If your mentee has highlighted that they wish to receive advice on building a work/life balance here are some useful questions and points to discuss with them.
Work / life balance is actually very tricky to define because it is the product of both internal and external factors and differs for everyone. The ‘balance’ is subjective, but is caused by an amalgamation of:
What work your company expects of you
How quickly / easy you find it to do tasks and carry out your job
How motivated you are in your work
How resilient you are to stress
What commitments you have in your home life
The hours in the day verses the number of responsibilities you have
Here are a few topics you might consider discussing:
The idea of balance. This is a fluid concept, and changes all the time. The balance will tilt based on what a person has going on. The first step here might be to consider using a time calculator to assess what time and responsibilities the mentee has.
Decide on the ideal balance. To some extent work/life balance is a conscious decision. For some work is a very fulfilling and important part of who they are. Asking the mentee to think about what % of their life they would like to spend working verses not working could help to assess the value they place upon work.
Consider talking about communication. If the mentee feels they are unhappy with the balance they have, are they able to communicate this to others? You might want to talk about communicating in two ways:
To family, friends and loved ones – to ensure that others understand and are willing to compromise the time a person may decide to dedicate to work and why work is important to the them
To an employer – particularly if there are issues with a balance that doesn’t feel comfortable or is causing stress
Stress from imbalance. If the mentee feels they spend too long working you may wish to discuss how they might be proactive in this instance. How would they raise this with their manager?
Here are some small tips to discuss with your mentee:
Looking at your phone in bed (before going to sleep, or as soon as you wake up)
Turning emails off when on holiday
Using out of office replies
Not looking at work emails on a night out
And finally, here is an article that you may find useful to share with your mentee:
The MenteeMe Team