We heard more and more about how our lives should have work-life balance. If we obsess over work all the time, we lose touch with the personal and social aspects of our lives, like family, friends, hobbies, social activities, etc. Although work satisfaction does boost our morale, constantly working leads to bad food habits, irregular sleep patterns, more stress, and overall increase in health issues.
On the other hand, if you only focus on non-work aspects of your life, you may end up neglecting the hard work that goes into building a successful career. If you're partying with your friends, compulsively playing video games, or binge-watching Netflix all the time, you won't have any hours left to really polish your craft and knowledge. That's bad news if you're employed, and worse news if you're self-employed, because such a path will only lead to reduced productivity, less personal growth, and more stress.
That's why achieving a strong work-life balance is a must. It keeps your professional and personal lives in harmony. The idea behind creating and achieving a good work-life balance is to make you so happy and satisfied in both your professional and personal lives that you would be able to thrive in both.
What’s Work-Life Balance and Why Is It Important?
Work-life balance is crucial for employees as well as businesses. If your employees are unhappy at work and cannot find value and contentment in their jobs, they will be less effective and productive at work, take more sick leaves, and eventually burn out more quickly. This leaves you, as a business, with a high employee churn rate. And that's not good news for you, because a high rate of churn is quite costly for your business.
This way creating a healthy work-life balance for your employees becomes one of your priorities in business. And by setting up policies that support a healthy work-life balance, you can retain as well as attract talent that adds value to your business. More benefits of setting up a good work-life balance for your business includes:
- More profitability in business by reducing employee churn rate to focus more on productivity and delivering value to your customers through efficient employees.
- Increased morale in employees from an improved sense of job satisfaction.
- Better engaged employee community of happy employees who work better, are less absent at work, and feel more connected to the business.
From an employee's perspective as well, achieving a healthy work-life balance has many benefits as well:
- Improved management of your time to focus on almost all aspects of your life. You can work, spend time with your family, take a yoga class, even step out of the house for some outdoors time by simply planning a schedule that does it and more.
- Increased focus to live life well. By managing your time, you can do all the things you want to do, without having to compromise anywhere. This leads you to focus better at the task at hand, rather than sitting back and feeling sorry for yourself.
- Better physical, emotional, and mental health because now you are not missing out on life anymore. You are doing what you want to do as well as what you must do. This kind of freedom from guilt about missing out on things helps you boost your physical, emotional, and mental health.
So how can we achieve this work-life balance? Here are some tips:
1. Promote Healthy Choices
Having options at work really helps. What works even better is having your managers promote those options to their team members so that your employees are aware of such options and don't have to get stuck in a rut.
There can be initiatives like on-site gyms or maybe discounted gym memberships at nearby gyms for employees. Businesses can also build and nurture their own sports teams to promote physical health of their employees. Like a bowling team, or maybe a cricket team.
How about serving fruits and healthy drinks in the morning? Starting the day with a healthy boost can help boost mind and body productivity.
A lot of modern businesses employ holistic experts to work on the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual aspects of personal health and wellbeing. And some businesses even have onsite spa rooms to destress and energize employees when they are feeling overworked.
These types of healthy options also make it clear to your employees that you are invested in their personal health and wellbeing. You value them, and in return, they stay loyal and add value to your organisation.
2. Introduce Flexible Working Hours
In our post COVID-19 workplace where most of us are working from home, the need for flexible working hours is high. We are stuck at home and we are subjected to all types of distractions, but we still try to focus back on our work. And that's when that blast of guilt hits us that we are not doing enough while being at home.
Maybe we could have washed those dishes lying at the kitchen sink, but we couldn't because we are supposed to be at our workstation at that time. If we could have washed those dishes and then come back to focus on our work, we would have contributed at home while still being at work.
Most times we feel guilty that we are not contributing much at home. That we are not doing enough at home. Such feelings lead to less productivity and focus at work. So there's stress everywhere!
Instead, if we have flexible working hours, where we can attend to personal matters even while working, we would have a better sense of being valued at work and at home.
You can introduce flexible working hour policies at your organisation to help your employees achieve a healthy work-life balance. And you can ask your managers to evaluate people on the basis of deliverables and reports, rather than time spent at their workstations.
3. Foster the Employee Community
Even before COVID-19 struck, remote working was a reality for many organisations around the world. Now post COVID-19, most of us are working from home and our team members are present across the world. Potluck Friday dinners are not the norm anymore. There must be better initiatives and policies in place to promote and foster your employee community.
You can use technology to connect your employees to each other using collaboration tools, not only for meetings but also for team building activities. Promote transparency and open dialogue so that your people can share their success stories with each other.
Ask your employees to be active on social media across your channels, especially LinkedIn. Showcase their achievements on your social media as well. A lot of companies microblogged about their star employees who were working (or persisted to work) during the lockdown. That's an incredible way to make your employee connected to your organization and its community.
Nurturing your employees like this can build a stronger brand reputation for you, both online and offline. It can trigger better customer loyalty and retention. So leverage it. Build and nurture your employee community to attain long-lasting effects on your business and your profits.
Promoting and practicing a healthy work-life balance is good for people as well as businesses. The benefits are manyfold, and it does wonders to strengthen the bonds between an employee and their organisation. So, start investing in healthy work-life balance initiatives to reap those benefits.
And don't forget to share your success stories with us. In this post COVID-19 workplace, we all need good human stories to share hope and goodness around us.