Employers and employees agree that balancing professional and personal life is challenging. In most cases, work activities take precedence, overriding everything else. Often the desire to excel professionally forces employees to abandon their well-being. However, creating a good work-life balance is crucial to improve your emotional, physical, and mental well-being. Below are some tips to improve and encourage work-life balance.
Flexible working schedules shouldn't mean that employees are free to come and go as they wish. Unfortunately, this is what many employers think, so they will not implement flexible hours. A flexible working policy should outline flexible working hours with each employee’s concerns in consideration. However, be aware that most flexible schedules, such as the four-day workweek and telecommuting, require extensive planning.
Employees not only value employers who allow them to manage their time but also feel valued working for that company. Now, flexible working schedules mean different things for each employee. For some, it might mean working remotely partially or fully; others may want to set their office working hours, while caregivers with children and parents may need a modified schedule that saves them time and reduces stress.
Disrupted work-life balance can have employees feeling that they have a lot to do in a limited timeframe. Often this leads to burnout. Employers who value work-life balance should focus on ensuring efficiency over working hours. However, this may be challenging for some employees, especially those praised before for working extended hours. Such employees may not leave their offices until their supervisor's exit, even after accomplishing their day's work.
Therefore, inform your employees that the management doesn't expect them to go overboard. If possible, help your employees understand the differences between emergency tasks and those that can wait till morning.
Encouraging work-life balance should involve your employees' physical and mental well-being. Fortunately, employers can support their teams' health with a few measures. For instance, if the office is in a larger building with a health center or a gym, provide your employees with access.
You can also create sports teams, organize weekly workout and meditation classes, or small shift working schedules.
Work-life balance shouldn't focus on giving employees time off your offices only. You can ease the working atmosphere by making your office space inviting. A motivating open space improves productivity, which is what every employer targets. You can create a conducive working environment by using inspirational colors, wall art, and design that brighten the mood of your workspace.
That aside, as you set up your office layout, have different breakout rooms or soundproofed rooms for those who need some concentration. This is especially important if you use the open-office model since not everyone works well with open office spaces.
Companies working with smaller staff and budgets should be strategic about providing employee benefits. Therefore, you should begin by reassessing the current office culture by asking your employees about their needs and desires. This can be achieved by a simple anonymous online survey that allows employees to indicate the challenges they face in their current work-life balance and provide suggestions on what they would like to be changed or added.
The current workforce demographics are changing, with new employees bringing in new priorities. For example, a recent study found that millennials, who make up most of the current workforce, value work-life balance as much as salary when looking for employment. However, this preference isn't just limited to millennial employees, as another study concluded that 53% of all employees cited work-life balance as an important factor in their job satisfaction. Therefore, employers should do everything possible to provide this in their workplaces.
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