Five ways your business can promote a healthy work-life balance
For your employees to be in an optimal place of motivation, productivity, wellbeing and overall engagement at work, it’s crucial that they have a healthy work-life balance. This means that the demands of your employees’ work and personal lives are in a state of equilibrium. In other words, work isn’t taking over and leaving no room for personal stuff, and personal stuff isn’t taking over and leaving no room for work.
Striking that perfect balance can be very difficult, especially at the moment with more people working from home. For many people, the physical distinction between work and home no longer exists. The office is now in the kitchen or living room, and people are juggling childcare while also trying to maintain their productivity levels.
That’s why it’s even more crucial for businesses to help their employees keep on top of their daily demands, work in a sustainable way and in doing so, maintain a good work-life balance. With this week being National Work Life Week, now is a perfect time to reflect on whether your business is doing enough to promote a healthy work-life balance. To help you, here are our top five tips.
There are plenty of occasions where work can get in the way of people being able to deal with personal demands. For example, an employee might need to pick their child up from school in the middle of the day, or perhaps they need to get their car from the garage before it closes. Allowing your employees to work flexibly gives them the ability to fit in personal demands quite easily with minimal disruption.
If your business isn’t flexible, you could not only make it difficult for them to maintain a work-life balance, but also add a great deal of stress to your employees’ lives. So, whether you create a flexible working policy, embrace ‘flexitime’ or just make small changes to increase the flexibility of your working environment, try and be more accommodating so your employees’ can maintain a good balance.
Encourage regular short breaks
Whether your employees work in front of a screen or are on their feet all day, you should encourage them to take regular short breaks. This is so important for their mental and physical wellbeing. Having a short intervals throughout the day to make a coffee, have a change of scenery or do something that helps them reset will not only help your employees reduce their stress levels, but also boost their productivity.
This goes back to being flexible with your approach to work. Attitudes have changed and it’s now all about working effectively and being smart with our time, rather than putting in as many hours as possible and risking burn out. On top of that, having regular breaks will make it easier for your employees to keep up with personal demands. For example, they can quickly call a family member or book a doctor’s appointment.
Make sure Managers are leading by example
You can’t expect your people to maintain a healthy work-life balance if your leadership team aren’t leading by example. Their actions set a precedent for the rest of your business and should reflect how you want your workforce to operate. If your Managers are working crazy long hours, not taking annual leave, replying to emails when they are on holiday and generally always putting work before their personal lives, other employees will take note and feel that they should do the same. So, make sure that your Managers are good models for balance and demonstrate this on daily basis.
Give your employees access to support services
One thing you can do to help your employees manage their personal lives and therefore strike a healthy work-life balance is give them access to support services. Employee Assistance Programmes are really useful for such things because they are designed to help people deal with challenges ranging from relationship troubles to financial concerns.
The Employee Assistance Programme available through our health and wellbeing solution the zone is provided by Health Assured. Through this valuable service, employees get unlimited counselling for emotional problems, legal information, bereavement support, medical information and access to a wellbeing portal packed with useful content. Being able to use this service at any point gives employees the ability to manage various pressures and get useful support, which means they’ll be in a better position to maintain a good work-life balance.
Help your employees maintain healthy lifestyles
Keeping up with the demands of work while juggling personal commitments can make it harder for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s often easier and more time efficient to make less healthy food choices, ditch exercise and sacrifice a good night’s sleep. But that won’t help your employees maintain a good work-life balance. They need to be looking after their health and wellbeing which includes eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.
You can help your employees do this by giving them access to a health and wellbeing hub. There are plenty of providers out there (us included) that deliver a range of fantastic tools that make it easier and more accessible for employees to look after their health. Our health and wellbeing solution gives employees access to a variety of services and resources including hundreds of online fitness videos lead by qualified fitness instructors, an online mindfulness course delivered by Future Learn as well as tips, guides and articles to help employees deal with stress, make healthy meals, have a refreshing night’s sleep and more.
It’s important to give your employees access to tools which help them maintain a healthy lifestyle, thereby making it easier for them to have a healthy work-life balance. Their wellbeing is at the centre of all of this and it’s your job as an employer to make sure you positively contribute to it through your working practices, environment and the support you deliver.
You can find out more about the zone here.
If you’d like to find out more about National Work Life Week, click here.