A solid work-life balance is an essential element of employee well-being. If you’re currently an employer, it’s vital that you should take it into consideration and actively encourage your employees to improve and maintain a healthy work and life balance.
Studies have shown that an imbalance of work and life can have a serious impact on your employees. In the office, it has been associated with poor workplace performance, reduced productivity, absenteeism, and burnout. But the downsides of poor work-life balance go well beyond the office.
It may cause a range of physical and mental health issues like anxiety, depression, weight gain, and heavy increases in smoking and alcohol consumption. Employees that feel good about their ability to balance their work and life are often less stressed, more productive, and produce at a higher level.
An individual employee’s work-life balance isn’t something that can be easily tracked on standard performance dashboards within the workplace. That’s why it’s critical for business leaders to pay attention to how their employees are balancing their commitment to work and their personal lives. Assisting your employees with workforce balance both work and life can be easier said than done.
The pandemic effects
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit millions of workers were all forced to work from home, many for the first time in their careers, it changed the concept of work-life as we know it. Work and life were previously separated by a commute that seemed to separate the two worlds; the pandemic brought all the work into our homes. Quarantine measures and restrictions also meant that work and personal life became inseparable. Employees and workers were required to live and work, write reports, raise families, focus, and relax carelessly all under the same roof. This can be tough.
This sudden work-life collision made it more difficult and challenging than ever to balance the two.
Whilst workers loved working from home whilst others hated it and found it very challenging.
So, what does work-life balance look like in a remote or hybrid work environment?
As we continue to live in a pandemic many organizations and employees have noticed that there are many positive results of working remotely and employers it okay to keep them remote indefinitely. Many other organizations are looking to implement flexible or hybrid work models, so they hold onto the structure that remote work brings while maintaining office space.
So, what can employers do to encourage their employers to do the work of balancing?
The most important thing that employers can do is encourage their staff to build a sustainable work-life balance is to communicate the fact they care about their employees’ well-being. Communicate to their employees to work hard, but not at the expense of their personal life or mental health this is vital.
2. Lead with culture
Culture pervades every corner of the organization. If a company is built around trust, care, recognition, flexibility, and employee wellbeing, than employees are more likely to develop and maintain good healthy habits around work-life balance. If your employees are expected to respond to emails and messages during the evenings and on the weekends and are not encouraged to take earned paid time off (PTO) hours, they are more like to get themselves into a burnout stage which is not a healthy cycle to me in.
3. Create smart policy
Employers can take things a step further by instituting a work-life balance policy. The workplace balance policy can be formal or informal. Set clear and reasonable expectations about when and for how long your team should be working. If you are building a flexible culture that allows employees to work whenever within their time or whenever it suits them or when it’s best for them, make sure you’re not putting them in a work-time box.
4. Use the right tools
Technology has given employees the ability to effectively work remotely from home or wherever it’s also given employers the tools to track important indicators of employee wellbeing. Time trackers and productivity software can give essential workday insights that help employers understand their team’s workload and empower employees. Seek out the tools that best suit your workforce and implement them across the organization.
The employee’s ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance is an essential factor in determining their productivity. It’s important to keep a good work-life balance.
Employers who understand this concept and take the necessary steps to encourage a healthy work-life balance within their company will be far more successful in the long run than those who don’t.