Tag Archives: work/life balance

Juggling Kids and Work

Although many businesses have returned to the office after working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic,, it can still be tough to juggle your family life with your career. There’s finding childcare when you can’t be home, allocating time to make it to sports games and extracurricular events, and deciding if part-time or full-time is right for you. It’s important to note that there are no wrong answers here: what’s right for you and your family is unique to you. But here are a few options to consider! (more…)

Getting Better Sleep to Rejuvenate Your Career

Sleeping on the job? Very bad. Getting good sleep FOR the job? Very good! Sleep is incredibly important to keep our minds agile and our work productive. But that doesn’t mean we all get enough sleep. The CDC recommends that adults get seven or more hours of sleep per night, but sometimes things come up. Maybe you’re stressed about the day and can’t seem to shut your eyes, or you binge watch your favorite show and suddenly realize it’s 1 a.m. If you’re having trouble catching some Zs, we have some tips for you. (more…)

Have You Heard of the Sunday Scaries?

It’s Sunday morning, and you’re stressed. Your mind is racing. All you can think about are work deadlines and the things you’ll have to do on Monday. You had a relaxing Friday night and Saturday, so what’s going on? Is there something wrong with you?

Nope. This phenomenon, known as the “Sunday Scaries,” is incredibly common. In 2018, LinkedIn held a survey asking participants if they worried about the week ahead on Sundays. Eighty percent of respondents said they had. If you’re not sure how to cope, check out our tips below and reclaim your Sundays! (more…)

Fight Stress, Stay Healthy

The Japanese concept of “Karōshi” can almost literally be translated as “death from overwork.” The term first came into common usage in Japan during the 1980s after rising concern following the sudden death of several high-ranking business men who showed no signs of previous health issues. “Karōshi” has been attributed to a wide variety of stress-related medical issues, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke, to name a few.

(more…)

Why Do So Many People Hate Their Jobs?

Why are we so dissatisfied with our work?

You’ve heard about it in the halls. Around the water cooler. At parties. When you pick up your son or granddaughter. No matter where you go, at least one person is complaining about their job.

But it’s still surprising to see the statistics around work. The Conference Board recently published results regarding their latest survey on job satisfaction. They found that 51% of employees feel overall satisfaction with their jobs. Although this is actually an upward-trending number, the fact that 49% of workers remain unsatisfied is concerning, to say the least. In addition, workers noted disappointment in regard to the professional development aspects of their job. Meaning they gave the lowest marks to educational/job training programs. Other low categories include workload, the performance review process, and promotion policy.

But what else goes into hating a job? And what can you do about it?

Perceived Lack of Choice

Think of this as the “work just to get a paycheck” mentality. At a base level, many people only work to afford living expenses, pay student loans, enjoy hobbies, and fund college for kids. The majority often end up working for other reasons (parents’ expectations, to get married, to support children, etc.).

You might have dreams outside of your current company, but can’t risk pursuing those dreams because of monetary obligations. So, sometimes you sit at the same job, day after day, working on autopilot, just waiting for retirement.

The only way to get around this is to break free of constraints. If you truly hate your job, you should quit. But the future is scary. As a solution, consider working other jobs part-time, and think of it as a trial run. And if you just plain hate the industry you’re working in? Seek out online classes or night school to learn a new trade.

Office Drama

Your cubicle mate chews loudly, every day.  Amanda in Sales is jealous of your promotion. Your boss refuses to let you advance because he needs you to keep reporting to him. You just can’t get past that glass ceiling.

Office drama comes in many shapes and forms, from annoying coworker habits to illegal activity at the top of the food chain. No matter the severity of the drama, it can easily affect your work satisfaction.

For smaller issues, try contacting managers to discuss options. Or if you have a horrible boss, you can ask to move departments (just make sure to document all abusive behavior).

But for problems up at the top? It might be time to leave. To ensure that you don’t end up encountering another unstable company culture, check out Glassdoor, a site where employees can review companies. That way you’ll have a better idea of what you’re in for.

You’re Underpaid

This is a big one. Earlier we mentioned that, at a base level, most of us work to get a paycheck. If you’re working more than what your paycheck is worth, you’re going to be unhappy.

You see other people get promotions or raises and just grow even more unsatisfied with your job. You work harder than them—why haven’t you gotten a raise?

In many cases, this is because you haven’t asked for one. Asking is tough; we get that. That’s why we’ve provided the tools you need to negotiate a raise. And if they won’t pay what you’re worth? Start looking elsewhere. The job search can be intimidating, but what have you got to lose? In a worst case scenario, you’ll keep working where you are. But you deserve the chance to find something better.

And Express Employment Professionals can help. Let us do the job search for you. We work with employers all across the United States and Canada, and we know exactly what they’re looking for. Odds are, you’ll make the perfect candidate for one of those companies. Register online or locate an office near you.

Do you hate your job? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Vet Child Care Centers

When you have a family, finding a job isn’t as easy as choosing whatever employer offers you the most cash. You have to take into account barriers to employment such as transportation and the always-important proximity to child care.

