National Work Life Week 2019: Promoting Work-Life Balance in the Workplace

National work-life week begins on the 7th of October 2019. It’s an initiative created to encourage employers and employees to focus on professional wellbeing and work-life balance.

As well as helping to reduce stress levels, encouraging a healthy balance between employment and downtime means your staff are more engaged, productive, and fulfilled.

It’s an opportunity to remind your staff of their right to request flexible working. You could also use the week to promote activities that encourage a healthy balance between their work and social life.

In this piece, we’ll explain what it means, highlight the benefits of a healthier approach to business life and offer some tips for promoting a healthy work-life balance.

 

What is work-life balance?

It’s the comparison between the amount of time and effort an employee spends at their job—or with work-related tasks—compared to what they spend on other aspects of their life. Such as family, friends, or hobbies.

A healthy work-life balance is one where an employee can maintain their personal and professional lives without allowing them to encroach on each other.

Various pieces of research found that employees with a balanced sense of work and private life are motivated, more productive and are less likely to experience burnout or stress at work.

There’s no exact formula for achieving a better work-life balance. It may vary depending on where your employees are in their lives.

Factors that can affect their work-life balance include:

  • Life goals.
  • Career goals.

 

Benefits of a positive work-life balance

There are many advantages for your organisation for promoting a healthy professional balance. By following work-life balance best practices, you can ensure your staff live a happier and healthier life. Some of the best approaches include:

  • Maintaining structure consistency.
  • Offering engagement opportunities.
  • Allowing a flexible schedule.
  • Encouraging holiday time, rather than presenteeism.
  • Offering an hour lunch break.
  • Providing time off for life events.
  • Engaging in team-building exercises.

 

The most important benefit is providing your staff with more control over their working life. This leads to other benefits including:

  • Increased morale, engagement and commitment to the organisation.
  • Better teamwork and communication between staff.
  • Recognition as a business that values its workforce.
  • Reduced staff turnover and the costs associated with recruitment.

 

Advantages for your business will also include:

  • Increased productivity.
  • Reduced absenteeism.
  • Lower stress levels, leading to less burnout.
  • Improved employee engagement.
  • Greater loyalty, commitment and motivation.

 

How to improve work-life balance for employees

By striking the right approach, your staff can split their time between their professional and social lives.

Consider the following ideas to improve work-life balance in the workplace:

Educate employees: By educating your staff on what the concept is (along with the benefits and how to achieve it), you provide them with the tools they need to help themselves.

Leading by example: You can promote wellbeing and encourage a positive balance between your job and home life. Leading by example means if you want your employees to leave on time at the end of the day, or to step away from their desks during their lunch breaks, you should do the same.

Work better not more: Spending more time at work may seem like it’ll lead to higher productivity levels, but this isn’t the case. For example, businesses in Britain have one of the longest working hours in the EU while their productivity is among the lowest compared to other countries. As well as keeping morale high, encouraging your staff to work smarter instead of longer improves their productivity levels and reduces the feeling of anxiety, stress, and other mental health conditions.

 

Work-life balance examples

Depending on your staff’s duties and the needs of your organisation, there’re numerous ways to encourage a healthy balance.

Telecommuting: This is ideal for those with long drives to work or personal commitments that’ll require them to spend more time at home. It involves making use of telecommunicating devices (email, telephone, IM, etc.) to work from home. Depending on the employee’s circumstances, this could be on a full or part-time basis.

Policies: By having policies that address leave periods flexibly, your staff feel less like they have to account for how they’re spending their time off. As opposed to offering a specific number of days off for holidays and sick leave, you can combine them and offer a specific number of paid days off they can take. This policy encourages a healthy work-life balance.

Training: Your managers are the first port of call with your employees so they’re in the best position to help them improve their work-life balance. By training them, they’re able to identify the signs of stress, burnout, and other issues and address them accordingly.

Physical wellbeing: Based on various pieces of research, the best way to reduce stress is exercise. By investing in gym facilities or offering subsidised gym memberships, you’re encouraging your employees to look after their physical health, which positively affects their productivity at work. Consider healthy competitions and physical activities as opportunities for encouraging and supporting employees.

 

Expert support

If you’d like any more guidance on how to promote work-life balance in the workplace, get in touch with Health Assured today on 0844 892 2493.

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