You wake up suddenly and realize that you don’t like your job anymore. The stress of a 60+ hour work week and impossible deadlines are making you irritable at home and when out with friends. You start to think about the last time you were happy at your job and can’t recall when it was.
You’re not alone. Thousands of people wake up every day thinking what you’re thinking, including yours truly. The truth is though; a new job isn’t always the best answer in solving your dilemma. You’re thinking that finding a new job will reduce your stress, give you more opportunities for advancement, provide a better work-life balance, or all of the above. In actuality getting a new job does not and will not help if your work ethic doesn’t allow it to happen.
Having a better job starts with you taking the first step and letting your company know that things need to change. A few simple things that you can do now can change your work-life balance quickly and drastically.
Most companies today realize that with faster connections at home make it possible to work from home on occasion. In fact, several companies in California encourage telecommuting on a regular basis because productivity increases greatly with the same 8 hours of work per day. It’s a simple approach to helping you gain a work-life balance to help you keep work where it belongs, at work. Approaching your boss and letting them know that the stress, long hours, and deadlines are causing an unhealthy amount of stress is usually the first step.
If your company has a telecommuting program or a flex-time opportunity, which most do now, is most likely the easiest and quickest change to your job. Technologies such as VPN, remote-access, and Citrix make working from home as easy as logging on as if you were at your desk. Working out a plan with your company is as simple as filling out a form for approval. For example, you can work Monday through Thursday in the office and telecommute on Friday. Being able to work at home in your pajamas all day with fresh coffee can be extremely relaxing allowing you to get more work done.
Another easy and quick change is to request that you be placed on a flex-time schedule. The major benefit is that you have the control as to the day you decide to stay at home and telecommute or take off. Most flex-time schedules generally work around your co-workers so that there is ample coverage for your division or business to operate efficiently. For example, working four 9.5 or 10 hours days (depending on your work week) will allow you to take a full day off while still working a full 38 or 40 hours. You choose the day you take based on meetings, co-workers, or other obligations at work. Your co-workers may already be on a similar schedule and you don’t know or realize it yet. Companies want you to be happy because a happy employee is a productive employee.
Voice Your Concern
You won’t know unless you ask. If your company doesn’t know you’re unhappy or contemplating looking for another job, they won’t have a chance to work with you to help improve your work-life balance. The best interest of the company is to keep you happy and employed with them because the cost of replacing you is greater than allowing you to telecommute or work a flexible schedule.
Do some research on your own before you approach your manager on working an alternative work schedule? Know what programs are available first before making a request. It shows that you have taken the time to help yourself before asking for your company’s assistance. If the programs exist, your manager will know that you’re committed to the company and wish to stay.