11 July 2024

For Churairut, 42, a risk management vice president, a successful work-life balance can be considered by whether the goals for both life and work can be achieved. 

Churairut (surname withheld) has achieved a work-life balance, saying that if she wants to get fit or acquire new skills, she can reach those goals. At the same time, she works hard to achieve her work goals.

Goal setting is her priority, while the time span is a secondary consideration. She would set reading goals by the number of chapters she wants to read, instead of the time she spends on it.

Churairut

She plays badminton, watches football and has singing lessons on weekends, while she has the discipline to exercise every day, even though she occasionally finishes work quite late.

“I believe in the quality of time rather than quantity. Although the time is short, having objectives makes me focus, be quick and efficient,” Churairut said.

“If the goals are set explicitly, I don’t feel that the time is too short.”

For time management, she said she uses the classic four quadrants of time management, where the urgency and importance of tasks are the main consideration.

They help prioritise activities. Urgent and important tasks require immediate attention, important but not urgent tasks contribute to long-term goals, urgent but not important tasks are often distractions and tasks that are neither urgent nor important should be minimised.

The work-life balance has been discussed for decades, but how do people perceive it?

The definition of work-life balance varies between individuals, influenced by factors such as age and role.

Meanwhile, accountant Patinya (surname withheld) , 28, thinks differently. For her, a work-life balance is about time.

“The time spent between work and life must be explicit. Work should be within the 8 hours of office time and the rest is my own, which I can spend on partying or exercise,” she said.

She also said that when she worked for an international firm, she did not have a work-life balance. It was a rare day when she could finish work before dusk. Most of the time, she left the office late at night. Her whole life was only work and sleep. It was like this for months.

Patinya

Most of her friends who work in large international companies are no different. “Bangkok is a place where it is difficult to live. Some people have no choice,” she said in an interview with Thai PBS World.

With the hours on the road plus working hours, you have little time for yourself each day, she said, adding “When I was stressed out, I didn’t want to do anything else. Although exercise is the thing I loved, I didn’t want to do it.”

“Some nights I even dream in Excel,” she added.

After she had been in a rut for a while, she began to hate full-time jobs, leading her to decide to take a break from work and stay at home for a year.

She ultimately returned to work and has found a satisfying job within her own family’s company, where she can balance work and life. She now has time for exercise and to meet with friends.

Preecha Manop is a 31-year-old financial planner, speaker and content creator who believes that how hard a person works depends on how great their passion is. For him, work-life balance is happiness in work and life, having time for work and being happy with his leisure time.

Preecha Manop

“I think that I have a work-life balance, because I have enough sleep, I have time for work and enough rest time, watching Netflix, playing games. I don’t work that hard,” he said.

Although he wears many hats, he can manage his time.

There was a time, however, when he did not have a work-life balance, which was when he pursued his passion as a founder of a start-up company. This continued for 2-3 months, until he had a burnout.

After a break for 3 months, he picked himself up and started work again. Now he is happy in his work.

by Neeranuch Kunakorn