The cost of living in a 24/7 world
Thanks to technology, people live improved and empowered lives. From healthier lives to access to unimaginable amounts of information, advancements in technology has changed the way people live their lives. These same advancements mean people are able to leave office but still get their work done on the go. Technology has helped blur the lines between work and play. When one’s boss sends an email or a text at 11 at night the employee is forced to take time out from their personal lives and answer it. It becomes unclear when they must put away the laptop or switch off the phone and make time for family, friends and hobbies.
What used to be a forty hour a week job has today evolved into a sixty hours a week job. Employees in such scenarios will start to feel stressed and less motivated to bring in results. Also while maintaining a work life balance one needs to ensure their working from home is uninterrupted.
Moderation being the key
Work-life balance means setting priorities for work and career. While today’s society and advancements in technology allow people to be more productive and efficient with their time while on the go, neglecting one’s health or lack of time spent with friends and family can be detrimental. Spending too much time at the office or commuting makes people become less social, less efficient in general, more difficult to work with and prone to health problems such as stress and burnout.
People these days consider spending 2 to 4 hours daily commuting to and from work a necessary burden and don’t realise the harmful effects it can have both in the long and short run. A shorter commute time ensures better productivity and better work-life balance. One can achieve this by living nearer to their workplace.
When commuting affects work/life balance
An average worker’s commute to work last 25.5 minutes which is 51 minutes spent commuting a day. That adds up to 204 hours a year spent on the road. This daily back and forth is known to have negative effects on your health. Health issues are known to arise:
- Rise in Blood sugar – driving for distances over 10 miles one way has been linked with higher blood sugar which can lead to diabetes.
- Rise in Cholesterol levels – driving the same 10 miles daily has also been linked to rising cholesterol levels which is a sure sign for heart problems.
- Spikes in Blood pressure – Studies done by the University of Utah showed when commuters placed in a scenario were told they were late to a meeting and had financial motivation to be there on time. Half the participants were made to travel through high density traffic while the other half travelled through a less congested environment. The commuters through more intense traffic showed higher levels of stress and high blood pressure too.
- Regular backaches – Slouching in a bus or car seat has extremely detrimental effects on your posture and back. Daily commuters are twice as likely to report neck aches and back spasms.
- Your sleep suffers – The Regus Work-Life Balance Index for 2012 showed people commuting for over 90 minutes daily way reported, a lower quality of sleep and higher levels of tiredness. Halving your commute will have a positive effect on your sleep patterns and help you relax and de-stress better.
Having a healthy body, mind and soul should be a top priority for anyone living in an urban setting these days. While you may be driven to achieve results, follow a plan marked out for you in your career and accomplish a lot in a very small amount of time, prioritising a work-life balance is crucial. Changing your commute and choosing to live near work is one of the best steps you can take towards staying healthy, productive and being a better friend and family member.
For more ideas on living near work and reducing your commute, visit www.durgapetals.in