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Six steps towards achieving a healthy work–life balance

When Katrine was looking for a new employer, she wanted a job that was challenging and rewarding, and that allowed her to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Katrine with her dog Saga.

Katrine has worked in hospital, municipal and research environments. Katrine Skrede is now a project manager in EVRY, working on projects in e-health and digitalization of the health sector.

When she decided to make the transition from health to technology, she had several options. Her physiotherapy training, master's degree in public health science from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and experience in welfare technology made Katrine an attractive candidate for several large companies.

When she had to choose one of them as her new employer, she picked EVRY. IT and health will increasingly go hand in hand, and this is where Katrine believes she has a lot of offer.

- I feel I'm in the right place and hope I can bring new perspectives to the table, given my background as a health professional. I think the culture here seems more caring and genuine, and I like the focus on having a good work-life balance. That was decisive, in many ways, says Katrine.

Working hard and having a life outside of work doesn't have to be incompatible, according to Katrine.

- I choose a job I enjoy and that interests me. I sometimes work extra hours, but I think leading a meaningful life outside of work is important for relaxing and recuperating so that I can perform my best at work, says Katrine.

Good balance is the most important

Katrine's expectations reflect the annual Universum report, in which hundreds of IT students answer questions about what makes a workplace attractive. For more than 10 years now, the work-life balance has been ranked top of their wish list.

In 2008, 58 percent of the students responded that this was the key factor when evaluating employers.

Why has personal life become such an important issue for job seekers?

Award-winning speaker and author Annika Malmberg Hamilton believes it's because young people today are much more aware of the risks of stress and of how dangerous it can be to burn out.

- When I was young, I'd never even heard the word 'burned out'. I had no idea that working too much could harm my health. Working a lot is not in itself dangerous; the tricky bit is when you work a lot without setting time aside to recuperate. Working on something you don't enjoy can also drain your energy, says Annika.

Annika's best tips for living a balanced:

  • Learn more about your own personality. What do you need to feel good and to strike the right balance? This is an individual matter; there is no one-size-fits-all
  • Get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. That will give you the energy you need.
  • Exercise regularly and keep in shape. Get some fresh air when you're not working. Strong and active people perform better, sleep better and often eat.
  • Don't smoke! Drink in moderation and eat properly. Feed your body the right type of energy.
  • Do things you enjoy when you're not working.
  • Don't do activities you don't enjoy. Maybe you don't have time to pursue a career, hang out with friends, exercise and read 100 books in a year. If you don't set priorities, you will end up having a bad conscience. Remember that few people manage to do everything they want.
    Young people are today much more aware of the risk of stress - and how dangerous it can be to burn out, says Annika R Malmberg Hamilton.

Annika Malmberg Hamilton has written several books on how to have a successful career. She believes it's important to work hard, but also that you take the time to recuperate.

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