How to Balance Work and Home Life

The Effects of Being Overworked

Even if your work doesn't take you away from home excessively, the stress from being overworked can affect how you interact with people. You'll have less time to develop relationships with your friends, partner and, as we've already discussed, kids. With children, you should be available to them and provide guidance. It's also important to understand and acknowledge the effects unhealthy relationships will have on you, though, and you deserve some time to yourself every now and then [source: Weiss].

When you have less time for yourself, it increases the tendency to neglect healthy activities like exercise and sleep. If you have to juggle other commitments in order to schedule time for your hobbies, you'll probably enjoy it less, and it may even cause you additional stress. One way around this is to think of your private time as a relationship and treat it as you would treat your other relationships [source: Rauh].

The Families and Work Institute study reported that people who feel overworked are more likely to resent co-workers and much more likely to resent their companies [source: Families and Work Institute]. If all you can think about is what you'd rather be doing, the work won't seem fulfilling and you'll be less motivated to move up in the company or take on new challenges. These mental burdens will probably show in your attitude, which can hold you back or even lead to unemployment.

Studies show that tired, stressed employees are less productive, have higher health care costs, and jeopardize workplace safety [source: Families and Work Institute]. The good news, however, is that there are companies who recognize the solid investment of treating their employees well. Several magazines and Web sites rank companies based on submissions from human resources departments and nominations from happy workers. We've outlined some of the benefits here, especially those most relevant to working parent families, and you can search online based on your priorities, including industry, location, and specific perks.

Ready to make some changes? On the next page, we'll discuss strategies to begin the balancing act.