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Work-Life Balance

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The challenges facing small business owners.

Maintaining a stable work-life balance will likely be an ongoing challenge for many small business owners, who may find that the various responsibilities associated with running a business, from day-to-day operations to administrative duties, leave little free time to pursue personal interests.

Of course, it is important to retain perspective in seeking to get this balance right, weighing up both short and long-term goals, along with other related considerations, and approaches will naturally vary according to individual preferences and circumstances.

What works for one business owner may not necessarily be the right approach for another, however there are a number of strategies that can potentially be applied and which may be worthwhile pursuing.

Work-Life Balance: Managing Different Commitments

The arboriculture sector can present some unique challenges for business owners, particularly so given the widely documented challenges in attracting skilled staff, which especially for small businesses has the potential to create additional time pressures.

Meanwhile, overseeing a range of tasks, from maintaining and replacing equipment, to accounting, business planning and marketing has the potential to quickly eat into personal time, and taking work home may become routine for some.

Healthdirect Australia notes via its website that, amid the challenge of juggling different commitments, many Australians can be classified as “time poor”, with Australians working some of the longest hours of anyone in developed countries, stating that:

“A good work-life balance means you have harmony between different aspects of your life, where benefits gained from each area can support and strengthen the others.”

Previous studies have highlighted the challenges Australians face, with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Australia’s welfare 2019 report showing that, despite a downward trend, Australia has one of the highest proportions of people working long hours compared to other OECD countries.

Meanwhile, a recent Roy Morgan survey found that many Australians doing at least some work from home “find it difficult to switch off from work”, with those who are self-employed and who do some work from home more likely to agree it is difficult to switch off than those who don’t (43 and 38 per cent, respectively).

Seeking To Get The Balance Right

Of course, being well organised and utilising the range of business management tools at your disposal can contribute significantly to achieving a good work-life balance, while it is also important to be able to draw a clear division between your professional and personal life.

Healthdirect provides the following work-life balance advice:

  • Values – consider what is important to you in life, how much time you actually spend on the most important priorities, and make time for the things that are important to you
  • Time management – utilise tools such as diaries, calendars and apps, with it important to keep track of what you are spending your time on, and cutting down on time wastage
  • Boundaries – set limits on your work time and put time aside for other aspects of your life, going internet-free at times, and learning to say no
  • Downtime – dedicate a regular time each week to an activity you enjoy, with rest periods sometimes important to recharge the batteries.

Health direct additionally points to the importance of positive relationships and social support, along with regular exercise, in combating stress, with further information available at: www.healthdirect.gov.au

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