Do you live to work, or work to live?
It’s a question that many employees in the workforce ask themselves. For some employees, work finishes at the end of the working day. But for many more, it can continue late into the night and throughout the weekend. Most employees must accept this, whether they like it or not because they have responsibilities to bear; especially if they have a family to feed at home. But, the ultimate truth is, for employees to be in an optimal place of motivation, productivity, well-being, and overall engagement at work, they must have a healthy work-life balance.
Although employers alone can’t provide a 100% work-life balance for their employees – there are some things companies can do to help employees find and maintain a work balance that’s right for them. Here are five ways to promote balance for a healthier and more productive work life for employees:
1. Be flexible
Workers value employers who empower them to manage their own time. Employees feel valued at companies where they know they can pick their child up from school in the middle of the day or get their car from the garage before it closes. They are aware that their employer knows they’ll still get the job done before the deadline. If your business isn’t flexible, you could not only make it difficult for them to maintain a work-life balance but also add a great deal of stress to your employees’ lives.
So, whether you create a flexible working policy or just make small changes to increase the flexibility of your working environment; try to be more accommodating so your employees can maintain a good balance.
2. Encourage managers to focus on productivity rather than hours
Rather than counting the hours employees work, encourage managers to focus on the completion of a particular task. Some days employees may need to put in long hours to complete a task, but this is offset by the days when they don’t need to do a full eight-hour day.
3. Lead by example
You can’t expect your people to maintain a healthy work-life balance if your leadership team isn’t leading by example. Their actions set a precedent for the rest and should reflect how you want your workforce to operate. Ensure that managers and the senior leadership team enjoy a healthy work-life balance too. Make sure they’re leaving the office on time, taking breaks and not emailing workers out of office hours or expecting them to deliver work in unworkable time scales when non-urgent.
4. Acknowledge that every employee is different
Many of your employees may be desperate to achieve a better work-life balance. However, others may feel satisfied with the time they spend working. Some may want to start work later but are happy to finish later too. Others may not mind working extended hours if it means they can switch off when they get home. Companies that attract and keep the best people know that every employee is different, so they design experiences at work that can be personalised for everyone. If your company is serious about creating a better work-life balance for your employees, there won’t be a one-size-fits-all that works. You’ll need to personalise your approach to each employee.
5. Reward your employees now and then
Recognising work anniversaries, team or individual accomplishments, and the achievement of company goals with rewards -such as extra time off work, and gift certificates for a restaurant or shopping can help employees periodically unwind.