At VirtualMed Staff, work/life balance is a much-discussed topic. Telemedicine has allowed providers to deliver care from the convenience of home. Virtual physicians can enjoy the flexibility of a manageable schedule while still practicing medicine and treating patients.
Work/life balance is also a priority for the VirtualMed internal team. It has been shown that employees who have harmony between work and personal lives are more motivated and productive. It is also paramount for mental health, overall well-being, and stress management.
With Working Parents Day on September 16th, we surveyed several team members to get their perspectives on finding balance. We were curious about how our own team managed priorities at work and home, and what we could do better as a company to support their needs.
When asked, "As a working parent, how do you juggle kids' activities and your work schedule?" one respondent stated, "By committing to what is reasonable, saying no when appropriate, setting boundaries, and keeping my commitments as best as possible." Another commented, "Being intentional to be fully present while at work (or working from home), and fully present while with my family."
Establishing boundaries between work and family is key. Deciding which actions are acceptable at certain times and unacceptable at other times of the day shields your work from family distractions and protects your family from responsibilities at work.
We also questioned, "As a working parent committed to your personal and professional life, how do you protect against burnout?" The responses varied from "I make time for me. I get up early to run and workout." to "I do my best to find time to do the things I enjoy...going to the nail place, Saturday breakfast with friends, and surrounding myself with friends/family on the weekend."
Finding ways to take the time and do what you enjoy brings clarity and peace of mind. Whether exercising, spending time with the people you care about, or even just a day of Netflix and chill can help you recharge for Monday.
We also wanted to know what were some of the things our team does to maximize time with their kids. Answers included going to their ballgames, scheduling a standing date for Saturday brunch, trying new places to eat, going to the park, and having a movie and game nights. But the overwhelming response was to just be present in moments that matter.
Creating strong communication and connections within your family is imperative in obtaining a work/life balance. Not only does it promote trust, compassion, and support, but when everyone in the family feels heard, everyone is more understanding.
Lastly, for other companies wishing to improve the retention and satisfaction of working parents, we asked our participants what advice they would give. One respondent pointed out, "The flexibility to work from home a few days a week along with an onsite daycare definitely can improve the retention," with others suggesting compassion, understanding, and flexibility.
Finding the balance between work and family life takes prioritization, boundaries, and an employer who offers support. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every family and workplace must find solutions depending on their distinct priorities and needs. Not every day or every week will have balance, but when we work together in understanding, it is better for everyone.
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