Balance, a term that is associated with almost everything we do knowingly or unknowingly. Today’s work culture largely revolves around the concept of balance. Here, the balance I’m talking about is the one between work and life. Times are hectic, humans are more engaged, and achieving a perfect work-life balance seems like a far-fetched dream.
Work hours are no longer limited to office hours. Back when most of the work was manual, getting some free time away from work wasn’t that hard. Professionals will be able to relax and take care of other priorities. But with the amalgamation of the technological and IT revolution, the whole scenario has changed. Accessing resources is no longer a concern and work emails can pop up at any time.
The Balance between Work and Personal Life and its Impact on Organizations
“The balance is not better time management, but better limit management. Balance means making decisions and enjoying those decisions.” – Betsy Jacobson.
One can view work-life balance as the approach to maintaining the same number of hours between work and play. But it is not!
Having a well-balanced work life isn’t just about getting to and from work on time. In a broader perspective, it is about prioritizing things according to their importance.
Prioritizing things helps a person save time and energy. Thus allowing you to establish a perfect balance between work and personal life.
Speaking of its impact, work-life balance is imperative for employees, but it affects the organization as well. Employees who can give equal importance to their well-being are happier and more satisfied. And this is reflected in their performance and behavior at work.
Additionally, employees who enjoy an excellent work-life balance are also potential advocates for their respective organizations. And this makes for a very good reason for companies to reframe their corporate culture to promote work-life balance.
The positive side of this does not end there. Here are some points that further reflect why organizations should take note of this, such as:
- Attract the best talent.
- Higher retention rates.
- Improve the work culture.
- Improve employee engagement and more.
What can be done to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance?
As an employer, you have a significant role to play in ensuring that your employees don’t get caught up in the dispute over work-life balance.
Here are the 20 best ways to achieve work-life balance
1. Take time off between work
Taking time off between work helps deal with stress. The human body is not designed to endure long hours at a time. Physical movements like a light walk or desk exercises can be really helpful here.
Such short breaks will help you recover from fatigue and improve agility at work.
2. Free time for volunteering
Volunteering is a great way to stay social and build interpersonal connections. Encouraging employees to volunteer for social causes helps them de-stress and engage socially.
In addition, it also helps to promote the CSR of a company, that is, the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives. Thus, earning goodwill for the organization and its employees.
3. Proper planning
Planning daily activities at work is another way to manage a good work-life balance. Help people prioritize their actions based on the importance of the task.
Furthermore, adhering to a well-designed plan also helps save a lot of time at work. Therefore, allowing them to focus on other houses besides work or take it to rejuvenate.
4. Promote a healthy lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle plays a big role in an employee’s quest to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Healthy employees are like the crown jewels for all organizations. A better work-life balance affects the physical and mental health of employees. Considering this fact, it greatly hampers your productivity. Encouraging employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle eliminates several health risks.
Just as being in good physical health helps one stay energetic, a stress-free mind is a room full of clarity. This helps employees excel both in their careers and in life. A healthy lifestyle is also a great stress management solution and helps employees deal with stress smoothly.
5. Promote the policy of not working at home after working hours
More often, employees bring their work home to make up deadlines. The inability to leave work in the workplace is a major problem resulting from the excessive workload borne by employees. Committing to work outside of business hours hinders the amount of rest the human body needs.
Furthermore, it maligns the social life of individuals which is necessary for a healthy mentality. Employers can make sure this doesn’t happen by adopting a strict “No Work at Home” policy.
6. Flexible work hours
Maintaining a good work balance is not possible if there is no personal time left after leaving work. In such a case, having flexible working hours becomes very important. Flexibility in work schedules helps employees to focus as much on their own personal and social aspects of life as on their work.
In addition, such hours can positively affect an individual’s performance at work. Also, it works as an alternative stress management technique.
7. Time management
Time management is a very important aspect when it comes to having a proper balance between work and life.
The elderly of individuals tend to ignore this phase. As a result, they end up overwhelmed by work at the end of the day with no time for themselves. So one needs to make sure that you have a proper routine for the day.
8. Encourage hobbies
Each of us has a hobby like reading, painting, photography, dancing, collecting old stamps and so on. A good balance between personal and professional life is not limited only to giving importance to work and family. It is also about giving importance to the things that one loves to do on a personal level.
With all the nuances and yells between managing work and family, we often miss out on nurturing our own hopes and aspirations. Having a hobby encourages an employee to take time for themselves.
In fact, this helps them to satisfy the thirst for a good life according to the preference of an employee. Having a hobby helps employees regain time for themselves, even in the midst of their busy schedule.
