Help your staff gain work-life balance and you’ll be on the right track to retain your top talent and achieve optimum team performance.
In an environment where employees have had to help companies do more with less, many are in need of a healthier work-life balance.
Promoting alternative work arrangements and other ways to help staff achieve a better balance can lead to many positive results for your company – and not just in terms of keeping productivity high. It can enhance the overall health and well-being of your staff, thereby reducing both absenteeism and “presenteeism” (coming to work when ill). After all, who can work continuously under stress without eventually becoming burnt out?
Achieving a healthy work life balance means constantly assessing your staff's professional and personal needs. By examining their working patterns and adopting a model that reflects a clear purpose, you’re better placed to assist them to create a life with space for downtime – as well as a career with meaning. Emphasising work-life balance and making it part of your company’s culture also can improve retention.
Helping your employees strike the right balance between their professional obligations and personal life is easier, and less costly, than you might think.
Here are a few suggestions on how you can create better work-life balance for your staff:
1. Allow for flexible work schedules
Your company’s regular business hours may not work well for all staff. For instance, an employee who must pick up her young children from school daily could be allowed to start and end the workday a bit earlier. Others might benefit more from a compressed work week: instead of five eight-hour days, designated employees might be able to work four ten-hour days, resulting in one less day in the office per week.
2. Provide opportunities for telecommuting
Offer staff whose jobs can be done remotely the option of working from home at least a few times a month (especially those with long commutes). E-mail and other communication tools will ensure they never miss a beat.
3. Avoid the temptation to contact staff after hours
While technology can indeed keep us connected 24/7, resist the temptation to phone or email your employees outside of work hours – unless it’s truly urgent. Respect that your staff need time every day to “unplug”.
4. Give time off for a job well done
After the successful completion of a long or difficult project, allow employees to have a day off – or at least, a partial day – to relax.
5. Consider bringing in reinforcements when necessary
If you know when workloads are likely to peak in the year ahead (for example, around tax time), make plans to ease the burden on your staff by scheduling interim or contract personnel.
6. Most importantly, remember to set the standard for your company
Show employees that you value their personal time too, and that you encourage them to step away from the laptop or put down the smartphone when they're out of the office.
A work-life balance can make a great difference
Embracing the right work-life balance tips can make a great difference towards your health & wellbeing, which ultimately affects your career. The importance of maintaining a work life balance might be one of the biggest imperatives of the modern-day workplace, but it can also be a blind spot in the way we perceive our professional and recreational selves. Knowing which work life balance model suits your career can ensure you enjoy both sides of the coin.
A lack of work life balance can affect everything from wellbeing and productivity to personal relationships. It’s also difficult to take a one-size-fits-all approach. For instance, someone employed in the financial-services sector might be faced with simpler professional demands than an entrepreneur who’s forced to work evenings and weekends. If you want to solve the work life balance puzzle, it’s important to embrace a strategy that’s right for your team to flourish not job in their jobs, but equally in their careers.