Work-life balance is hard, especially in the hectic world of public relations. There’s always a rapid response situation, reporter to pitch, or plan to draft. While public relations is exciting, creative, challenging and ever-changing, it can also creep into your personal life. In today’s “always on” world, it is difficult to establish boundaries between work and life (e.g., eating lunch away from your desk, not checking email, or answering work calls after 5 p.m.), but it is critical to do so to ensure your overall personal and professional health. Despite the feeling that your bosses are sometimes against you, they truly want you to lead a balanced life as well. That’s because studies have shown that those who establish limits at work and engage in outside social activities, are happier. Happy employees tend to produce better quality work and contribute to a more positive work environment.
Here are three ways to step away from your desk and return to the office refreshed and ready to do your best for your client:
Join A Work Committee
Yes, getting more involved in your company will help with work-life balance. Joining a work committee requires you to remove your headphones, step away from your desk, and clear your mind of work issues. It’s an opportunity to foster relationships with your colleagues and showcase your creative smarts outside of client work. Plus, serving on a committee will make you feel more involved and invested in the company.
Sign Up for Trainings (Outside Work)
The second your company hired you, they started investing in you and your professional success. They want you to grow, learn, and master new skills within your industry. So, use this opportunity to impress your bosses by proactively finding a training outside the office that you’re passionate about. Do you want to work on your writing, public speaking, or “pitching” skills? Whatever it is, sign up. Participating in a training course, program, or type of “toast masters” requires you to plan ahead and manage your schedule in order to complete your work and get out of the office at a reasonable time.
Bonus: Many companies cover the cost of the training.
Network, Network, Network
Networking is a great way to get out of the office, meet new people, and engage in smart discussions. Luckily, there are hundreds of ways to network on a daily basis, and not just after work at an industry event. Take the stairs as opposed to the elevator and chat with your colleagues on the way. Plan a monthly happy hour for your teammates, but only discuss non-work issues. Catch up with old colleagues, clients, or reporter friendlies over coffee, or schedule weekly one-on-ones with someone from your office that you don’t work with on a daily basis.
In short, work-life balance is defined differently by each person and will continue to evolve throughout your professional career. What might work for you, may not for your colleagues or boss. Either way, by setting boundaries, you’re making great strides in the right direction.