Employees in today’s age are looking to balance their work time with their personal lives. Many are leaving jobs that either don’t pay well, or that overwork them too much.If you are struggling to grow your company, or simply want more from your team, implementing a great work-life balance for your staff may help.
Companies that are employee-oriented tend to fare better at attracting talent, especially if they offer great benefits and other measures that can make employees’ lives easier and put them back in control of their lives. What exactly is a work-life balance? Why does it matter? How can you implement it today to improve company morale and attract great talent? This article answers these important questions.
What is work-life balance?
Work-Life Balance is the prioritization of personal time while handling everyday work-related tasks.
In our modern results-oriented culture, working long and hard has become revered, and it has been taught to many of us that the harder you work, the more fortune you deserve and will have in your life. Although this resonates as true for many of us, you might be surprised to learn that multiple studies have demonstrated that overworking self-care can bring negative side effects like burnout and chronic stress and can leave an employee feeling less productive in the long run. Not only does it affect productivity, but it also affects long-term health as well, with people reporting feeling less energetic, having low self-esteem, and unexplained headaches and stomach problems. If you want to learn more about burnout, check out this excellent article that goes into more detail about how to recognize it and prevent it.
Positive Effects of work-life balance
Having a good work-life balance can enable workers to feel more in control of their situation. It can increase happiness not only in the workplace, but also in life in general. There are also extra benefits for employers as well, since a happy team equals a more productive team. Some other benefits of positive work-life environment include:
- Improved team communication
- Employee loyalty
- Increased morale
- Burnout prevention
- Lower turnover
- More applicants for your company
- Improved Customer Service
According to the ACAS, 72% of employers interviewed said that implementing a flexible working environment increased engagement and productivity, and 73% said that they believe that it had an impact on motivation. Additionally, it is estimated that companies save on burnout and chronic stress related problems such as heart problems, depression, anxiety and insomnia which can cost an estimated $125 billion dollars to $190 billion dollars a year in healthcare spending. It is therefore important to implement an easier working environment to not only increase productivity, but also prevent high turnover rates and long-term health problems.
Focusing on work-life balance has shown to bring positive outcomes like improved team motivation and communication
How to Increase Your Team’s Productivity by Implementing Work-Life Balance
Having great work-life balance can bring many benefits not just for employees, but for organizations overall. A happy team is more likely to remain with the company, and become more productive. In fact, it has been reported that implementing work-life measures reduces employee turnover by 25%! There are many steps that you can take, whether you are a small-business owner or a large company, to reduce the everyday stress on employees and create a more productive team:
1.) Offer more flexible hours
There are studies showing that over 95% of workers interviewed wanted to set their own schedule, and it’s a no brainer! You can set your schedule and finish work before your child gets out of school or have a late start if you want to stay up later in the day. Only 45% of people, however, get that privilege. Implementing more flexible working hours can help employees structure their day on their own terms and have time to take care of personal needs.
2.) Work remotely
With the pandemic rendering indoor environments unsafe for large groups of people, companies have shifted to implementing remote working. Apart from the safety this brings from contracting diseases, there are other perks as well, such as less commute time, doing house chores on your break, and working from anywhere with a good internet connection.
3.) Encourage Breaks
While working remotely is great, employees often complain about their work life seeping into their personal life, and often feel guilty about taking breaks or not finishing assignments on time before their shift. Companies should also promote taking breaks every once in a while to rest and re-energize. The pomodoro technique is an excellent method to manage breaks. It works by first writing down all the tasks to accomplish each day. Then, a timer is set to start working in 25 or 50 minute intervals, taking a 5 or 10 minute break in-between. After four 25 minute intervals or two 50 minute intervals, a longer 20-30 minute break is taken. This repeats until all tasks are completed. Not only do breaks give employees a recharge, but they can also make them be more productive, reduce distractions and decrease time spent on a project.
4.) Offer Help
If there are employees that have an overload of work, instead of assigning them more hours, give them the option to have assistance. Try not to force employees to work more than their usual working hours, but instead to delegate to other team members, and encourage your workforce to communicate with others and share responsibility equally. If you find that the whole team is busy, rotate responsibility for each day to different employees to stay instead of leaving it to one employee the whole time. Offer rewards for working overtime like extra days off, or prizes like free baseball tickets or something of equal value. Working overtime regularly can lead to:
- Injury if the task is too repetitive
- Heart Disease
Don’t encourage employees to work overtime, and use it as a last resort. If that is not possible due to the small team, show sincere gratitude for their hard work.
5.) Offer Benefits
What makes a job posting competitive is not only the pay that comes with it, but also the benefits. Many employees need extra time in their personal lives to take care of important things or just to relax. Offering PTO can give them more time to breathe. If employees work overtime, in addition to paying them overtime hours, you can also offer additional days that they can take off. Maternity leave is also a must. Mothers need plenty of time off when giving birth to take care of their offspring, and many countries offer leave from 16 weeks in Singapore, to up to 40 weeks in the UK. Having great benefits signals that you care for your employees, and it also gives them an easier time to balance their career and their personal lives.
6.) Show Gratitude
Offering benefits, while ideal, is hard to achieve for many small businesses. Sometimes teams are small, and some employees may need to wear multiple hats to ensure that a small business runs smoothly. If that is the case, show gratitude to your employees in other ways, like buying them nice things like sports and movie tickets or offering them days off on important days like their children’s graduation or their birthday. Showing that your business cares will make your team want to stick with you in the long term.
Offering employees room to breathe is important for the overall health of the company. If a company focuses on profits over employees, they will find that they may have a labor shortage in the future and can also fail to meet their production goals. A happy team is a productive team and giving them their personal time will make sure that they remain in their absolute best shape and retain their loyalty. If you enjoy this article and want to check out other topics, visit coach.today/blog.