The key to achieving a work/life balance

The work/life balance is getting worse for Australians, with the average full-time worker doing six hours of unpaid overtime each week.

Unfortunately, many workplaces have created – and cultivated – a clock-watching culture where everyone races to be the first in the office and the last to leave.

This might come as a surprise to you, but at the Institute of Careers our message is simple; don’t be afraid to arrive on time and leave on time.

A lot of people who put in the extra hours also waste a lot of time chatting at their desk so the key to being a productive, 9-5 kind of worker is to be organised and have an effective time management process in place.

By all means, if you’re working on a major project and need a few extra hours to get the job done, so be it. But don’t get into the pattern of thinking that you need to get in early and stay back late to be seen as a diligent or committed employee.

In fact, if you are having to constantly stay back late to get through your workload, the company you’re working for is probably under-resourced. Providing you’re not wasting time, you may have a strong case to put forward for more resources so you’re not chained to your desk when you could be at home with your family.

Although many organisations have all but done away with clock-in clock-out cards, we think they should be used more frequently because the majority of people are working too many hours during the day and not getting recognition for it. The clock-in clock-out model was seen to discourage a work/life balance but by clocking in just before 9am and leaving eight hours later, it actually shows your employer that you are running a tight ship and using your time effectively to get your work done.

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