In this era of smartphones, email, texting, and social media, it’s too easy to always be available. The traditional lines that once distinctly separated work and home are no longer so clear. While all the communication tools we now have access to certainly have their advantages, there’s still a need for designated downtime and complete removal from work. We all need time to recharge and concentrate on family and personal needs.
Employees are looking for a good work-life balance now more than ever before. And employers realize that by cultivating this dynamic, employees avoid burnout and work more effectively when they are on the clock.
However, recognizing its importance is only part of it. Managers need to actively encourage and support it as well. Try these tips to promote a healthy work-life dynamic in your business.
1. Find out what your employees need
The definition of a healthy work-life balance will vary among employees, ranging from scheduling flexibility and total hours worked to supporting those who are responsible for the care of young children or elderly parents.
The simplest way to determine your employees’ needs is to ask them. This may be best done through one-on-one conversations or having your team complete a survey. You’ll likely get a ton of useful information, and while you may not be able to accommodate everyone’s needs, the information should help you make changes to affect the majority of staff.
2. Look for signs of burnout
Employers should not only be assessing employee job performance, but should also be watching for signs of stress or burnout such as physical signs of fatigue, increased absenteeism, or poor job performance. When you notice signs of burnout, it would be an ideal time to talk with them about their responsibilities and assess their workload.
3. Provide employee education on the importance of work-life balance
Educate your staff on the benefits and importance of a healthy work-life balance. Offer webinars, on-site speakers, or access to online apps that teach your team how to live a healthier lifestyle.
4. Promote good physical and mental health
Critical components in supporting a healthy work-life dynamic include supporting both physical and psychological health. Encourage employees to live an active lifestyle. Support them with reimbursements for gym memberships or other physical activities, organize group participation in local runs/walks, or simply provide space for people to share pictures and stories of their adventures.
Encourage employees to pay attention to their mental health. Support them with creative outlets at work, offer opportunities to learn new skills, encourage time for personal recharging such as breaks during the day, vacations, or personal days.
Be it physical or mental health, allowing flexibility to attend healthcare appointments is a great way to show that you value their health and want them to be able to bring their best selves to work.
5. Consider flexible schedules
Offering flexibility with schedules can be an easy opportunity to win some big points with your team. When it works for your company schedule, allow some flex time for employees to take care of their responsibilities outside of work – kids’ events, appointments, or caretaking.
This fairly small gesture acknowledges that you support your team not only as employees but as individuals with families of their own. And that goes a long way to earning some much-desired loyalty.
6. Support telecommuting
Working remotely can be a great perk or a necessary business function. With more and more people leaving the traditional office setting, companies and entire industries are being created to cater to this demographic. While it may have seemed like a stretch a few years ago to make this dynamic successfully work for your company, give it a new look and see how it may be beneficial for your employees and your company as well. You may consider allowing remote work a few times a week or month, or you may find that it will enable you to hire much-needed talent from a different part of the country.
If your concern has been productivity, or lack thereof, then part of the consideration should be to evaluate the systems you have for tracking and logging employee work, the communication protocols you have between employees and their supervisors, and the communication channels for the company.
7. Take vacation
Lead by example and let staff see that you consider it essential to take care of yourself and value time with your family. All too often leaders and employees alike accumulate paid time off, but are too hesitant to actually take a vacation.
And when you are on vacation, set boundaries and limit your availability for phone calls and email. Show your team that vacation time should be cherished and taken without guilt. Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of actually being on vacation. It’s a win-win!
Your company may not be able to accommodate some of these ideas due to the type of work you do. And that’s okay. But taking the time to show your staff that you care about them should be something every business can do.
Supporting your employees as individuals shows that you’re paying attention – to them. And what do we want more than just about anything as human beings? To know that we’re seen and that we matter. Find ways to show your team that you care.
Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners
Photo by melpomen