How to Encourage Positive Work-Life Balance at Your Workplace
Although not new, the concept of "work-life balance" has become particularly relevant over the last few years. This can be attributed in part to the rising number of millennials in the workforce, who are expected to account for 75% of all workers by 2025.
With the high priority millennials place on well-being, mental health, and flexibility, it's no surprise the concept is growing in popularity. One of the biggest impacts an emphasis on positive work-life balance can have at your workplace is the ability to better attract and retain talent.
This is just one of the multiple benefits for your business. Let’s look at some other advantages that embracing this evolving trend can bring to your organization, and effective ways you can to foster work-life balance for your employees.
The benefits of promoting a healthy work-life balance for employees
Employers committed to building an environment that supports a positive work-life balance can reduce costs and enjoy business growth as a result of:
It’s widely believed that working overtime will boost productivity. However, research reveals that longer working hours lead to exhaustion, which impairs employee performance and reduces the overall productivity of the organization. On the contrary, short breaks increase energy levels and decrease fatigue, which results in better productivity.
Consider allowing staff members to manage their own time and schedules (where appropriate).
Improved employee satisfaction
Job satisfaction is an employee’s perception of the extent to which the organization has met their expectations. A healthy work-life balance directly translates into increased job satisfaction, and this is essential for building a productive and motivating environment.
More loyal and committed employees
Promoting a positive work-life balance results in increased employee engagement and retention, which helps businesses reduce turnover costs and build a better brand reputation. Under such conditions, workers tend to be more committed and actually work harder as a result.
Reduced employee burnout
This survey by Kronos identified unfair compensation, an unreasonable workload, and too much overtime work as the top three factors contributing to workplace burnout—leading to increased stress and absenteeism. Overworking employees leads to health problems and poor performance and is a major productivity killer. Establishing a healthy work-life balance helps to minimize employee burnout in your workplace.
Examples of successful work-life balance in countries around the world
The OECD Work-Life Balance study assesses 22 countries on how well they balance work and everyday life. The critical metrics considered were the percentage of employees who worked long hours (50 hours or more each week), leisure time, and gender comparisons. Let's take a closer look at the top three countries who rank highly in work-life balance:
One of the key factors in work-life balance is the amount of time spent in the office, only around 1% of the workforce in Denmark work very long hours, which is much less than the average of 10% for all OECD countries. Full-time employees devote more time to personal care and leisure activities daily than the average of 15 hours, which brings extra physical and mental health benefits.
In addition, Danish Flexjobs grant flexible time agreements to workers over forty and a reduced workload to employees over fifty-eight. With such working arrangements, employees are paid based on their contribution and the effective work done instead of working hours.
Employees working long hours comprise just 0.3% of the workforce, and full-time workers devote a little more time (15.4 hours) to their personal life and hobbies than the average.
Only 0.4% of Swiss employees work extended hours, which is much less than the average for all OECD countries. Full-time workers devote about 15 hours to personal care and leisure activities daily.
How to encourage a positive work-life balance
Promoting a favorable balance between work and personal life is a challenge faced by companies and workers alike. What can you do to effectively foster it in your organization so your business and employees can take advantage of all the benefits it brings without negatively impacting your bottom line?
Use time-saving technology
Offering workplace flexibility is a great way to focus on employees and accommodate a better work-life balance. Implementing flexibility requires the right kind of technology to make this arrangement work for your organization. A digital sign in solution for visitors & employees is a great place to start.
Time-saving solutions, such as an employee sign in app and a hot desk management platform help to increase productivity and streamline the employee experience. Employees will be able to sign in quickly using their mobile devices and location-specific QR codes, eliminating time-consuming manual sign in processes.
A dedicated employee sign in solution can help facilitate hybrid and remote work arrangements by easily indicating where people are working that day, and improving overall office transparency.
A visitor management system helps to ensure visitors have clear instructions when they sign in and means they don't need to distract employees when they arrive.
Relieved from lengthy and complicated desk booking and sign in procedures, your on-site and remote team can invest their time in self-development or personal care.
Encourage staff to use their leave
- Establish a company vacation policy that strongly encourages every employee to take a particular number of days off each year.
- The business management team should set the leading example.
- Management should communicate with employees and explain why it is essential to take time off.
- Businesses should have a backup system for when employees are unwell or decide to go on holiday.
Why should businesses make taking vacations and time off mandatory?
- Encouraging employees to take days off during the year will help them relax and get a break from work.
- Breaks help reset people’s minds so they can develop better and more innovative ideas to grow the business and solve problems.
- Employees will be more productive and motivated.
Encourage breaks during the working day
- Inform your employees about the benefits of taking breaks.
- Management should set an example of also taking breaks.
- Host social lunch breaks if your business uses the traditional or hybrid work model.
- Employers can send a reminder to employees working remotely to take breaks every day.
Taking regular breaks is one of a few safety considerations for your remote workers. Here's why:
- Breaks allow employees to re-energize and be more productive in the workplace.
- After taking a break, employees are more focused and goal-driven.
- Breaks can help employees to develop healthier habits.
- Did you know, 15 minutes of exposure outdoors to sunlight (even on a cloudy day) will boost a person's alertness by surpressing melatonin production? We learned that during SwipedOn wellness week with Scandi Holistic Health Coaching.
Actively promote well-being in the workplace
- Offering mental health awareness programs and counseling is one of the most acceptable methods to enhance employee wellbeing at your office.
- Businesses can create a comfortable workplace.
- Businesses should encourage communication between employees.
Why should businesses regularly promote well-being in the workplace?
- A positive work-life balance creates a friendlier environment for everyone in the workplace.
- Employees will be more engaged at work.
It’s not the sole responsibility of businesses to promote a positive work-life balance for employees. However, by investing the time and effort to do it will help create a highly productive, engaged, and loyal workforce which will pay off in the long term.