9. Motivate work from home
Motivating work from home at least once a week or as needed could help detox from daily workplace stress. Working from home with loved ones nearby or pampering pets while working leaves a positive impact on an employee’s mind.
When employees have such benefits, it frames a great sense of gratitude in their minds towards their employers. It also makes them advocates for your organization. Thus, giving the impetus to a great employee-employer relationship.
10. Paid vacation time
Today, vacations are no longer luxuries. Rather it is more of a necessity. It’s about time employers realized how vacation from work has become an important part of today’s work culture. Allowing employees to take long breaks without sacrificing their wages is very effective. Employees feel more rejuvenated and relaxed after returning to work, leading to better productivity.
11. Regular feedback survey and work-life balance
Regular employee screening is an essential part of creating a healthy work environment. Situations may differ with the changing times, and keeping track of these changes becomes very important to implement effective solutions. These allow employers to fix issues that can act as roadblocks to achieving a good work balance.
Receiving employee feedback and surveying employees further helps organizations get to know them better and work on issues raised.
12. Maternity and paternity leave
The joy of being a parent can never be ignored, and each of us is entitled to enjoy this moment. However, this joy comes with several responsibilities that no one is immune to, and this could create a roadblock when it comes to work life.
Therefore, to mitigate this problem, you can plan to introduce maternity and paternity leave plans for all your employees. This will benefit your employees, but it will also greatly improve your brand image.
13. Daycare facility
Most parents whose children are under five years of age struggle to juggle responsibilities. This becomes even more difficult when both parents are professionals, and have to choose between work or life. And this could severely affect their career, sometimes preventing them from progressing.
Here, as a responsible employer, you may never want this to happen to your employees, so you can plan to organize daycare facilities within the organization or somewhere really close.
14. Allow remote work
The ability to work from anywhere is a dream of every professional. It is not that they are going to travel all the time but because they can choose their own workplace correctly.
This facility would help attract the best talent on board. In addition, it will allow everyone to fulfill their social commitments without wasting time.
15. Pet-friendly workspace
Pet-friendly workspaces are booming around the world as millennials and Gen Z join the workforce. These generations of employees are full of life and love for their pets. Allowing your employees to bring their pets will give them peace of mind and create a joyful atmosphere in the workplace.
16. Team building exercises
Team building is all about getting people to work together to achieve a common goal. It can be an incredibly effective way to improve relationships. However, many people don’t understand that building a team can also be beneficial for work-life balance
One of the best ways to create a better work-life balance is to plan activities that bring your team together in a nice way. While it may not be possible to get everyone together, you can often design exercises or events that bring a few team members together.
17. Unpaid time off for personal reasons
Life is unpredictable. There may come a time when you want to offer your employees unpaid time off to handle personal matters. It may be a family emergency, a personal tragedy, or other illnesses.
In the United States, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) grants eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave per year. They may enjoy this permit for the birth or adoption of a child or for the care of a relative with a serious health problem.
FMLA also requires all employees to return to their job or an equivalent position at the end of their leave, with the same benefits, pay, etc.
18. Designated Quiet Space
Incorporating a designated quiet space into your workplace can keep your team productive, happy, and healthy. Employees can use the space to reflect, meditate or just take a break from the hustle and bustle of the office.
A quiet space should be a place where employees can take a moment to reflect, focus, and get work done.
Make sure the room is cozy and well cared for. It should have comfortable seats, lots of plants, and some good books or magazines. You can even listen to some music to create a relaxing atmosphere.
19. Focus on physical health
It’s not easy to maintain an active lifestyle or find time to hit the gym on a busy schedule.
An office gym would help not only the physical health of your employees, but also their mental health and work-life balance.
It is also an excellent incentive program for employees to lead a healthy lifestyle. Standing desks and treadmill desks are also making the rounds in office design.
20. Free time to innovate
Google is a prime example of a company that encourages creativity in its employees. Google’s 80/20 rule (or Time Off to Innovate) allows engineers to spend one day or 20% of their work week. You can be in any project they choose as long as it relates to their current job.
Even if you don’t have the resources to implement a similar policy, you can still encourage creativity. If your employees are interested in pursuing a certain project, find ways to give them time for it outside of work hours.
Generally, people think that having a good career is having a good life. But it may not always be the same way. One can face different situations that could interrupt the usual schedule. With this, the opportunity to spend quality time after long hours at work could give way. Thus, resulting in a poor work-life balance.
Maintaining this balance is not that difficult if you set your things based on priority. Along with a good work-life balance, you should also think about better work-life integration. This sets the tone for a healthy balance in your professional life. And to help you with that, I’ve listed a few points that, if you’d like to follow through, can lead to positive results with respect to work-life balance.