Common Causes of Poor Work-Life Balance

It’s no secret that a lot of us struggle to balance our work and personal lives.

We’re all too familiar with the feeling of being constantly busy and never having enough time for the things we enjoy.

But have you ever stopped to think about what might be causing this imbalance?

In this post, I’ll be talking about some common causes of poor work-life balance and what you can do to fix them.

The Demands of Technology

One of the biggest contributors to poor work-life balance these days is the constant demands of technology.

With smartphones, laptops, and other devices, we’re expected to be available and responsive 24/7. This means that even when we’re not physically in the office, we’re still working. And let’s be real, it’s hard to disconnect when your work is always just a click away.

You might think that you’re being productive by working all the time, but in reality, it’s taking a toll on your mental and physical health.

Being constantly connected to work can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression. Not to mention, it can also impact your personal relationships and hobbies.

A specific example of this is a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that people who use their smartphones for work after hours experience more work-family conflict, which leads to poorer well-being.

It’s important to remember that technology is supposed to make our lives easier, not harder.

Encourage your employees to take breaks, disconnect, and make time for themselves and their families.

Lack of Boundaries

Another common cause of poor work-life balance is a lack of boundaries. When you don’t set clear lines between your work and personal life, it can be hard to switch off and relax.

You might find yourself constantly thinking about work, even when you’re not there. And because you’re always “on”, you might end up working longer hours than you need to, leaving you with less time for the things you enjoy.

You might think that working all the time is a good thing, but in reality, it’s not. Studies have shown that working more than 40 hours a week is associated with increased stress and burnout. And when you’re burnt out, you’re less productive, less creative, and more likely to make mistakes.

You can help your employees by setting clear boundaries and expectations around when and how they should be working.

And when you yourself are not working, don’t work. Give yourself the time to relax and recharge.

Unrealistic Expectations

Another factor that can contribute to poor work-life balance is unrealistic expectations. Whether it’s your boss, your colleagues, or even yourself, we all have a tendency to set the bar too high.

We want to be perfect, to be the best, get everything done yesterday.

But when we’re constantly pushing ourselves to meet these impossible standards, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

When we’re constantly stressed and anxious, we’re less productive and creative. And we are more likely to make mistakes.

Also, people who have high expectations for themselves and others experience more burnout.

It’s important to remember that we’re human, and we’re not perfect.


Commuting can also play a big role in poor work-life balance. When you’re spending hours every day traveling to and from work, it can feel like you have no time for anything else. Not only is it time-consuming, but it can also be stressful and tiring.

You might think that commuting is something you have to put up with, but it can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health.

For example, people who have long commutes are more likely to report poor mental health and lower job satisfaction.

You can help your employees by providing flexible working options such as telecommuting or flexible working hours. This can help reduce the time and stress of commuting, and give your employees more time to spend with their families and doing the things they enjoy.

It’s also important to remember that if you are the one who is commuting, try to make the most of your time. Listen to podcasts, audiobooks, or music, or use the time to plan your day or reflect on your goals.

Workplace Culture

Another common cause of poor work-life balance is the culture of the workplace. When the culture is one of overwork and burnout, it can be hard to prioritize your own well-being.

If everyone else is working late and taking work home, it can be hard to say no and set boundaries.

And companies with a culture of overwork have higher turnover rates, lower productivity, and lower employee engagement.

So, it’s important that you help to create a culture that values work-life balance by setting an example and encouraging your employees to make time for themselves and their families.

Encourage healthy work habits such as taking regular breaks and not working during weekends or holidays. It’s also important to provide opportunities for your employees to recharge, like a gym membership or a yoga class.

Wrapping Up

Poor work-life balance has many disadvantages. It is a common issue that can have negative effects on your mental and physical health, as well as your relationships and overall well-being.

The causes of poor work-life balance can be varied, but some of the most common include unrealistic expectations, technology, boundaries, commuting, and workplace culture.

As a manager, leader, or business owner, it is important to recognize the importance of work-life balance and take steps to promote it within your organization. This can include setting realistic expectations, providing flexible working options, encouraging healthy work habits, and creating a culture that values work-life balance.

It’s also important to remember that work-life balance is not just about the number of hours we work, it’s also about the culture and environment in which we work.

By taking steps to promote work-life balance in the workplace, you can create a more productive and engaged as well as happier and healthier workforce.

About the Author
Hi there, I'm James, founder of Melbado. I have over 20 years of experience as a leader and entrepreneur. Recently, I turned to leadership coaching and writing to pass on my knowledge to the next generation. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me via our contact page.


All the information on this website - - is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. Melbado does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website (Melbado), is strictly at your own risk. Melbado will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.

From our website, you can visit other websites by following hyperlinks to such external sites. While we strive to provide only quality links to useful and ethical websites, we have no control over the content and nature of these sites. These links to other websites do not imply a recommendation for all the content found on these sites. Site owners and content may change without notice and may occur before we have the opportunity to remove a link which may have gone 'bad'.

Please be also aware that when you leave our website, other sites may have different privacy policies and terms which are beyond our control. Please be sure to check the Privacy Policies of these sites as well as their "Terms of Service" before engaging in any business or uploading any information.

By using our website, you hereby consent to our disclaimer and agree to its terms.

Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but we will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us keep going!
Copyright © 2023 Melbado