You’ve heard the phrase ‘work to live, don’t live to work’; balancing both, especially when you travel for business, can be challenging. When you can’t resist a before-bed peek at your emails or a quick check in with the office mid-holiday, you’re blurring your work-life balance line.
A recent Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts study revealed that 65% of business travellers see business trips as an opportunity to focus on their personal goals and get ahead in all aspects of their life, not just work.
Carol Haskins, a careers coach, says, “getting the balance right improves your wellbeing and happiness, and that in turn contributes to healthy work and home environments.”
Here’s our A-Z to help you achieve the ideal work-life balance.
A is for attitude
“Positive and strong,” says Carol. Don’t let anyone else prioritise your time for you (help colleagues when you’re ready); don’t be afraid to ask for help; seek out new things to learn; forgive and forget issues or disagreements and move on.
BCD are for boundaries, communication and downtime
“You have to set your own boundaries,” says Carol, “then you must communicate them at work and home.” This means that getting that all-important downtime, especially when working away from home is easier. For example, take an hour out to explore a new city or just enjoy all the facilities around you.
EFG are for exercise, flexibility and goals
Exercise releases endorphins, boosts energy, and increases your ability to concentrate - schedule some in when you can. You need flexibility to accept that your actions at work don’t always go as planned. Goals are essential to aspire to even when you don’t always hit them.
H is for hospitality
When you travel for work, choose a hotel designed not only for business, but for work-life balance too. Free Wi-Fi, 24/7 menus and great meeting spaces take care of the work aspect; central locations for sightseeing, a pool and spa for relaxation and luxurious, quiet zone rooms for a good night’s sleep take care of you.
IJK are for ideas, just you and kick back
“When work and life are out of balance, you can run out of ideas and creativity,” says Carol. It’s essential to balance your time between work and home to keep ideas coming. You wouldn’t expect to run yourself into the ground on business travel, so don’t do it at home - strive for that balance wherever you are. In other words: it is okay to kick back and relax!
L is for leave it at work
“We can learn a lot from professions who have to switch off when they leave work: healthcare professionals, social workers, police, fire service,” says Carol, “they train themselves to draw a line under their work and not bring it home.” Remember this when away on business travel - it is a great way to earn some well-needed downtime.
MN are for mental health and saying no
Look after your mental as well as physical health by taking some downtime to practise meditation or mindfulness. And when you’re mentally strong, you’ll find it easier to say no more often. “Unless you learn to say no, your workload will just pile up until it either eats your free time or diminishes your work quality,” says Carol.
OPQ and R are for, online pastimes, quiet time and reading
Online tools and apps can make balancing work and life easier. Your smartphone can manage online grocery ordering, shopping, searching for a tradesperson, booking a taxi, even your time. Especially useful when working away from the office.
When you have pastimes, perhaps nature or history, you can indulge them anywhere – on a business trip as well as at home. “Pastimes make our lives that little bit richer, less ordinary,” says Carol. Factor in some quiet time every day, just for you – read that chunky paperback, Kindle download or audiobook.
STU are for social life, talking and unplug
You don’t need to neglect your social life if you are away with colleagues on a work trip. Perhaps meet up with some friends who might live locally. Take it as an opportunity to really catch up in a new city. Unplug all technology and suggest walking or sitting down for a meal together.
VWX and Y are for vacations, weekend, xylography and yes to new opportunities
It’s important you take vacations from both your work and home life to recharge completely. Perhaps tack a holiday onto the end of a business trip. Sometimes a restful weekend away is all it takes, sometimes, it’s simply an art class (xylography, a.k.a. woodcutting anyone?) to give you energy and enthusiasm to say yes to new opportunities.
Z is for Zzzzzs
“Nobody balances anything successfully when they’re tired all the time,” says Carol. At home or on a business trip, make sure your bed is comfy and your room is quiet. Switch your tech to silent. A spritz of chamomile or lavender aromatherapy essential oil on your pillow help you sleep soundly. It really does help with productivity the following day.
At Crowne Plaza, you don’t have to worry about missing out on your regular exercise regime. Our team can advise on the area’s best local walking and cycling routes, with Run Stations equipped with jogging maps, water, fruit and towels. With Crowne Plaza situated in prime business locations, close to transport and cultural centres, you’ll be able to step straight out of the front door and into the heart of each exciting city.
To find out more about how Crowne Plaza is changing the face of modern business travel, or to book a room, visit crowneplaza.com/businessmostly.