How Do You Maintain Work-life Balance?

University of Queensland

University of Queensland researchers need participants for a study to help understand how people manage their work-life balance and recover from daily work stress.

Associate Professor Stacey Parker from UQ's School of Psychology said a successful work-life balance meant feeling satisfied and effective in both areas.

"When someone feels they have work-life balance, they tend to perform better at work and have greater life satisfaction," Dr Parker said.

"Historically, the conversation around attaining work-life balance has focused on managing boundaries such as keeping work at work, and home at home.

"With the rise of hybrid work arrangements and technology allowing us to work anywhere at any time, these boundaries have become blurred, making it harder to keep the two separate.

"Our study aims to understand how people achieve a sense of balance and how this may look different depending on a person's values, current work and life stage, and commitments."

New right to disconnect laws come into effect in Australia later this year, giving eligible employees the right to refuse employer or third-party contact outside of their work hours.

Dr Parker said the law was a strong step forward in recognising the importance of having uninterrupted downtime to recover from work.

"People need time to unwind from work to restore their stress and fatigue levels," Dr Parker said.

"If people cannot disconnect completely from work, serious, long-term chronic health problems can develop.

"That's why it's important people understand how they can manage the balance between work and home life and have strong boundaries in place.

"Whether it's stepping away from your desk during your lunch break or enjoying evenings and weekends without work creeping in, it's crucial we all find ways to switch off and unwind."

As part of the study, participants will complete brief online surveys before and after work for three weeks.

Australia adults who are currently working full or part time hours are eligible to participate in the research and can register interest on the study web page.

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