Tools to Improve Work-life Balance in the Workplace
A healthy work-life balance should be a key pillar supporting a company’s organizational structure, goals, and culture, as it has major effects on productivity and retention. With technological advances evolving the workforce, flexibility is more possible than ever — employers just have to address it. With a comprehensive strategy, work-life balance solutions can be done well and done right. There are a number of options companies can implement to ensure their employees are able to balance their personal responsibilities with work-related demands. Below are a few ways to incorporate work-life balance solutions.
Get to Know Your Employees Demands and Set Goals
Before a strategy can be developed, employers should take steps toward determining the needs and demands of their employees. Start with data, a viable resource that analyzes employee input and productivity metrics to then help develop solutions and monitor employee’s reactions to new work-life balance programs. Monitor and track signs of burnout, which can be a giveaway to improper or ineffective work-life solutions. Collect data and feedback from employees leaving the organization as well to better meet current employee needs and lower turnover rates.
There are simple initiatives too, like employee surveys, one-on-one discussions, and stand-up team meetings that help to get a full scope of employee needs to ensure a more accurate work-life balance strategy. Use tools like a comprehensive human capital management system as well, that have performance management programs integrated within to assist with communicating and tracking the goals and feedback of employees to then further broaden the scope of employee demands. Every role has responsibilities and commitments that require a different level of work-life balance. Based on feedback collected, focus strategies on the most requested demands within each role, and be sure to communicate with employees regularly to evolve the program as the company grows.
Offer Different Benefits
By making benefits available like childcare, fitness programs, or even company recognition outings, employees are able to take a few elements of their personal life checklist and integrate them into work hours. On-site childcare has especially shown positive results, with 90% of parents returning to work with the availability of a full service, on-site day care within their place of work. On-site daycare showed increased concentration, engagement and productivity on the job. Parents are better able to remain focused on work tasks knowing their children are safe nearby and onsite childcare can reduce time spent taking them to and from a sitter, freeing up time for work tasks.
Fitness programs are another benefit that, when implemented within a work-life balance solution, make wellness easily achievable for employees. Exercise has shown positive effects on focus and motivation making it beneficial to overall company operations. Add an on-site gym, or offer a discounted membership to a local gym facility. This makes exercise easier to work into employee’s schedules, and keeps them feeling great, both physically and mentally, to better perform the demands of their role. Internal wellness programs allow employees to link external fitness trackers to the system, helping to keep track of their fitness journey and metrics. It’s a subtle push to keep employees healthy and motivated to hit their fitness goals.
Employee recognition is another benefit that may not seem related to work-life balance, but it actually enforces positive morale and a break from everyday tasks. It brings employees outside of the office for outings to celebrate their hard work while doing a fun activity to build stronger internal relationships. These outings can also act as stress relievers by allowing employees to relax with their peers and enjoy a few hours away from the desk. Plan quarterly outings or biannual celebrations and a budget to cover these outings, to ensure they’re woven within the cultural strategy to ultimately further improve work-life solutions. A social recognition app, also promotes work-life balance by fostering a culture of recognition where team members feel valued and appreciated.
Offering flex-time or remote work options is a lucrative way to allow workers to balance their personal and work lives in a way that best coincides with their schedules. A recent study found that out of a thousand hiring managers interviewed, 55% find remote work among full-time employees to be more common in recent years, and expect up to 38% of full-time workers to work remotely within the next ten years. Having the option to work remotely gives employees more time in their day, the opportunity to work when they are unable to make it to the office, and adjust their hours to personal life demands.
On the other hand, setting standard work hours can also benefit a work-life solution. When employees know their set work hours, they can be more productive, knowing that remaining hours of the day will be uninterrupted by work-related tasks. Restricted hours also condense the hours worked, increasing productivity and allowing more personal time in the day. Allow breaks throughout the day within work hours as well, so employees can recharge and reset. Encourage employees to take time away from their work tasks twice a day for 15 minutes. This helps to decreases burnout and health risks that stem predominantly from desk work or physical labor lasting prolonged periods of time. Check out this list of apps employees can download to their phones to receive reminders to move throughout the work day.
Work-life balance solutions are important in more ways than one. Work-life balance, when left to employees to manage, leads to little balance at all. If employers aid in creating flexibility to make managing it easier, it creates a happier workforce that yields better engagement, productivity, and happiness.
guest post by: Monica Laury