Research shows that a positive work-life balance can increase productivity, and it’s believed that a work-life imbalance can increase business costs. As a decision-maker at a business, it’s your job to see that employees maintain a healthy work-life balance — for their sake and their company’s. Use the following tips to help promote a better work-life balance for the employees in your organization.
Limit Employees’ Working Hours
People who work longer hours tend to find that their productivity declines the more they work. Additionally, 31% of people say that long working hours cause health problems. Limit your employees’ hours to give them time to focus on the life part of work-life balance. TNT’s Hong Kong manager says they enforce a maximum 48-hour work week.
If possible, enable flexible working hours that will allow employees to balance their work around their personal needs.
Implement Financial Education Programs
According to the American Psychological Association, money consistently ranks as the number one stressor for Americans. Teach your employees how to manage their finances in order to reduce stress and boost productivity. Provide them with programs where they can learn about personal finance on their own time, customized to their needs. You should see them experience fewer money problems, which will boost their mood and value at work.
Provide Wellness Services
Another issue to address with work-life balance is personal health and wellness. Too often, personal health is put on the backburner so employees can focus on work and family instead of themselves, but taking the time to care for oneself, in turn, helps everyone else around them.
Encourage your employees to better themselves, and therefore better your company, by focusing on their own mind and body. Offer free or discounted wellness services, which can include:
- Access to exercise equipment and group fitness classes
- Periodic health screening and assessments
- Mental health support
- Nutrition services
- Health education programs
When your employees aren’t worried about the cost, it can help encourage them to participate in healthy activities.
Limit Emails After Hours
These days, employees are constantly connected to work, even when they’re at home. An email during dinner can take them away from their home life, even for a minute, but it sends their work-life balance off track and can increase stress.
According to Entrepreneur, “About half of small-business employees say they receive too much email, with about one-third of those saying that email overload hurts productivity.” Avoid sending emails when they’re not urgent, especially outside of working hours, and encourage your employees to do the same.
Lead by Example
Even when a healthy work-life balance is encouraged, people don’t always take advantage of it. Only 20% of people actually step away from their desk for lunch. Furthermore, Americans rarely claim all the vacation days they’re offered. In fact, America is ranked as the fifth workaholic country in the world.
Show employees that it’s okay to take a break every now and then – lead by example. Step away from your desk at lunch, take your vacation days, and by all means, head home from work when the day is over. You don’t want your employees working themselves to death, but you shouldn’t be overworked, either.
Ask Employees What They Need
Be attentive to your employees’ needs, and you should begin noticing their work-life balance start to equalize as you respond to those needs. For example, if they need an extra half hour in the morning to get their children to school, allow them the flexibility. If they need access to affordable babysitting services, consider an on-site childcare service for employees’ families.
Encouraging a positive work-life balance can greatly reduce your business costs and increase productivity. Start with the above tips to help create a positive working culture and lower stress levels within your organization.