Work-life balance is something every employee aspires to, but what business is this of their employers?
It’s now a well-established fact that the pursuit of this balance helps manage and reduce employee stress. This in turn raises their happiness levels, job satisfaction and ultimately, makes them more productive. That end goal is what every employer/company/manager desires, and the reason why they should be invested in helping their workforce attain that equilibrium.
What’s to be done, then? Below, we discuss a few office policies and opportunities that can enable employees to better manage their office and personal lives, without compromising productivity.
Educate Your Employees
The simple act of informing employees of the need and benefits of work-life balance is the first step in evolving your company culture to pro-balance. Employees will become empowered in seeking to balance commitments while you, the employer, ensure that they are being trained to maximise productivity simultaneously.
Offer Flexible Work Schedules
Not every business is designed for purely off-site employees, so don’t compromise the productivity of your company if work requires employees to be present in-person. However, it is another thing entirely to give your employees the option to work remotely when the need arises, or shuffle their daily/weekly hours around life events. Here are a few ways you can offer employees a sandbox in which to carve their most productive niche:
Allow work from home, occasionally, of course. Giving employees the ability to use technology to attend meetings or deliver work from home say, once a week, would save them hours of commute and actively promote productivity (so they can be done with their tasks and maybe have that lunch with their old friends that’s been delayed for months and months).
Restrict working hours, in particular outside of the office. This requires establishing a baseline for the number of hours employees are expected to work in a week and curtailing a culture that expects them to work beyond that, offsite or on. Expect employees to put in the occasional late sitting or weekend, but don’t make it a norm.
Deliverables should be the star of the show, not hours worked. The industry standard of 8 hours a day is no productivity benchmark and highly productive employees don’t need to spend that much time in the office if they can be done in less time – offer the flexibility of being able to leave when and if all deadlines are met and accounted for.
Encourage employees to take a break during the work day. A team lunch, for instance, or the occasional drinks break. Evidence shows that taking a break actually helps boost productivity levels.
Lead From the Top
Managers set the pace and flow of any team, that’s why projecting the image/culture of balance from the top of the hierarchy downwards will be an effective way to encourage employees to manage their own lives, without fear of being “against the company culture”.
Employees, primarily those who work at small companies and growing start-ups often feel the most pressure to work every day without regard to personal time and self-care. By encouraging them to take their allotted vacation time, you can ensure that your employees don’t burn out and remain highly productive throughout the year.
Send Your Employees to the Gym
A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Studies have shown that companies which offer wellness plans have less employees who suffer from stress and a higher average turnout.
The best way to motivate your employees to take up that gym membership package you’re offering? Why, simply lead from the front – CEOs and upper management in the gym are a great motivational tool!
There’s no denying that today’s professionals often find their work bleeding into their personal lives – this is something that takes a toll over the years and often creeps up on both them and the companies they work for. By encouraging them to be balanced individuals, you not only ensure their well-being but the well-being of your business as well.