Work-life balance (noun) – the division of one’s time and focus between working and family or leisure activities.
One small statement. One huge concept to achieve!
How often do you find work-life balance is raised when talking to co-workers, family and friends?
Going through a global pandemic where the lines between work and home were utterly obliterated, and as we see a massive shift in the way mental wellbeing is regarded and talked about, I’d imagine quite a lot!
And rightly so. A sustainable work-life balance isn’t just beneficial to us and our co-workers. It’s crucial for the business as a whole.
People need time away from work to spend time with family, participate in their community, nurture personal relationships and practice self-care.
In this blog, I’d like to look at the benefits of work-life balance in a company, and show you seven ways you can help your staff achieve equilibrium in their professional and personal lives.
Benefits to the company
People who feel happier and more balanced will be more productive and engaged. They’ll take fewer sick days due to illness or stress and be more likely to stick around and be your company’s biggest cheerleaders!
As a leader, you’re not 100% responsible for your staff’s work-life balance, but you can contribute by becoming a ‘people company’ where you put your people above everything else and reap the benefits of your good deeds.
And what does this all add up to? A business and people who thrive!
Seven ways to achieve a better work-life balance for your staff
1. Flexible working arrangements
The global pandemic was an enforced trial of homeworking and large-scale adoption of video-calling software. Thankfully, it worked out better than many ever imagined, and everyone has learnt how to make working differently work!
Flexible working arrangements could include:
- Working from home some, or all of the time, to eliminate tiring and stressful commutes and allow people the flexibility to take children to and from school.
- Flexible working hours to allow people to build fitness or other hobbies into the traditional 9-5.
- Moving to a 4-day working week.
- Something as simple as closing an hour earlier on a Friday to give people a positive end to their working week.
2. Promote health and wellbeing
You could offer subsidised or discounted gym memberships to encourage people to get moving in their spare time. Or you could consider seminars on work-life balance, health and wellbeing, or support healthy activities at work such as running clubs or fitness classes.
Great Places to Work have pulled together a report on the companies who are getting it right when it comes to employee wellbeing. To download their report, head to:
3. Encourage and support holidays
We all know those people who are too busy to take a holiday or are afraid no one else can do what they do, and the business will crumble in their absence. The problem is that they’re only heading in one direction… directly to Burnout City!
Create a culture where time off is encouraged and celebrated for what it achieves…time away to recharge, reflect and come back stronger.
4. Create a learning environment
Learning is fantastic for our wellbeing. It can help boost confidence and self-esteem. It can give us a greater sense of purpose and enable us to foster connections with others.
Your staff don’t have to enrol on a formal course. It could be something as simple as learning new Excel skills to make their job easier or shadowing another part of the business to broaden their knowledge and help them see how their role affects the business as a whole.
Try to create an environment of curiosity and continual growth!
5. Promote breaks
We are not designed to be sedentary, but how often do we find ourselves metaphorically chained to our desks?!
Encourage your staff to take regular movement breaks or build some time into their working day to get fresh air and exercise. You could adopt a company-wide policy of no meetings from 12-1pm to inspire people to have lunch or do something just for them in the middle of the day.
These are all excellent practices for boosting the immune system and preventing absenteeism.
6. Focus on productivity rather than time
A great leader will set SMART targets that focus on getting the job done, rather than merely on how long someone’s working for.
Did you know giants like Netflix and Virgin have adopted ‘unlimited leave’ policies? No approval for leave is needed, and nobody is counting how many days are taken. As long as the job gets done, they’re treating their people as the capable adults they are! Sometimes it’s the most straightforward ideas that can have the most significant impact on creativity and innovation.
You may not be able to implement such a strategy but focusing on what needs to be done rather than how long someone is working for CAN work for all businesses.
7. Walk the talk!
The best way to drive a culture change is to set a good example. There’s no point putting all these measures in place if you don’t truly back them, or live and breathe them 24/7.
Create meaningful targets, trust your people, be realistic with your wishes, and don’t send emails at 8pm, for goodness’ sake!
Interested in finding out more?
If any of your employees need coaching support to help improve their work-life balance I’m your woman.
Let’s have a virtual coffee and a chat and create a plan to get the most out of your greatest resource… your people!
Contact me to arrange a free discovery call to find out how I can help you.