Now more than ever, taking care of your employees’ well-being is crucial to a happy, motivated, and productive workforce.
Working from home has its advantages, but it also comes with its challenges. One key difference is knowing how to switch off when you work and live in the same space. Home office may mean we get to sleep in a bit more every morning, but it might also mean longer work hours, shorter lunch breaks, and, of course, less time socializing with colleagues over coffee.
As a manager, it’s important to ensure your employees are clocking off at appropriate times, which, although it seems simple, is the foundation of a strong-work life balance. There are many ways you can help your employees form robust home-office habits, so that when your team is working they’re fully focused, re-charged, and ready to tackle their tasks.
What does a good work-life balance look like?
In technical terms, it’s that perfect state of equilibrium where a person evenly balances the demands of their work life with the demands of their personal life. It’s easy for that equilibrium to get knocked off balance — something as simple as a change in leadership, an additional responsibility, or a change in environment can lead an employee to work longer hours, prioritizing professional life over personal life.
Management and team leads will likely have an overview of their team’s workload. With short-time work and reduced team sizes, it’s likely that employees will be overstretched and covering more bases than usual. However, even when your team is at full capacity during their prescribed hours, they can still clock off at the correct time. That’s what a good work-life balance looks like — working hard and efficiently during prescribed work hours, and knowing when to stop and how to unwind once the work day is over.
What employees with a good work-life balance do differently
So, what happens when you encourage a great balance within your company? Studies show that employees who know when to sign off and how to enjoy their free time are significantly more productive and happy within their jobs. A study conducted by Management Study Guide showed the following:
Fulfillment: People experience a greater sense of fulfillment and contentment both inside and outside the workplace.
Health: Low stress levels from an even work-life balance reduce the risk of heart disease and hyper-tension as well as boosting the immune system.
Productivity: Employees get their work done more efficiently when they enjoy a balanced lifestyle.
Stronger relationships: Time away from the desk actually improves relationships within the workplace. It’s easier to work with a stress-free team as it reduces the chance of conflict and enhances smooth, balanced communication.
All of this, of course, is beneficial to your company. Stronger immune systems means fewer sick days, and increased productivity means higher revenues. But, perhaps most crucial of all, promoting a strong work-life balance will help you retain your top talent, which will set your company ahead of the competition.
How your company can promote a better work-life balance
The good news is there are many easy and inexpensive ways to promote a better work-life balance within your team and boost their morale at the same time. Offering corporate benefits is one of the most efficient ways of doing this. It’s a way of showing your employees that you want to invest in their well-being and that you care about their individual development and needs. Here are some examples of great corporate benefits:
Fitness: Subsidizing memberships at gyms and fitness centers is a great way of showing your employees you want them to feel good and live healthy lives.
Language: Offering language learning as a corporate benefit demonstrates that you want your team to progress, travel, and grow.
Workshops: Online workshops from digital platforms such as Masterclass are a fantastic way to increase your team’s skill set while promoting a good work-life balance.
Discounts: Team up with like-minded companies to offer discounts to their products — this can range from car-sharing to cooking classes to spa days. It will build relationships with potential corporate clients and will show your employees you want them to take time out for themselves.
As a manager, implementing a culture of balance is best led by example. Take steps to ensure employees are logging out at the prescribed time by introducing time-tracking systems. In this way you can see who is working over time and gift those hours back to them. More importantly, though, you can identify those in your team who are over-worked and re-calibrate their workload.
Similarly, management can avoid scheduling meetings during lunch hours or after work hours, and actively discourage emails sent out of hours. And before you know it, you’ll have a happier, more productive, and more proactive team.