With more than half of workers feeling moderate levels of burnout, work-life balance isn’t just a trendy corporate buzzword. It’s necessary to recruit and retain a resilient, engaged, and efficient team.
Here, we unpack strategies for championing work-life balance and transforming your workplace into a haven of productivity and well-being.
What Is Work-Life Balance?
Achieving a healthy work-life balance means different things to different people, but at its core, it refers to employees feeling they can effectively manage their work responsibilities alongside their personal lives. It’s not about an equal split of time, but about creating an environment where employees can be professionally productive without sacrificing their personal health and happiness.
Benefits of Promoting Work-Life Balance
We’ve all heard about the importance of balancing work and personal time. But what can improving work-life balance really do for your people and your business?
Increased productivity: Employees with a good work-life balance are 21% more productive than those without.
Reduced turnover rates: Companies see 25% lower employee turnover when they value employees’ overall well-being and support a balance between their professional and personal lives.
Enhanced company reputation: With more workers choose a role for the work-life balance than the salary, you want to be known as an employer that truly values employee well-being.
Improved employee health and well-being: Balanced employees generally have better physical and mental health, leading to less absenteeism and a happier workplace.
What Can Employers Do? Strategies for Achieving Work-Life Balance
Your business can’t offer total work-life balance (some of the work will fall on your employees), but you are the starting point. Here are some top strategies for helping your people find the right balance between their personal and professional lives.
Flexible work schedules: Offer flexible working arrangements such as remote work options, flexible start and finish times, or compressed work weeks. This allows employees to work when they are most productive and attend to personal obligations with the peace of mind that their employer knows they can still get their job done.
Encourage time off: Employees must utilize their vacation days and truly disconnect to reduce stress and avoid burnout. Cultivate an environment where rest isn’t just permitted but celebrated, where employees don’t feel any guilt for taking time to refresh. This might even involve “forcing” them to take quality time off work by eliminating or limiting the vacation days they can carry over into the following year.
Provide support resources: Invest in your employees’ mental health and resilience against stress. Offer access to counseling services, perhaps through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or introduce wellness programs that address various health aspects, from mental and physical health to financial well-being. Workshops and seminars on managing stress, offering nutritious snacks and meal options, and encouraging physical activity are other valuable tools to keep in your wellness arsenal.
Set clear boundaries: In today’s hyper-connected world, where the lines between work and home blur, many employees find it challenging to get the office off their minds. Combat this “always-on” mindset by setting clear expectations about after-hours communication and ensuring employees feel secure in unplugging once their workday ends.
Lead by example: When leadership practices what they preach regarding work-life balance, it resonates throughout the company. Senior management should be vocal and transparent about how they balance their professional and personal life.
Conduct meaningful check-ins: Regular, thoughtful one-on-one conversations can provide a window into each employee’s unique situation. How is their workload? Is there something you could do to help them manage their time? Are there any personal issues impacting work? How can you help relieve these problems? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to work-life balance. Every employee will have an approach that works best for them.