Your employees are committed to getting the job done. (Way to go employees!) They’re bringing dedication and talent to the table, going above and beyond to achieve client goals. The problem is that your employees are also going above and beyond their work hours — which can lead to burnout and high turnover. As many as 40% of employees use their devices for work outside of business hours. Excelling at work has unfortunately become a 24/7 gig.
Thanks to the shift to remote work, it’s become harder to juggle work and home life. And the blurred lines between our work and personal life can be an unnecessary source of stress. Stress.org reports that in 2022, 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress. (It’s ok to admit you’ve got a lot on your plate!)
The new hybrid work model has highlighted the importance of work-life balance. To combat stress, burnout, turnover and irritable employees; employers should be encouraging a healthy work-life balance. But how can you improve work-life balance for your employees? Here are some of the most important solutions to improve work-life balance for your employees.
The Importance of Work-Life Balance
If you want to create a more balanced life for your employees, you need to understand why work-life balance is important. Because it’s difficult to create something that you don’t understand. And spoiler alert: rebalancing your employee’s work/ life ratio isn’t always easy. So how important is work-life balance to your employees? More important that you’d think.
In 2020, 1 in 5 employees left a job because their employer didn’t support their well-being. Employee care and work-life balance initiatives can be the antidote to unwanted employee turnover. If your employees know you care, they’re more likely to stay.
Data shows that in the professional world, work-life balance is more important to the majority of employees than compensation. (It’s shocking, we know!) An employee who doesn’t make time for self-care will eventually burn out, no matter how well paid they are. Empowering employees to prioritize mental health, wellness and personal time is now more critical than ever! Improving work-life balance is the best way to help.
Why Is Work-life Balance Important To Employees?
It can be hard maintaining a social life, spending time with family, traveling the world, and reaching fitness goals. (There’s more than just fitness goals? Cardio is hard enough on its own!) Juggling these to-dos is easier with a healthy work-life balance. Overall perks for employees include:
Positive Job Satisfaction
When an employee feels satisfied in their role, they’re more motivated to succeed. Feeling proud of what they do is a confidence booster to continue contributing great work. Having a proper work-life balance can be the mood boost employees need to feel satisfied at work.
Feeling Supported And Understood
No one likes feeling guilty when they want time off or need to leave work early. These are commonly excused for emergencies, but what about events at your kid’s school, scoring tickets to a sporting event, or planning a trip? Employees should feel supported when they need time off to enjoy important matters outside the office.
Better Health & Wellness
Work-life balance is beneficial to employees’ health both mentally and physically. Mental Health America and Flex Jobs reported that 76% of respondents say work affects their mental health. The pressure to constantly work in high-stress situations is detrimental to employees in the long run and can be avoided with encouraged breaks and wellness program offerings from the employer.
Why is work-life balance important? Here’s the bottom line. When you improve your employees’ work-life balance, they are more engaged, more likely to stay at the company and more likely to recommend the company as a great place to work.
6 Ways to Improve Work-Life Balance for Your Employees
Employees want to feel supported beyond the work they’re contributing. If they’re feeling good at work, you’ll increase productivity and improve workplace culture. To create a better balance, try the following proven strategies:
1. Allow For Flexibility
According to a 2022 report, 56% of respondents believe flexibility in the workplace is the top way employers can support them. Employees shouldn’t be locked to their computer screens the whole work day. Allow your employees to:
- Take time for daytime appointments
- Use their full lunch breaks
- Drop-off kids at school without using PTO
- Turn in office days into remote days when needed
- Choose their hours, (not everyone works best with a 9-5pm schedule!)
2. Set Boundaries
It’s important to respect your employees’ time after work. Even when a great idea comes to mind, write it down and share it tomorrow. Boundaries can be set by not scheduling meetings or calls outside working hours – unless it’s an emergency, respect their personal schedules.
In order to maintain a highly productive and happy workplace, make sure you have clear boundaries set up between your employees and your clients.
3. Encourage Time Off
Paid time off is critical to work-life balance. However, some employees don’t take advantage of it when it’s not encouraged. When workloads are heavy or no one else in the company takes time off, workers might feel guilty requesting days off if it’s not the norm. As an employer, you have the power to encourage them to take the PTO they have earned and enjoy time to relax and refresh.
One way to prevent burnout is to force workers to take their time off. Employees would much rather schedule their PTO than lose their hard-earned time off.
4. Plan For Breaks
Stress.org reports that over half of their respondents spend 12-hour days on work related duties and skip lunch breaks due to high-stress demands. Working long days without a break is not ideal for anyone. Taking breaks throughout the day provides time to reset and take a breath.
Encourage your employees to take breaks or take a walk. Even just a 15 minute break every 70-90 minutes increases productivity and bumps up your bottom line.
5. Promote Perks
Companies have the opportunity to offer perks to implement work-life balance. This can be through team bonding events, forming communities committed to culture and experience, or offering programs and discounts to take advantage of. Examples include:
- Gym memberships
- Mental health services
- Child care referral services or child-friendly offices
- Educational and networking opportunities
- Health screenings, on-site clinics, etc.
- Community outreach and volunteering
- Company outings and team building
6. Lead by Example
You’re the leader and just as your mug says – you’re the #1 boss. Your employees are watching your actions and the workplace culture is led by your example. If your company has a flexible schedule, the best thing you can do to get your team to use it…is to use it yourself!
Even if PTO is offered it won’t seem encouraged unless you’re taking it too. If you’re sending emails after hours, employees will feel the need to respond and follow in their leader’s footsteps of working late. Take charge of your workplace atmosphere and promote work-life balance by leading by example.
How does your company’s work-life balance stack up? If your perks aren’t cutting it, use our checklist to see where you can improve.
Set Your Team Up For Success and Everyone Wins
Improving your employee’s work-life balance isn’t just a positive for them, it benefits employers too. (Happy employees = a happy workplace!) To attract and retain top talent, it is essential to enforce work-life balance to create a healthy, positive experience. Improving work-life balance can help your company by:
Leveling Up Morale & Engagement
Engagement = an employee’s commitment to the company’s goals. Encouraging a work-life balance can make your employees more likely to work hard and exert more effort. A highly engaged workforce is crucial to the growth of your business. With proper work-life balance, your employees will be refreshed, recharged, and more engaged in their work.
Promote work-life balance as a way to recognize your top performers for all of their hard work. A job well done deserves time to focus on their work and enjoy their personal time. By improving the balance, you’re boosting morale and team productivity!