Work life balance is a concept that has been doing the rounds for decades. But as we all know, it’s easier said than done.
Advances in technology mean we are online and available 24/7. This often blurs the lines between work time and downtime. Plus, it’s really hard to shake off the “work harder and longer than everyone else” mentality of the baby boomer generation.
In spite of this, creating a work environment that supports and encourages work life balance is essential for keeping your employees – and your business – healthy.
Read on to find out why this balance is so important, and to get some ideas on how to achieve it for you and your team.
Is There Such A Thing As Work Life Balance?
Healthy Employees = Healthy Business
The people on your team need to be mentally and physically well to perform at their optimum level.
Overworked people are stressed, and stress can lead to a vast array of health issues. These can be both mental and physical. You are likely to see more absenteeism, lower morale – and overall, a drop in productivity and retention.
On the contrary, people who feel that health and wellness inside AND outside of work are not only supported but encouraged, come to work refreshed and engaged. They will be more loyal to your business because they feel understood and valued, becoming loyal brand ambassadors.
Work life balance looks different for every individual. For some, it means being able to start or finish work at different times or work remotely. For others, it’s paid time off instead of traditional, segmented leave. For many, it’s merely being able to switch off once they have clocked out.
Creating a flexible work environment that caters to the widely varied needs of your team is critical. If your employees spend all their “life” time running around doing their off-work chores instead of truly relaxing, they are going to find it hard to focus on the job.
Enabling some flexibility during the workday to pop out for an appointment, make a phone call, or take care of their health can make a world of difference.
Foster Workplace Wellbeing
Balance isn’t just about giving people enough time away from work. It is equally important to make the workplace a positive place to be. Flexible hours and plenty of time off means nothing if your employees dread coming to work or head home feeling completely burned out every day.
Taking steps to build holistic wellbeing in the workplace will pay off in the long run. When looking at ways to improve your workplace wellbeing, remember to look to encompass the five essential elements of wellbeing – career, community, financial, physical and social. You will attract and retain top talent, and improve the bottom line of your business.
Here are some wellness in the workplace examples to consider:
- Career pathways and opportunities – discussions and planning
- Workplace massage
- Healthy snacks
- Team exercise initiatives or gym membership discounts
- Free sessions on financial literacy
- Quiet areas in the office for de-stressing
- Workshops and training relevant to your team
- Organised group activities to give back to your community
- Social downtime as a team
Model Balance At All Levels
Make sure that managers walk the walk and lead by example!
It’s all very well for the message to filter down through the ranks that it’s okay for people to leave on time, not reply to emails after hours, and take their leave each year, but if CEO’s and managers are modelling the opposite (overworking) behaviour, THAT is the message that people will heed.
Instead of working yourself to the bone, implement good practices of delegation. Also, boost your productivity time by switching off your phone and having focused work time without interruption. If you can make the most of your hours at work, then tasks won’t have to creep over into your home life.
Looking to get better work life balance at your workplace? Then get in touch with the Spice Gals. We can help you implement great practices for the whole team so that everyone has the opportunity to strike the balance they need between work and downtime.