If you frequently surface from looking deep into the eyes of your work laptop to find that 6pm silently slid past more than an hour ago, or if the first thing you think about when you wake up is the email you sent late the night before, it is likely that your work-life balance is looking rather unhealthy.

Research by the Mental Health Foundation has found that more than 40% of employees neglect other aspects of their life because of work, and nearly two thirds have experienced a negative effect on their personal life including mental health problems, physical health issues, relationship and home life problems as well as a general lack of personal development.

There are measures that we can all put in place to try and refocus on working to live, rather than living to work, but with self-discipline and taking a firm stance top of the agenda, be prepared to toughen up!

40% of employees neglect other aspects of their life because of work.

Speak up

If your workload is unreasonable, and increasing demands are resulting in more overtime than home-time then you will need to find a way to tell your employer. If they aren’t aware that work expectations are too much, then they can’t help you.

Protect yourself

Work-related stress can result in mental health issues, so make sure you have measures in place to combat it. Make time for your hobby, exercise and social life to help ease the pressures of the working day and don’t cancel because you ‘need’ to stay late at work!

Shut off

Easy to say but often difficult to do. As you leave the office (on time!) make sure you mentally acknowledge that you have ‘left the building’ so you have effective closure at the end of the working day. Don’t look at your work emails after your official ‘home time’ and if you absolutely MUST take work home, then confine working to only one area of the house so that you can close the door on it when you’re done.

Time out

Eating at your desk might seem like the ideal way to be more productive, but it’s actually better for you to take a proper break away from your desk. Taking a walk will also raise those endorphins and help raise your productivity for the afternoon.

Work smart

Not hard. You’ll need to be very self-disciplined with your workload and prioritise effectively, but efficiency means you should be able to finish on time . . .