In today’s workaholic environment, most working people spend a big chunk of their time at work and end up falling prey to an imbalance in their work-life.
This imbalance can not only affect their personal lives but can affect their work as well like productivity issues.
In this article, we will cover the following:
- What is work-life balance?
- Why is work-life balance important?
- 8 ways to encourage a healthy work-life balance
So, let us first understand what a healthy work-life balance exactly means.
What is Work-life Balance?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, work-life balance can be defined as, “the amount of time you spend doing your job compared to the amount of time you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy.”
Speaking in layman terms, work-life balance may refer to your ability to manage the time you spend working, and the quality time you spend with your family, friends, and doing what you love to do.
Now that you understand what the term ‘work-life balance’ means, let us find out why balancing your work-life is so important.
Why is Work-life Balance Important?
When you encourage work-life balance in your company, you avoid the two most critical issues in a workplace, i.e. Chronic Stress and Burnout. This will not only help you in keeping your employees happy but will also help you enhance their work and retain them.
Furthermore, recent trends suggest that 5 out of 10 candidates apply for jobs based on the working conditions in organizations.
Thus, ensuring work-life balance will help you to direct more candidature towards your organization.
Let us see how a healthy work-life balance can benefit your employees:
– Reduces stress:
Numerous studies claim that workplace stress is a major source of stress in working American adults:
A major reason behind this accumulated stress is that employees take up work-loads that are way beyond their capacities.
And while a greater workload ‘might’ imply more income, it is almost a ‘definite’ source of stress and anxiety.
Work-life balance involves methods to configure your life and make space for some personal time. When you start participating in some light recreational activities instead of simply drowning yourself in work, you rejuvenate yourself and in the process, increase your work efficiency.
This also reduces stress both at work as well as at home.
– Improves Mental Health:
According to ‘CAMH’, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, stress leads to a long string of mental disorders like anxiety, depression, lack of sleep and the list goes on.
When you reduce the level of stress-induced within your mind through the various methods of work-life balance discussed later on in this article, you will automatically make space for positive thoughts.
– Improves Physical Health:
Overexertion for a prolonged duration of time leads to the proliferation of numerous physical ailments.
By establishing a work-life balance, you can ensure that your employees are protected from overexertion and its related minions.
– Living in the Present:
Simply speaking, Work-life Balance will ensure that your employees live in the present. They will learn how to keep their work-related stress at their offices and their home-related stress at their homes.
When your employees work without worrying about household issues because they have already assigned time to work on those, they will be able to put their best foot forward at work and thereby improve the efficiency of your organization.
– Improves Relationships:
Having experienced the above benefits, your employees now stand rejuvenated and motivated to perform better. With this kind of thought process, they will be open to suggestions and work to improve their performances. This will also improve the relationship between your employees and your management and establish a healthy atmosphere in your office.
If you are still apprehensive about whether you should invest in improving the work-life balance in your company, here is a list of some popular companies that have already worked towards this goal and now reap its benefits.
8 Ways to Encourage Work-life Balance?
Despite the benefits of work-life balance, implementing it to suffice every employee in your organization can be a real hassle.
People are unique and so are their requirements. Unique personalities also depend upon unique methods to calm their minds. However, you still need to ensure that you cater to most of their health requirements.
Don’t panic. This part of the article has been dedicated to empowering you with methods to ensure a healthy work-life balance for your employees.
1. Flexible Working Hours
The importance of flexible working hours to provide a stress-free environment cannot be stressed enough. Let your employees work whenever is best for them. Assess their work based on quality and quantity rather than the time they spend in offices.
‘Sage’ conducted a poll to determine what the employees wanted concerning the work timings assigned by their organizations. Out of 3,500 employees that were interviewed, 81% expressed that they wanted their employers to trust them to manage their work by giving them flexible working times based on their preferences.
2. Work From Home
Offer Work From Home services to your employees to finish work-loads that do not necessarily require an office.
This will help them in fulfilling their responsibilities to their families while simultaneously satisfying their job requirements.
3. Limited Workloads
Ensure that your employees are given a regular amount of work. This will prevent unwanted anxiety when they are at home worrying about what they need to do the next day. It will also help them prepare for the upcoming targets and manage their time more efficiently.
4. Encourage Breaks in Between Busy Schedules
Spending long hours in the same position will incur spinal disorders along with neck and back pain in your employees. Encourage them to take breaks in between their work to incorporate some kind of movement to circulate their blood flow and stay fresh.
As per research, spending more than 8 hours in a sitting posture over a long tenure can lead to numerous postural damages like disc damage, strain in the neck, and back pain.
5. Physical Exercise
Physical Exercise is an inevitable ingredient for a healthy life. You can provide your employees with gymnasiums within the office and allow flexible timings for its users based on the employees’ preferences.
Exercise not only rejuvenates the body and mind but also helps in developing personalities. A confident employee won’t shy away from representing your organization and will also encourage others to work on themselves. A little healthy competition is always good to get better results.
However, if your organization’s office isn’t big enough to incorporate a gymnasium, you can always associate with the local gymnasium and provide your employees with subsidized rates on memberships and supplements.
6. Cut Off, Rejuvenate, Come Back
Encourage your employees to use some of their paid leave to cut off from their work and involve themselves in family outings and recreational events that rejuvenate their minds.
Frequent doses of quality time with family members can work wonders to reduce tensions in their homes. And when your employees are not stressed over home-related issues, they can work efficiently and tackle their work-related challenges without reserving their energy for unknown troubles.
7. Incorporate a Healthy-Canteen
Establish a canteen that provides healthy yet delicious food to your employees. For some people, a happy belly is a path to a happy mind.
Ensure that your employees use the canteen to eat good food at lesser expenses and stay hydrated throughout the day.
8. Seminars to Spread Awareness
Conduct programs to spread awareness amongst your employees. Teach them the following to ensure that they manage a healthy work-life balance.
– Know your limits:
Employees should be aware of their capacities and take up work-loads concerning how much they can do without inducing unnecessary stress upon themselves.
Teach your employees how to manage their time. Ask them to prepare a priority list and distribute their time according to these priorities.
– Take some ‘Me-Time’:
Your employees must take some time off of their work and engage in some recreational activities or physical activities based on their preferences. Ensure that they are rejuvenated and fit to work at their maximum potentials with all their heart.
Implement What You Learnt
Now that you understand the ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’ related to work-life balance, all you need to do is incorporate this newfound knowledge in your organizations. Keep in mind that similar to how a nation is as good as its citizens, your organization will be as good as your employees’ conditions.
The methods mentioned above will help you ensure that your employees maintain an apt balance in their work-life while reserving sufficient time to tackle home-related issues and live happily.
Most importantly, when you incorporate work-life balance in your organization, you ensure that your employees live in the present. As the legendary Master Oogway once said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present.”. So, help your employees live in the present and stay healthy both physically and mentally.