and author Dr Gary Wood. “If others know you’ll check an email at 11pm, they’ll send them. By answering emails out of hours you are reinforcing the practice.”

Don’t wear busyness as a badge of pride
Sometimes it can be easy to feel like we should be ticking off our to-do list from morning until night, says Miles. “But if we live our lives like this, we’re constantly depleting our energy. Even taking five minutes to sit and breathe a few times a day can help us to recharge and feel more in balance.”
“We have as a culture become so busy. Frantic almost,” agrees Gelong Thubten, a mindfulness teacher for Google staff. “We need to step back and ask ourselves what it is for. Of course people need to work, need to earn, need to provide for themselves and their families. But do we need to check our smartphone while crossing a road? Do we have no time just to rest and relax?” Of course we need this time to focus our minds and recharge.

If you’re part-time, don’t feel pressure to reply to emails on your days off
Though part-time work can fit well with family life, you need to manage the work so it doesn’t effectively become a full-time job at lower pay. “It’s important to agree clear boundaries with your manager and co-workers, particularly around availability outside of work hours,” says Miles. It also can help to add your working days to your email signature, so external contacts don’t expect a quick reply.

And as a part-timer applying for jobs, “Don’t limit yourself to part-time roles alone”, says Tracey Eker, chief executive and founder of Flexiworkforce. “If you see something appealing: apply. The worst thing they can do is say no to flexible or part-time working.”

Make a business case for flexible working
When making a request for flexible working, the onus is on you to show your employer the positives. “Perhaps the time saved commuting could be spent more productively? Or the reduced office overheads could save the company money? Remember: flexible working is not about working less but having greater control to get work done more effectively,” says Eker.

Likewise, Hunt suggests presenting your employers with a plan to answer any concerns they may have. “Be brave and confident when you make the case. Perhaps suggest it’s done on a trial basis.”

u can take up to 18 weeks’ parental leave to spend time with your children
If you have a family and you have been employed with your current company for at least a year, you are entitled to take up to 18 weeks’ parental leave per parent, per child, says Katie Wood, legal officer for Maternity Action. “Parental leave is usually unpaid but if finances allow, you could use some parental leave each year to cover one of the school holidays.”
Martin agrees that this can be good as a last resort. “Though not many people can use it because it’s unpaid leave, it can be helpful if all else fails. It was brought in for that exact reason – so parents could look after their children during the school holidays.”

Working from home does not always mean a good work-life balance
For some, working from home can mean a better work-life balance. “If you work at home you cut down the commute time, can easily do nursery or childminder pick-ups and can fit in a load of washing between client calls,” says Miles. However, on the flip side “many home workers miss the social side of the office”. You spend a lot of time at home with your family and it can feel isolating if your work is also home-based. “It’s also worth considering whether you prefer to separate work from home life or are relaxed about integrating the two,” she adds.

Information sourced from The Guardian 17/1/16

Rebecca heads recruitment across North, Midlands, East Anglia & South West bringing over 13 years experience.