A work-life balance strategy is an important component of a company’s mission and overall culture. It plays a major role in creating an engaged and motivated workforce. Employees who properly balance their career and personal goals are able to be more focused on their work, without giving up personal priorities in the process. Below are a few insights into how to design a work-life balance strategy that encompasses typical employee demands.
Get the timing right
Flextime is in high demand in the modern workplace and is driving companies away from the traditional nine to five workday. Employers are introducing a specific number of hours to work versus a designated time frame. Employees design their own work schedule, helping to make more time for personal appointments or priorities. It has shown positive effects such as reducing employee stress and burnout and allows employees to work when they are most productive. For example, if an individual finds they are more productive in the morning, they can begin work at 7:00 am instead of 9:00 am. Tech-based communication tools make it easier than ever to work at any time of day, with employees being able to conveniently connect to their work at any time and anywhere.
Speaking of working from anywhere, remote work is an extension of flextime, giving employees an opportunity to work from their homes instead of within an office space. Studies have found that professionals that have the flexibility to work from home are 87% more likely to love their job. Remote work is becoming a norm but requires employers to implement and evolve their strategy and processes to support it, starting with technology. Tech-based solutions make it possible for remote employees to remain connected with the company, their fellow employees, and clients. It also allows their productivity metrics to be tracked so employers can adjust their strategy to ensure everyone is efficient in their role.
Support healthy lifestyles
Work-life balance strategies need to include health and wellness elements to promote and support healthy employee lifestyles. Start with investing in fitness incentives. Offer discounted memberships to local fitness centers or gym reimbursements. Implement an HCM software that includes a wellness program in addition to these incentives to help employees keep track of their goals and create healthy competition within the workplace. Promote mid-day walks or fitness events that the whole company can get involved in for a low-cost wellness initiative as well to get employees away from their desks and daily tasks for an hour a day. Busy work and personal schedules sometimes make it difficult to stick to a healthy diet as well. Introduce nutritionist services to aid in helping employees maintain healthy diets, which reflects positively on energy levels and productivity.
Both physical fitness and diet directly correlate to strong mental health. The above incentives, when introduced within a work-life balance strategy, help prevent burnout, anxiety, and stress. Employers should consider providing mental health care within a health plan. A recent study found that one in five adults reported having a mental illness, while 71% reported at least one symptom of stress, such as feeling overwhelmed or anxious due to their professional life. Giving them an opportunity to take care of their mental health in addition to their physical health allows employees to receive the care they need to be their best, both in the workplace and in their personal time.
Offer growth opportunities
Continued self-development and growth opportunities apply to work-life balance as well. Offer classes or learning opportunities conveniently online to build employees’ skills and prevent monotony within a role. Growing skills and expertise promotes the well being of employees by exercising their minds and keeping them focused on both professional and personal goals. It helps to instill a sense of fulfillment within their professional lives, which may translate to found purpose in other areas. Seeking growth opportunities is a challenge for some employees to manage, so consider offering discounts on apps that help maintain a work-life balance in order to help them stay organized, and find time for learning.
Building relationships is another form of growth, but outings are difficult with a busy schedule. Offer employees an opportunity to connect with fellow employees to build internal relationships. Team bonding events or informal outings relieve stress and build a more connected workforce, which improves morale overall.
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