There has been a lot of talk about work-life balance - it really seems to be the buzzword phrase on everyone’s lips and for good reason. When the pandemic first began, most of the world’s workforce was told to “work from home immediately” - this shift from working in a physical workplace to embracing the workday sitting at home prompted a swift and major discussion of work-life balance.
Although many people embraced the idea of remote working (and continue to strive for that in the companies they choose to work for and the roles they choose), many people struggled with maintaining a work-life balance since there was no longer a “cut off” time in which they physically left the office and went home, separating the day into two very different focuses.
In his keynote speech at Running Remote in Montreal this year, our CEO and Founder, Ally Fekaiki, shared his insights on why the concept of work-life balance in the world of remote working is so important and just how we can, as a collective, strive towards a better work-life split.
If you’re keen to learn why supporting your employees to have a better work-life balance can have a hugely positive impact on your company and you’re looking for ways that you can actively do this, read on to find out more.
The Benefits of Work-Life Balance: Why Promoting Work-Life Balance Will Improve Employee Performance and Help You In The War For Talent
Having a good work-life balance can benefit both the employees within your team and your business as a whole to a huge extent.
When employees have a good work-life balance, their mental health is more likely to be supported since their stress levels will be lower, they will be able to enjoy their life outside of work in a more fulfilling manner, and they will be fully present working on their projects and tasks when at work due to the fact that they know when they’re at home they can fully unwind and relax.
In terms of employee performance, this can significantly improve it since it not only means they’re happier (and happier people perform up to 20% more productively at work), but they’re less likely to burnout and are more inclined to work to the best of their ability.
Clearly, all of these factors not only benefit employees’ mental health but they also directly benefit the company since output and performance as a whole will increase.
Moreover, in the war for talent, being a company that actively supports work-life balance is essential - findings from our own survey, the Workplace Morale Study, found that 58% of people would rather choose to work for a company that supports the work-life balance of their employees, offers a good workplace culture, and actively supports their wellbeing.
Therefore, if you want to attract the best possible team members, supporting work-life balance is something you should definitely be focused on.
So, how can you do that in your company?
8 Ways You Can Support Employees With Work-Life Balance
Here are 8 ways in which you can support your team members to have a better work-life balance, whether they are remote workers or if you have a physical workplace where every employee shows up Monday-Friday.
1. Set Clear Expectations of Working Hours
One of the most fundamental things you need to do when it comes to supporting a better work-life balance for your employees is clearly set and communicate your expectations to them. Even if you are a remote and flexible employer, communicating your expectations of when your “set” working hours as a company can help your team know when is suitable to arrange meetings/schedule calls/send emails, even if they want to work outside of these hours to suit their own lives and you don’t expect them online during this time.
If your team works in a physical office, relaying your expectations of work hours can help employees realise that they need to be there until a certain time but then after the workday comes to a close they are expected to stop work and leave their workday behind.
2. Set Expectations Regarding Email and Communication Apps
A huge issue that plagues work-life balance is the constant use of email and communication apps after work hours. If an employee is getting bombarded with work-related messages in the evening, it’s unlikely that they will feel switched off from their job. So, make sure you tell the entire team when you expect communication via apps and email to stop and promote them to mute or remove work apps once the workday has come to an end. This way, they won’t think you expect them to show up and be available online 24/7.
3. Regularly Review Workloads
Excessive or unrealistic workloads can often infringe on more of an employee’s time than they would like, meaning they may have to work in the evenings or on the weekends just to keep up. So, an easy solution to this is to take time on a regular basis and review the workloads of each team member. Make sure the company isn’t putting too many tasks or projects in the hands of a singular person, even if they seem to always be delivering the work on time.
4. Check-In With Employees On A Regular Basis
As well as reviewing the workloads of employees, making sure you are creating time on a regular basis to talk to them and properly check in with them is important. Ask them if they need any extra support, if they need to take a break, and how their mental wellbeing is. You should also attempt to get anonymous employee feedback on the management of the company every so often and see if there are any areas in which employees are not being properly supported.
5. Promote Taking Regular Breaks
Whether you send a message at midday on Slack to remind everyone to take a substantial amount of time off work for their lunch break or you walk around the office every hour and tell people to take 5 away from their desks, promoting regular breaks allows employees to take some mental and physical space from their projects and tasks throughout the workday, therefore helping reduce stress levels and improving productivity.
6. Offer Flexible Working
Not everyone is able to work to the best of their ability at the same time and people often have responsibilities outside of work that demand their attention or time during traditional work hours. So, why not allow your employees to create their own work-life routine and support their work-life balance in a way that suits them as an individual? Just remember, flexible workers still need help switching off too, so keep communication clear!
7. Support Relationships Within Your Team
People often begin to feel snowed under by work if they feel as if they have no one to turn to for help. So, reduce the likelihood of this situation occurring and support interpersonal relationships within your team so that everyone feels as if they can seek support from someone if they’re struggling. Scheduling team-building days in the office or simply introducing people and identifying who can support who in conversations via email or work apps can help employees feel less isolated and more able to reach out for help.
8. Support Self-Care and Wellbeing
Promoting work-life balance outside of the workplace is just as important as taking steps in the office to stop infringing this balance. So, make sure you are supporting the self-care and wellbeing of your team outside of work! You can do this easily by providing them with a personalised benefits programme that supports their mental and physical wellbeing, like Juno - we make employee wellbeing hassle-free.
Supporting Work-Life Balance Is The Key To A Happier and More Productive Workplace; So, Let’s Focus On It!
Whether you’re a people manager, in the HR team, or a CEO, your duty is to look after the health of the team and the business - supporting work-life balance is a simple and impactful way to do this. So, promote a better work-life balance for your team, now!