This post was updated in March 2020
"Proper work-life balance makes employees feel appreciated, which in turn makes them more productive and more likely to stay with the company for an extended period of time," says Mike Steinerd, director of recruiting at Indeed. In addition to employee retention, healthy work-life balance also has been shown to greatly increase worker productivity. The result being an increase in profit and decrease in recruitment costs. Sounds like a win-win, right? So just how do the top companies promote work-life balance for their employees? Below are a few strategies that could help improve your businesses plan of action.
Creative Collaboration Settings
Most often work-life balance is attributed to an employee’s home and work space as separate, but achieving a work-life balance can start in the office by incorporating creative work settings. Allowing your employees to work from coffee shops or at home from time to time can spark new ideas by introducing a new work space. Try having brainstorming sessions or collaborative meetings in new places rather than the same fluorescent lit conference room. Executives from Motorola even take their employees on company hikes in order to break free from processes “inside the box”.
Allowing for your employees to get their work done at times that are convenient for them will absolutely help in the promotion of work-life balance. Some of your workers may be part-time or full-time students, or have family obligations requiring them to be at home for part of the day. Regardless of whether schedules are allowed to be adjusted based on the employee’s choosing or if flex time must be approved before occurring, having the option to take care of personal needs without losing out on work hours is an extremely beneficial opportunity for employees.
Offering a fair paid time off policy is incredibly important for your business in order to keep employees motivated throughout the year. Being able to take vacation without the stress of worrying about unpaid leave is crucial for supporting employee morale. Offering personal days to your employees also allows for flexibility in scheduling around family needs, illness, or personal vacation giving the employee control of what to use their time off for.
Leniency With Parenting
Any parent raising young children can tell you that parenting in itself is a full-time job. Screaming babies or sick little ones are in no way considered a vacation yet require parents to leave their jobs at any given point of the day. Some companies now have begun offering on-site daycare services for families who need assistance with their kids. Perhaps the most fundamental way to promote work-life balance is to allow for parents to tend to family emergencies without negative consequences such as shorting pay or receiving a formal write-up.
Consider remote work
Working remotely has gained a lot of traction recently and the trend only appears to be increasing in popularity. But despite remote work’s popularity, some employers remain hesitant about their employees working outside the office. The reality is remote work bears out a number of advantages for employers. There are three main advantages of remote work:
Reduce overhead costs
Attract and retain top talent
Learn more about the advantages of remote work here.
Have Management Model the Balance Encouraged
Management needs to understand that their role as leaders sets the expectation for employee behavior. With that being said, management should be mindful of how they display their time off to work associates. If a manager has taken personal time off for a family vacation then proceeds to answer emails and return phone calls, this gives the impression that others should follow suit. While there are instances of needing approval or problem solving from upper-management on short notice, it is (hopefully) not usually the case. Less demanding work should be left for another time which is the nature of work/life balance.
At the end of the day, work-life balance is something that is shown, not just talked about. While it is up to the employee to take advantage of these practices, it’s the company that needs to first offer these types of solutions for keeping employees happy in both areas of their lives.