The Work-Life Balance Struggle: How to Cope with Increased Pressure Working in Skilled Trades
The skilled trade industry is booming, with an increasing demand for workers that specialize in trade fields such as plumbing, electrical work, and HVAC. However, this industry is also notorious for demanding long hours and unpredictable schedules that can make it challenging to balance work and home life.
According to a study conducted by Randstad US, the global staffing company, only 27% of skilled trade workers reported having a good work-life balance. This is in stark contrast to the 63% of office workers who said that they feel like they have a good balance between their professional and personal lives.
So, why is it so challenging for skilled trade workers to achieve a work-life balance? And more importantly, what can be done to help them cope?
Challenges with Work-Life Balance in Skilled Trades
1. Long Hours
Many skilled trade jobs require a significant amount of time on the job. For example, plumbers and electricians may have to work extended hours, including weekends and holidays to accommodate their customers’ schedule. This can make it difficult to spend time with family and friends or pursue personal hobbies.
2. Work Stress
Skilled trade workers must perform their jobs with expertise and precision, especially when dealing with electrical or plumbing problems that could be dangerous or life-threatening. This pressure can lead to increased stress levels, which can negatively affect mental and physical health.
3. Unpredictable Schedules
Skilled trade workers are often called upon to provide emergency repairs or maintenance services, which can lead to unpredictable schedules. This can make it challenging to plan family events or personal time, leading to stress and burnout.
How to Cope with Increased Pressure Working in Skilled Trades
1. Set Clear Boundaries
One of the best ways to achieve work-life balance in the skilled trade industry is to set clear boundaries between work and personal life. For example, if you work as an electrician, you could make it clear to your clients that you are not available after a certain time or on weekends unless it’s an emergency. This will help you reclaim your personal time, relieve stress, and improve your overall quality of life.
2. Practice Self-Care
Skilled trade workers must prioritize their mental and physical health, which can help reduce stress and burnout. Making time for exercise or meditation, eating healthy meals, and getting enough sleep are all important for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
3. Make Time for Hobbies
Having hobbies outside of work can be a great way to relieve stress, relax, and have fun. Whether it’s playing sports, painting, or reading, finding an activity that brings you joy can help you recharge after a long day at work.
4. Seek Support
It’s essential to have a support network to turn to when facing challenges at work or home. Talking to family, friends, or colleagues, or seeking support from a mental health professional can be helpful in managing stress and finding healthy coping strategies.
Achieving a work-life balance can be challenging for skilled trade workers, but it’s not impossible. By setting clear boundaries, prioritizing self-care, making time for hobbies, and seeking support, skilled trade workers can improve their quality of life and find happiness and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives. As we continue to move through the pandemic and come out on the other side, it will become increasingly important to focus on our mental and physical health. We can’t be at our best for our employers or our families and friends if we’re not taking care of ourselves first. So, take the time to prioritize your health and well-being – it’s worth it in the end.