Maintaining the balance between work and life has been a growing challenge for people across all industries, especially in our internet-connected world. Personal devices are often used for work, blurring the boundaries even further.
A recent survey shows that 66% of full-time employees don’t believe they have a healthy work-life balance.
For truck drivers, maintaining this balance can be a unique and particularly difficult challenge. When you’re on a multi-day haul, there’s no going home between shifts. Even when you’re “clocked out”, you’re still in or around your truck.
This can make it difficult to disconnect, rest, and enjoy life, which in turn damages mental health and creates dissatisfaction.
Fear of work life balance may actually play a part in the current shortage of truck drivers in the US. In one survey, 67% of people said poor work-life balance would be the number 1 reason to leave their current company.
However, this does not mean that truck driving can’t still be a great and healthy career. Though the challenge of work-life balance is a little different for truck drivers, it’s not impossible to maintain. You simply need to be very intentional.
With today’s technology, it’s never been easier to stay connected to friends and family, even when you’re thousands of miles across the country. Truck drivers can use this to their advantage, calling and texting friends, checking in on social media, having video chats, and more, all of which can happen from their truck, a rest stop, or a gas station.
Let your loved ones know your schedule and when you should be stopping somewhere so they can be near a phone or a computer. If you’re missing an event, ask someone to record it on their phone. Some people may even play a game across the internet or read a story to their children over the phone.
There is plenty you can do to keep an active part in the lives of the people you love.
Get Relaxed and Rested
When you’re clocked out, take a moment to mentally disconnect from the day. You’re likely tired and possibly frustrated. Log your time, close your eyes, breath, and step away from your truck. If the weather is nice, consider going for a walk or even a run. Try reading a book or consider picking up a hobby you can do on the go.
All of this will allow you to further disconnect from work and relax, which ultimately will result in better sleep.
Driving for the Right Company
Some trucking companies give their drivers very inconsistent schedules. Even if your mileage stays roughly the same each week, when you’re driving and where you’re going can fluctuate drastically. This can make it very difficult to plan your life around.
Though some drivers are able to adapt to this, many others don’t. If you’re one of those people who struggle to adapt to the irregularity of their driving schedule, consider joining the Woodruff Team.
At Woodruff Enterprises, we provide consistent mileage based on regular routes. Week to week, our drivers have a fairly solid idea of when they’ll be driving and where they’ll be heading. Better yet, they typically operate within a 500-mile radius, being gone only one night at a time.