5 ways to improve employee’s work-life balance
Work-life balance is at an all-time epidemic. Many employees are unable to find the time to ‘switch off’ and relax, much less complete their personal obligations outside of work. It is the manager’s job to delegate work and ensure employees are completing their jobs to deadline. However, it is also in the hands of a manager to ensure the people working for them have the opportunity to find some harmony between their work and personal lives.
This is an updated version of a 2017 article written by Christine Funk.
Here are 5 steps managers can take to improve their team members’ work-life balance.
1. Flexible working time
Many companies offer flexible hours. The traditional 9-5 office hours work well for some and are useless to others. For example: many creatives prefer to work late-night hours, while other employees might be early risers. Some employees take a longer lunch to go to the gym mid-day but stay an extra hour late. Many employers are beginning to use an ‘as long as the work get’s done to deadline’ policy, and it is working. Flexible working hours show trust and respect from management and enable employees to tend to private commitments.
2. Tailored agreements
Some employees may not be able to work full-time because of prior arrangements such as children, university or another job. Although some may think that hiring part-time employees can result in decreased productivity, many part-time workers have excellent time-management skills. If managers are not flexible regarding part-time agreements, they also risk the chance of hiring on a valuable or qualified employee simply because of their schedule.
3. Working from home
92% of millennials would like the option of working from home from time to time. This doesn’t have anything to do with the laziness too frequently associated with this group of individuals taking over the workplace. Many employees find it much easier to be productive from home than in the office. All that many positions require on a day-to-day basis is a laptop and a WiFi connection, why are we forcing our team-members into the office every day? This doesn’t mean that there is no value in meeting colleagues in person. Most people prefer to come into the office but have the option to work from home if they need to. This allows you as an employer to give your staff an additional amount of flexibility as well as a sense of trust from you as a manager.
Keeping the mental health and mindfulness of your employees at the forefront of your focus will pay off. Sometimes team members will need time off outside of the traditional holiday and sick days allotted to them. Some companies have embraced the concept of a ‘mental health day’. Nearly 80% of employees have experienced symptoms of poor mental health at some point and 62% of them attributed some of their symptoms to work. Giving an employee the freedom to simply take time off without having to fake an illness shows a strong degree of trust and care in their well-being. Allowing a ‘no questions’ day away will likely pay off far more than forcing a staff member who is unfit to work to come into the office.
5. Caring for family members
Keeping work and life in sync is a complicated juggling act for all of us but particularly for those of us who care for others. Employees with young children or perhaps an elderly parent who is in their care often struggle to make ends meet. You can support them by offering services such as partnering with a nearby nursery or retirement center.
With these initiatives, you will enable your employees to organise their private commitments with much more ease, reduce their stress levels. And when speaking of return on investment, showing your employees that their work-life balance is a priority will result in an organisation of happy, satisfied, hard-working and loyal team members.