By ‘work-life balance’, we mean the equilibrium needed between a worker's work and personal life. It suggests that the demands of an employee's social, professional and family lives are equal.
The right balance is essential to maintaining the health and well-being of your employees. A positive balance can improve productivity, morale and engagement just as a negative one contributes to an increase in retention rates, absenteeism and stress.
Employers have only recently started to realise the importance of balancing both lives and the difference it makes to the workforce and to their overall objectives.
Our friends over at Peninsula have sent us across this piece, examining the importance and benefits of promoting a positive work-life balance. They also offer some tips on how employers can encourage a healthy balance between both.
The benefits of a healthy work-life balance
There are numerous advantages of having a healthy balance between work and personal life. We’ll break this down into the benefits for the employer and the employee.
Benefits to the organisation include:
- Reduced absences.
- Improvements to morale.
- Increased productivity and engagement.
- Recognition as a business that values employees and their well-being.
- Reduced retention and by extension reduction in costs related to recruiting new employees.
Benefits to staff members include:
- Happier and engaged.
- More productive at work.
- More likely to stay at a company that values them.
- Fewer instances of stress and extreme pressure.
- Increased loyalty which means they’re more likely to stay longer at the company.
Tips for promoting a healthy work-life balance
To promote a healthy balance, you need to be able to recognise what a poor work-life balance looks like.
Some tell-tale signs include:
- A decrease in productivity.
- High levels of absences.
- Increased stress.
The measures you take to create a healthy work-life balance will depend on the type of organisation, its operational requirements and the needs of your employees.
However, here are some general tips that can apply to any business:
Flexible working: Inform employees of their right to request flexible working. There are different types including part-time, flexi-time and job sharing. This way your staff have the chance to fit other commitments and activities around their work commitments.
Outsourcing: Consider outsourcing the nonessential elements of your business. This frees you up to focus on core activities within your organisation and reduces the pressure on your employees. For example, you can outsource office admin, data entry and secretarial work to virtual assistants freeing you and your staff up to do what you do best.
Physical and mental well-being: There are things you can do as an employer to help your workers maintain healthy lifestyles. From subsidised gym memberships to fresh fruit days, yoga classes and more. You can also consider investing in programmes that offer counselling services for stress, depression and other mental health issues.
Practice what you preach: Finally, it’s one thing to talk the talk but you also need to be seen walking the walk. Encourage managers and supervisors to socialise with colleagues and lead the charge creating boundaries between their work life and home life.