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Good quality me-time vital for home and work well-being

New study shows that quality is more important than quantity

High quality 'me-time' not only improves your psychological well-being it can also make you a more engaged employee.

This is one of the findings of a study by Dr Almuth McDowall (pictured right) of Birkbeck's Department of Organizational Psychology, who will present the study today, Thursday 8 January, at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology annual conference in Glasgow.

To ascertain whether the quantity and quality of me-time was associated with better work-life balance, well-being and engagement at work two studies were undertaken.

The first study involved 18 professionals completing a daily diary on their perceptions and experiences of me-time over a month. The second study involved 344 professionals (151 male and 186 female) who completed a questionnaire regarding work-life balance, family relationships, engagement at work and life satisfaction.

Analysis showed that those who experienced high quality, rather than the most, me-time enjoyed better work-life balance, well-being and were more engaged at work.

Dr McDowall said: “Me-time is a much talked about concept - usually because people lament that they don’t have any. Interestingly we found that me-time doesn’t have to be solitary and is more beneficial if it involves freely chosen activities. Opinions varied as to whether mundane routine tasks, such as housework, count as me-time – doing the washing up does not reap benefits for everyone!

“Overall our research suggests that if people take time out to recharge their batteries and experience the time taken out as high quality, this reaps benefits for their own psychological well-being, their family relationships and for their employers as they are more likely to perform better at work.”

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