By 2020, most workers will need more than a few months off work to deal with the stresses of life.
But some may be able to save up to two years of their workweek by taking time off to spend time with loved ones, or spending more time with family members.
A number of financial experts and students at the Australian National University have created a guide to help you get the most out of your time off work.
The National University of Singapore’s Dr Seunghoon Kim and Dr Jin-Hee Lee are among those who have created the guide, which includes tips to get the best out of a flexible schedule and how to work through your own mental health issues.
Dr Kim said the guide helped her work through the stress of the job she is currently doing.
“I had to find a way to be flexible and not put myself in the situation where I was working and just being miserable,” she said.
“It’s really hard to work in the office and you have to put yourself in a position where you’re doing the most you can with the work that you are given.”
Dr Kim is a physiotheracist and the vice-chancellor of the Royal Melbourne College of General Practitioners.
She said the best way to get your time back is to find time to spend with loved one and to relax.
“You should also make sure that you’re not doing the work too much at a time, because that can make it more difficult to manage stress,” she explained.
“If you’re working a lot, then it’s going to take a lot of your mental energy to do that work.”
Dr Lee is a psychotherapist and the director of the Centre for Health Equity at the University of Sydney.
She also works as an instructor in the Faculty of Psychology at the university.
“My favourite thing about being a therapist is the opportunity to do things I’m not used to doing,” she added.
“There are a lot more people that I work with who are working on issues that they would not normally be able or comfortable doing.”
Dr Park said she had started taking a flexible working schedule for a year.
“When I started, I had about a week off per month, but I really enjoyed it, because I didn’t have to deal any pressure,” she told TechRadars.
“That meant I had a lot less work to do, so I didn`t have to worry about it being like a job interview.”‘
We live in a time of unprecedented stress’Dr Park’s research showed that workers in an economic recession have to work longer hours and for longer periods of time to maintain their financial wellbeing.
“We live under an unprecedented stress of constant economic pressures,” she says.
“The stress of not being able to find the time to actually relax, so to speak, is quite extraordinary, especially if you’re a person that is employed.”
Dr Pak and Dr Lee suggest that employers offer employees a way out of the workplace by encouraging flexible working.
“Employers need to realise that people who are not taking any time off are not doing any work at all,” Dr Pak said.
Dr Lee said flexible working could help individuals overcome their financial problems and help them manage their stress.
“This kind of flexible work is one of the best ways to do this,” she advised.
“In addition, flexible working can be used to address some of the psychological issues people have.”
Dr Heng said flexible work can also help people deal with stress-related health issues, including depression.
“What we’ve seen over the last few years is a lot has been done to try and improve wellbeing in our workplace environment, but unfortunately that’s not always going to translate into improved productivity,” she observed.
“And the more stress you’re under, the more you’ll be able develop chronic illness.”
Therefore, there is a need to provide some support and some solutions to help people who might be suffering from stress.