The Importance of Family, Friends and Partners in the Executive Journey
Sep 14, 2016
As a hardworking business person the temptation to succumb to a ‘one wolf pack’ mentality is all too easy. The road can be all consuming, which means that a selfish mindset is often far more appealing than sharing the experience with significant others. While at times this is true, in the long run the importance of support from families and partners is irreplaceable.
A sense of reality
As aforementioned, executive life can be all consuming. This means that adopting a lifestyle that revolves around the office can quickly become the norm. Though as expected, this isn’t healthy. Not mentally, or physically. When it comes to finding a healthy work/life balance, third parties are all-important. Whether it’s arriving home to catch up on Netflix with your partner, going off the grid with the wife and kids for the weekend or even just unwinding at the pub with friends, significant others will help you to retain a sense of reality, and remind you that work isn’t the entirety of your life.
Work related stress is one of the UK’s biggest health and wellness issues, with the latest stats from the HSE Labour Force Survey confirming that people in the UK are highly strung. So highly strung, that in 2014/15 the total number of work related stress, depression or anxiety cases topped 440,000. For London head-hunters operating at executive level, stress is pretty much a given. When it comes to combating stress, strengthening your social support network via family and partners is a hugely powerful tool. APA’s 2015 ‘Stress in America’ survey confirms the superlative importance of social support, with researchers finding that emotional buoys are an important protective factor. According to the study, the average stress level for those with emotional support was 5 out of 10, compared to 6.3 for individuals without support on-hand. Furthermore, the study maintained that low levels of social support are associated with a host of health problems such as high blood pressure, weakened immune systems, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, infectious diseases and even cancer. So, whether it’s confiding in your partner or simply finding a sense of greater purpose by spending an afternoon with the kids, emotional support can quite literally improve your health, and your executive performance.
Optimise productivity and performance
From a purely business oriented perspective, interactions with family, friends and partners are a fundamental part of optimising corporate productivity and performance. Organisational psychologists maintain that those who enjoy a healthy work/life balance are far more efficient, inspired and innovative than their workhorse counterparts. Ultimately, spending time away from the demands of the office refreshes the mind, reenergises the body and facilitates peak performance. If that’s not incentive enough to schedule a date night, book that family holiday or simply catch up with your old university friends, nothing is.
Regardless of how urgent that deadline, how lucrative a potential contract or how tempting it is to write off a family BBQ in favour of the office, the reality is that ultimately, nothing is quite as golden as the value of family, friends and partners.
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