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More than half of workers more committed to personal life versus last year

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More than half of workers more committed to personal life versus last year

Will 2016 be the year of work-life balance?

According to new research from staffing firm Robert Half, 54% of professionals have increased their commitment to their personal life over the last year. Thirty-eight percent of those polled said they are more committed to their career, and 34% cited additional dedication to their job.

Interestingly, a greater percentage of 18-to-34 year old professionals cited increased commitment in each of the categories than professionals 35 and older.

"In a strong job market, professionals have more confidence in their career prospects, which gives them the breathing room to focus on interests outside of work," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. "Companies that offer perks to help with work-life balance, such as generous vacation policies or the ability to telecommute, have a recruiting edge." Hyper-connectedness isn't necessarily healthy and can lead to burnout.

McDonald advocates maintaining a good balance between work and personal pursuits. "With the ability to check in anytime and anywhere, it can be tempting to stay engaged with work around the clock," he said. "This hyper-connectedness isn't necessarily healthy and can lead to burnout."

The firm offered these four tips for balancing personal and professional obligations:

  1.  Keep your eye on the prize. A steady stream of email, instant messages and other communication can make it hard to focus. Set aside time free of distractions to complete critical tasks.
  2.  Exercise restraint. Often, people stay connected out of habit versus need. Think carefully before responding to email on evenings and weekends: Can the situation wait? This is especially important if you're the boss, since around-the-clock email signals to others that it's expected.
  3.  Cut down on commute time. Explore whether occasional telecommuting or flexible schedules are a possibility in your firm. An increasing number of companies provide these options.
  4.  Make a plan, and stick to it. Plan your vacation time well in advance. Think about taking a trip where you won't be accessible – completely disconnecting may help you recharge. If you must be available, establish only specific times for checking in.
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