How to Encourage a Healthy Balance of Work and Life for Your Employees
It’s the middle of the night, and your phone buzzes with a business email from another timezone, alerting you to a disaster that you’ll have to deal with when you come into the office in the morning.
In a world where it feels impossible to switch off, maintaining a healthy balance of work and life is a serious challenge for employees. In many industries, the nine to five schedule has been replaced with something closer to 8am until bedtime, due to the the rise of smartphone communication.
A company that garners a reputation for prioritising a work and life balance is a beacon to potential employees. Companies that encourage a better balance between work and home tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates, cutting costs on recruitment, training, and improving their in-house expertise.
Follow these tips to improve your company’s attitude towards establishing a healthier work and life balance, and enjoy an upswing in quality of recruitment and employee loyalty.
Let’s sweat it out together
Sometimes to get through the assembly line, you need a funky playlist and some active time in open space. Just 30 minutes of of exercise a day combined with a healthy diet results in less sick days taken, ultimately leading to greater employee and company productivity.
Encourage employees to utilise onsite gym facilities, or alternatively, offer employee subsidies at local gyms to keep your biggest resource in tip top shape.
Support your employees with childcare
Within an ever-evolving working landscape, companies must respond to the often competing needs of work and family. Creating and sustaining a flexible work environment that accommodates working parents has proven benefits to both employees and and employers through building company loyalty, greater investment in workload and streamlining focus.
Childcare can be provided in a variety of ways by employers. The establishment of onsite care, provided with recognised and trusted sources, can alleviate stress of early morning and afternoon school pick ups.
Schedule regular outings
Maintaining a healthy workplace culture can do wonders in facilitating a better lifestyle balance for employees. Getting out of the office during the workday provides a great opportunity for staff and management to bond, recharge their batteries and remember why they joined your company in the first place.
These outings don’t need to break the budget – depending on the scale and budget of your company, they could be as simple as a trip to the beach, or as luxurious as a fully-fledged vacation.
Encourage breaks throughout the day
There’s a reason that advertising agencies all have ping pong tables! Working in a fast paced, high volume working environment requires both mental and physical breaks sustained throughout a long eight hour day – that will often extend to twelve hours, depending on deadlines.
The ability to take a step back from the desk provides a worker with much needed perspective, and can often be the circuit breaker to an ongoing problem or block to fulfilling project outcomes.
Offer unpaid time off for important life events
A little bit of compassion can go a long way. Just because an important event in an employee’s life may not meet the requirements of time off for illness, injury or bereavement doesn’t mean it isn’t important to take time away from work and business to recharge batteries. Attending a daughter’s graduation, being present for the birth of a niece or simply a best friend’s wedding can often tip the scale between a satisfied and dissatisfied employee.
Encourage community engagement
Staying connected to life outside of work is important to keep the bigger picture in perspective. Connect the dots between work and community by offering paid volunteer time to your employees to incentivise involvement in important community causes.
Catch burnout early
In today’s fast paced working culture, burnout is a serious condition experienced by employees in a number of industries. If employees seem disenchanted, exhausted or pessimistic about project outcomes, burnout could be just around the corner.
By catching these symptoms early and providing adequate support, employees can maximise their physical and mental capacity to work smart, hard, and maintain a balanced personal life.
Ask your employees what they need
Start at the source of the problem by consulting your employees on what they need to maintain a better balance between work and life. Try scheduling regular group or individual discussions to address these issues. This might be a difficult discussion to have, with the concerns employees may have requesting time off or more time and resources to complete tasks, but collaboration in this scenario is key. Try holding these meetings quarterly to touch base with your team.
Encouraging a healthy workplace
Workers are the most important resource within a business and unlike bricks and mortar, often require a flexible and personable structure to understand and respond to the needs of work as well as life pressures. Becoming adept at understanding the workloads of life that often exist outside of the office will give employers staff that will work hard, play hard, and stick around.
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