Once you’ve made a list of all the nearby child care providers (preferably half a year before you need child care, since the best ones reach capacity quickly), what’s next? How can you be sure your child is well taken care of? Check off these qualities.

They Have an Up-To-Date License and Minimal Infractions

Have you ever seen a TV commercial with a talking animal telling you to check out a used car’s history report before buying? Child care center licenses are kind of like that.

An up-to-date license doesn’t mean a facility is perfect, but it does tell you that certain baseline requirements have been met. If your state requires licenses for child care facilities, that means they are at least meeting base levels of safety and quality concerns. Although you still need to do your own research, a facility that doesn’t have any type of license is one to stay away from.

Check online for a child care database. Depending on where you live, this resource might show not only whether a particular location is licensed, but also how many infractions they have had. While you might be able to overlook a paperwork infraction, anything involving chemicals or not having a thermometer in the freezer should raise red flags.

There’s Plenty to Do

When you first visit the child care facility, look at what the kids are doing. Are they all sitting around watching TV? That’s not a great sign.

As BabyCenter.com notes, “The best daycares have structured schedules that include plenty of time for physical activity, quiet time, group programs, individual activities, meals, snacks, and free time.”

You want your kid to have a well-balanced experience. That means healthy meals, exercise, time for imaginative play, etc. If you’re not sure about their curriculum, ask!

They’re Qualified and Agree with Your Parenting Philosophy

Great child care centers cost more than other child care options (such as babysitters and friends or family) because they typically have well-trained employees. As BabyCenter.com notes, “Daycare center employees should be educated, with at least two years of college, a background in early childhood development (though many states don’t require this), and CPR and other emergency training.”

But education isn’t everything. Watch how the daycare providers interact with the children when  you visit. Are they kind and peppy or tired and slow? Do they know the children by name at first glance? You want a staff that has high energy levels to keep up with your little one.

You also must make sure the staff agrees with your parenting style. What kind of feeding schedule do they adhere to? How are naps handled? Is their discipline style something you can work with? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good child care provider isn’t going to think of you as an overconcerned parent—they know how important these questions are.

They Work With Your Schedule

One of the hidden costs of child care is late pickup fees. When does the child care facility close? Will you be able to get there in time after work? Some facilities charge higher fees after a certain time, given that the staff must stay late in order to watch over kids. Choose a facility that lines up with your own schedule, or work out a plan with family members to pick up your child.

Once you find a child care provider that you’re comfortable with, working away from you children becomes much easier. You know that they’re in good hands, and you have peace of mind to feel fulfilled at work.

Have any more questions about vetting child care providers? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

 

Pros and Cons of Technology’s Impact on Work-life Balance

There are very few parts of life that remain untouched by technology in one way or another. From medicine to autonomous cars, we’re advancing at breakneck speed, and in many ways, our lives are greatly improved because of it.

In the workplace, advances in technology allow us to work in new ways that weren’t possible in the past. Constraints, like location, have become more of a non-issue, and we are more connected to the office than ever before. However, when it comes to balancing those capabilities with our personal lives, it presents several pros and cons for work-life balance.

We’re always accessible
With an entire suite of communication tools found on a single, pocket-sized device, it’s easier than ever to get in touch with just about anyone these days, no matter where in the world they may be. And that includes your boss or employees. According to a Workplace Trends study, “65% of employees say that their managers expect them to be reachable outside of the office.” However, such easy accessibility, when taken advantage of, often comes at the expense of work-life balance.

The key is to set boundaries and expectations to find a happy medium. Easier accessibility isn’t always a bad thing. Smartphones have become a communications hub, and research from Accenture found that 77% of professionals believe such technology enables them to have more flexibility in their schedules.

It’s easier to work remotely
Technology that helps make us more accessible has also made it easier for many employees to work remotely—an organizational structure that has only increased in popularity in recent years. Working from home, a coffee shop, or on the road is commonplace for many companies, and according to the Workplace Trends study, such arrangements are being more openly embraced by employers because of benefits including improved employee satisfaction, greater productivity, and increased retention.

Of course, the ability to do many jobs from anywhere there’s an internet connection or phone signal also makes it easier for work to intrude upon personal lives. Research from Accenture found that 75% of professionals report they work “frequently” or “occasionally” during paid time off, which can significantly affect work-life balance.

So, despite mounting deadlines and work commitments that show little mercy, it’s important to learn how to draw a line between where the office ends and personal life begins.

We’re becoming more efficient
Advances in technology are also making the workplace more efficient. From time-saving apps to digital storage options that help reduce clutter, workplaces are adapting in ways that let employees make better use of their time. Many everyday tasks are being automated, leading to increased efficiency that allows us to work smarter and focus attention on the most important aspects of work while getting rid of redundancies and wasted effort. And with better efficiency comes more time to devote to passion projects, take a vacation, or spend time with friends and family.

We’re getting more done than ever before, but it’s getting done in a way that also helps enhance work-life balance.

But, only time will tell what the workplace of the future will look like as technology continues to advance and our work and personal lives become even more entwined. Regardless, it’s a pretty safe bet the ongoing struggle of finding work-life balance will always be a priority.