‘Work to live’ or ‘live to work’?
How to find a healthy middle ground

Are you the type who ‘works to live’ or ‘lives to work’? Although many find this question tough to answer, it allows you to reflect on your goals, priorities, and values.

What does ‘live to work’ mean?

Aileen, a bank Branch Operations Officer, values her career. She works Mondays to Fridays from 8 am to 5 pm. After office hours, she still answers calls, responds to text messages, and replies to emails sent by colleagues and clients. No wonder her boss describes her as a passionate and dedicated employee.  

PROS: Individuals like Aileen love what they do and prioritize their jobs above their personal lives. This kind of mindset helps them successfully climb the professional ladder. Moreso, they find gratification in achieving target goals, solving work-related challenges, and receiving recognition and awards. 

CONS: According to Aileen, her husband often complains when she answers calls during dinner or misses their movie time with the kids because she’s engrossed working on the laptop. It’s typical for individuals who live to work to have a blurred line between work and personal time. Furthermore, over-engagement makes them prone to burnout.

What does ‘work to live’ mean?

Minnie, an administrative assistant, views her job as a means to an end. She is not fond of her job but she works to earn money to support her lifestyle. Since monthly bills come like clockwork, Minnie has no choice but to work hard to fulfill her obligations. 

PROS: Individuals who work to live often look forward to the weekends and holidays so they can relax and spend quality time with their family and friends. They usually have more time to pursue their hobbies and interests outside of work which makes them less prone to burnout. 

CONS: Unlike Aileen who has trouble disengaging herself from her work duties, Minnie lacks motivation and exhibits low employee engagement. She counts the days until the weekend comes. Individuals who work to live think of weekends as highlights of the week but their positive mood may decline when Sunday nears its end and Monday looms on the horizon. If you’re like Minnie who struggles with this, here’s how to overcome Monday Blues. In addition, people who work to live usually experience feelings of dissatisfaction and have unfulfilled potential since they are not happy with their job or what they do.

How do I find the right balance?

Living to work and working to live have their share of advantages but they can also have their downsides. Over time, the deficit of work-life balance can take a toll on your overall well-being. 

Medicare Plus recognizes the importance of finding a healthier middle ground and shares the following tips to help achieve the right balance for a happier and healthier you. 

Set boundaries

It is important to set boundaries between work and your personal life. By establishing a clear line between these major aspects of your life, you can improve your physical, emotional, and mental health. Setting boundaries can be as simple as refraining from checking emails or taking calls outside of work hours. Try to finish all your work at the office, and unless it’s absolutely necessary, make it a point not to bring work at home so you can rest, enjoy time for yourself, or spend quality time with family or friends.

Schedule time for your personal life

Just like how you schedule work meetings and appointments, schedule time for relaxation as well. This could include doing a hobby, binge-watching your favorite shows, or playing your favorite mobile game.

Take vacations

Vacations are essential for your mental and physical health. Make sure to take time off from work now and then to relax and recharge. It is recommended to log out of communication platforms so you can reap the full benefits of your vacation.

Find a job that you love

If you love your job, you are more likely to be happy and fulfilled. If you don’t like your job, it doesn’t mean that your only option is to find a new one. Reflect on the reasons why you are dissatisfied or unhappy at work and try to address them. Finding ways to resolve the issues at hand can reduce stress and help you appreciate your job.

In a nutshell

People who live to work love what they do and value their careers. The upside is being recognized for their dedication and passion for their work. They find gratification in achieving work goals and in going up the professional ladder. The downside is prioritizing work over personal life. Whereas, people who work to live see their job as nothing more than a means to end. They are usually dissatisfied with their work and they lack engagement. The advantage of individuals who work to live is having time to pursue their hobbies and interests outside of work.

Are you better off living to work or working to live? The good thing about life is that you don’t have to be limited to a single choice. Instead of choosing between two extremes, why not find their equilibrium, instead? Establishing a work-life balance enables you to be productive and happy in both your personal and professional life. Nobody said it’s easy, but the tips mentioned above can help you commit to a more balanced and healthier path.

If you want to be part of a company that values employee growth and work-life balance, go to this link https://medicareplusinc.com/careers/. We might just be what you’re looking for.

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