Work-life balance is something every professional hopes to find. However, it is incredibly elusive and certainly won’t happen by accident. This is especially true in today’s hyperconnected world, where work activities bleed over into your off-hours thanks to smartphones and other digital devices.
If your work-life balance is disrupted over the long term, it is incredibly damaging to your well-being. At times, this makes talking to your boss about it a necessity, even if it is uncomfortable. Luckily, it is possible to navigate the conversation properly. Here is what you need to know.
Understand Your Position
Before you approach your manager, it’s important to acknowledge you are actually in a position of strength. Your employer wants you to excel as they have probably made significant investments in you.
It is in their best interest that you stay on-staff and avoid burnout, so you don’t need to speak with your boss as if you are requesting a favor. Instead, treat the discussion as a win-win, as you can improve your performance when your work-life balance is restored.
For your boss, productivity is a priority. If you can work together to create an environment that allows you to accomplish more during your normal work hours, they won’t be as inclined to reach out after you leave for the day.
For example, find ways to limit interruptions that your boss can support. One method is turning off notifications when you need to focus, ensuring that incoming email does not disrupt the task at hand. Similarly, a sign on your desk that says you are not available or the ability to wear headphones to block out noise could also help, as long as your manager supports their use.
Be Respectful and Open to Compromise
As with all professional discussions, being respectful is a must. If you walk into the meeting with an attitude and a set of demands, your manager isn’t going to be amused.
Additionally, you need to be ready for a back-and-forth discussion. You may have ideas on how you can achieve a better work-life balance, but your boss will have input too, and you need to be prepared to compromise.
As long as the conversation remains calm and respectful, finding middle ground will be easier. When your manager presents their thoughts, listen closely. Don’t worry about forming a response until they are done speaking. Otherwise, you may miss an important detail because you were focused on your turn to talk.
Asking clarifying questions when your boss presents an idea is also smart. This increases the odds that you are actually on the same page, ensuring a misunderstanding doesn’t derail the discussion.
If you and your boss can come to an agreement, then you can move forward knowing your work-life balance is going to improve. However, if your manager won’t help you find a solution, your only other option may be to seek out a new opportunity elsewhere.
Partner with a staffing agency in Gainesville, GA!
Not every employer is willing to remove the expectation that employees be available 24/7. If you are in that environment, then finding a company that prefers their workers achieve balance is often best. If you think you need a new job to find work-life balance, the team at PrideStaff can help. Contact us to learn more about our available positions and see how our work-life balance expertise can make locating the ideal opportunity easier than ever before.