Work-life balance refers to the equilibrium between your professional endeavours such as career progression and professional development. It also refers to your personal endeavours such as your personal well-being, your relationships with friends and family, sports, and hobbies. In a professional setting, each employer and employee has their own definition of what work-life balance means. Whilst the College of Law NZ has previously noted a downward trend of lawyers suffering burnout, there is still significant room for improvement.

Work-life balance will also change during the course of your career, personal situation and stage of life. 


Here are some examples


– are the sole income generator in your household.

– do not have any responsibilities outside of work, are keen to learn and develop as quickly as possible and are comfortable spending more time at work to achieve your goals.

– have a young family and want to dedicate more time at home.

– are a semi-professional Rugby player and need time to train.

– want to dedicate more time to your studies.

– thrive on working on major matters and sometimes working extra hours are required.

So, how do you create work-life balance? There are a few ways to improve your work-life balance here’s a few recommendations;



You should identify and prioritise activities that align with your goals, whether they be personal or professional. This will allow you to minimise distractions, manage your time better, and focus on what adds value. 


Set boundaries:

To prioritise, you must allocate your time. Allocate your work, personal, and leisure hours and be firm, within reason of course. Update your calendar to reflect where you are allocating your time and reevaluate each month to ensure you are tracking towards your goals. Having a clear line between work and personal life will provide you the time to recharge and rejuvenate and reduce stress, burnout, and anxiety. 



Ensure you have open communication with your employer. If working from home 1-2 days a week increases your productivity, reduces your travel time, and provides you with more family time, have a discussion with your manager. See if you can implement a work-from-home arrangement. You’ll need to meet with clients and attend offsite meetings or court hearings, which should be prioritised. A balanced work and personal life allows you to build better relationships personally and professionally by reducing stress.



Prioritise self-care, like playing your favourite sport or attending a local music event. Socialising with friends and family and integrating meditation will improve your mental health. Rather than having your work and personal life competing for time, you’ll achieve a more balanced lifestyle and increased overall satisfaction.

Within the legal profession, fluctuations in workload are inevitable. It’s important to acknowledge this reality and foster a culture of balance. For instance, in some situations, being rigid with work hours may not be feasible or conducive to achieving the desired result. As in busy times like preparing for a court trial or being part of a major transaction,

Engage in negotiations with your manager to accommodate the increase in workload. This could involve exploring options like additional holidays or banking extra hours worked. For those who have given long tenure to their employer, the possibility of taking a sabbatical to manage both your workload effectively and maintain a good balance.

Ultimately, work-life balance can mean a variety of things for each individual. Setting boundaries, using time management, prioritisation and communication. Focusing on self-care will build resilience, remove the stress of competing priorities and create a harmonious work-life balance. 

If you are looking for a new role that provides you with a better work-life balance, then find out more about Tyler Wren’s Legal recruitment here