Employees often struggle to balance their home life and work responsibilities. However, achieving this balance is essential, both for the sake of the employee and the employer. In fact, achieving a proper work-life balance is key to self-care, ensuring that the employee is able to maintain good physical health and positive relationships with family and friends.
Fortunately, even if employees are finding it a challenge to balance their work and home life, there are some simple steps you can take to help them improve the situation.
Work-life balance is the relationship between the time and effort dedicated to working and the time and effort dedicated to life outside work. An individual who has a healthy work-life balance will be able to balance the demands of their career with the demands of their personal life equally, without neglecting either side. An individual who doesn't have a healthy work-life balance will often err on the side of working too much, treating their personal life as an afterthought.
There are many benefits that accompany a good work-life balance. Some of the benefits enjoyed by the employee include:
Employees who have a good work-life balance don’t feel as much physical, mental, and emotional stress as those who are not able to balance work and home life as well. These lower stress levels are beneficial to the employee in all areas of life.
When employees are experiencing less stress, they are less likely to suffer from injuries, illnesses, and other physical ailments. This means that a good work-life balance can actually improve the health of the body. This is good news for both the employee and the employer.
Employees who have a healthy work-life balance will enjoy better mental health than those who struggle to balance the demands of work and home. Better mental health not only improves the employee's quality of life but can also lead to improved performance at work.
When an individual isn’t managing their work-life balance well, they can become overworked. This leads to burnout, which decreases job satisfaction substantially. Employees who feel burned out may also be more likely to look for other work.
If an employee is not able to balance their work and home responsibilities, they may find that their relationships with loved ones suffer due to the lack of quality time spent with each person. Employees with a good work-life balance will be able to maintain better relationships.
Making time for both work and play ensures that the individual is able to focus all of their attention on each of these activities at the appropriate times, as opposed to feeling distracted and overwhelmed. Better enjoyment of these activities leads to better well-being overall.
Many of the work-life balance benefits for employees translate directly to the employer as well. Some of the other benefits of a good work-life balance for employers include:
Most employers know that one of the most costly aspects of managing staff is the loss of time and productivity due to sickness. When employees have a proper work-life balance, they are less likely to miss work because of physical or mental health. Employers may also spend less on health insurance when the workforce is generally healthier.
Employees with a healthy work-life balance can avoid burnout. Because burnout lowers productivity and leads to greater employee turnover, limiting this problem is ideal for every employer.
Employees who are less stressed, not experiencing burnout, and physically healthier will be more productive than those that are suffering.
As an employer, there are several steps you can take to help your employees improve their work-life balance. Some of these steps are detailed below.
Most employers offer vacation and sick days to their employees. However, sometimes, a workplace culture that discourages time off can develop. Although it may initially seem like a better idea to keep your employees at work as often as possible, it is more beneficial to make sure your employees are getting the rest and downtime they need. Encourage your employees to make use of their sick time when they are feeling ill. If you notice employees are not making use of these days, check in with them to make sure they aren’t feeling unreasonable pressure.
Employees can develop better work-life balance when their schedule is flexible. As much as possible, create room for flexibility by allowing employees to work at times that are more convenient for them. For example, employees who don’t need to be present in the office at specific times may be allowed to work irregular hours, as long as productivity doesn’t suffer. Some employers may also permit remote work to give employees more flexibility with their time.
One of the best ways to ensure that your employees maintain a good work-life balance is to lead by example. Make sure that you are taking advantage of your vacation days and spending ample time investing in your personal life so your employees will feel free to do the same. Clearly communicate your work hours and days to both colleagues and customers in order to set appropriate boundaries, and encourage your employees to do the same.
Company culture is one of the key determinants of work-life balance for all employees. As a result, investing in positive company culture is one of the most effective things you can do to prevent problems with the work-life balance from developing among employees.
Create a culture in which time with family and friends is celebrated, as opposed to discouraged or hidden. Work to develop a culture that includes trust and respect. Employees should feel comfortable taking time off without worrying that they will be treated unfairly in the future. They should also feel comfortable discussing their concerns with management when any work-life balance issues arise.
Employers that help employees maintain work-life balance will enjoy a variety of benefits, from better productivity to lower turnover rates. However, in many cases, employers can unconsciously discourage employees from investing in their personal lives, which can lead to problems. By following the tips above, employers can encourage a healthy work-life balance, improve their employees' overall quality of life, and create a more positive company culture.