As industries keep getting more and more competitive, and the pressure to reduce costs continue to pile up on the ‘employer’ side of businesses, performance pressures and workload continues to increase for the ‘employees’. However, while it depends heavily on the employees to find a work life balance for themselves, there is an undeniable responsibility on the employers as well to ease the process for them and facilitate their workforce in bringing up this balance. For the purpose of this article, we will discuss the measures that a company leadership can take to ensure that their employees are well rested, motivated, and have an established work life balance. But before we get into tips and tricks, let’s quickly take a look at why this is important.
Why is work-life balance important?
When your employees are not overburdened with the world, they are more productive and engaged with your company. They are more willing to contribute ideas and more motivated to take initiative. There is also less employee turnover that not only brings you more efficiency, but saves your business a lot of time and resources from finding, re-hiring and training new employees. All of this culminates into higher growth and profitability for your business, increase morale of your staff and reduce small problems such as absenteeism. For your employees as well, there are many benefits to be gained from a work life balance. They learn better time management, develop better focus, gain better health and wellbeing and live life less stressful. Now let’s see some ways in which you can improve the work life balance for your employees.
Offer flexible working hours
Gone are the days when signing in at 8 a.m. used to be the norm for businesses. So are the days of dressing up in extremely formal and uncomfortable clothes. These days, with so much technology incorporated into the professional workings, there is hardly any need to work within a set amount of time. With more flexible hours, those employees who have families and need to care for their young ones or older family members will feel more welcome and facilitated by your company. Flexible working hours are also becoming more of a necessity than a privilege so you might as well provide that benefit and gain your employees’ gratitude instead of having to provide the same anyway but because it is now required by the regulations.
Don’t be stingy with holidays
Christmas, New Years, and Easter shouldn’t be the only days that your workforce needs to wait for to plan their holidays. If your employees know that they can afford to take one or two days off every month, they will be less likely to skip on work during the days they are at work. Off days are necessary for resting and recharging a person’s mind and energy for improved focus and productivity. Such holidays are also important to physical relaxation and mental health of your employees. The events occurring even beyond your company – social, political, personal etc. can be a source of stress for your employees, and it will be of benefit for you to give them paid time off to deal with all that pressure and responsibilities.
Employ technology and establish work boundaries
As has been mentioned earlier, the inclusion of technology eases the processes of work for your employees. For your company as well, this means less operating costs, fewer chances of error, and much better efficiency. You will also need updated technical capabilities, not only to be able to stay competitive with other players in your industry, but also to keep your business secrets secure and your strategies effective. While your employees will gain flexibility of working and less stringent requirement of being in a geographical location, your company will gain flexibility or operations and scalability of growth. This would also mean that you can outsource part of your technical departments to further ease the pressure on your employees and on your costs at the same time. While you are at utilizing technology, do something extra and establish certain limitations on work hours as well. With 24×7 access to virtual workplace, the managers and employees can both overdo the work limit and end up making things harder for everyone. So put in place some boundaries as well, such as submission of all reports before 10 p.m. etc
Leave your door open
This is an important factor of leadership, and it is as relevant to work life balance as it is to other aspects of human resource management. Unless the manger of a cohort is open to hearing complaints and active in resolving them, no degree of leaves, technology and flexibility will be able to provide you with the full range of motivation benefits. Without the support of higher ups, sometimes small and easily solvable grievances of employees can become a source of frustration and job dissatisfaction and can end up harming the company as much as individual employees.