-Written by SIYP Team
By this point in your evolution and study, you likely understand the importance of balanced living and work-life balance for yourself (and for your company if you are the boss).
You know it saves a business money when balanced living is supported and encouraged. You understand it also results in increased productivity for your business, as those who have balanced lives – who enjoy work-life balance – simply do more.
So what if you are the employer or boss? What if you are the one in charge of others?
Then, you also must know that helping them to have work-life balance and experience balanced living can only benefit your department or company.
But how do you best help them get there? How do you, specifically, support balanced living among those who work with or for you?
Offer Flex Hours or Alternative Hours
One very real aspect that leads to increased stress for employees is the feeling they are letting their family down – or not meeting family care needs and/or responsibilities – because of work. This stress can impact their health and possibly, increase their absenteeism too.
Therefore, it can actually cost an employer more money by refusing to allow employees flexible or alternate hours which enable the employee to feel like their professional and personal lives are in balance. And one is not suffering at the expense of the other.
Reduce the Commute – Allow Employees to Work from Home
A commute can be time-consuming and stressful. Especially in big cities, a commute can sometimes add 1 – 5 hours to the workday. This is valuable – and what seems like unnecessary – time taken away from family and/or personal needs and desires. It definitely does not contribute to balanced living or work-life balance.
If an employee can perform their job fully from home, allowing them to do so – even one or two days a week – reduces gas costs, gives the employee that commute “time back”, inspires respect for the boss / employer and often, inspires and encourages greater productivity, from the employee.
Offer More Paid Time Off
On top of sick and vacation days, offering a personal day a month allows employees to stress less over getting their personal and family obligations met. For employers worried about “losing” this valuable time for employees, there are two things to consider: one – employees who experience a greater feeling of balanced living or work-life balance are often MORE productive every day and every week than those who don’t. And two – an intermediate option is to make the work hours 8.5 hours a day in exchange for one personal day a month in addition to regular sick leave and PTO.
Set Personal / Professional Boundaries
All the advances in technology and portability of “work”, mean we are basically “on” 24/7. Employers need to be sure and respect the “off” time of employees and not take advantage of this accessibility. Employees need to have personal time and that personal time needs to belong to the employee – and their family – solely.
Give Daycare / Pet Care Options
If at all possible, allowing employees the freedom to bring kids and/or pets to work – even providing space for such when you can – greatly reduces employee stress and absenteeism. Furthermore, employees are less tempted to skimp on hours when they don’t have to worry about rushing home – or to pick up – kids or pets.
Organize Events that Bring the Employees and Their Families Together with the Business
Showing employees you not only care about them as “family”, but also care about their real families, goes a long way in the eyes of most. Even if this is only a few times a year, it shows them they are more than just a number or a dollar sign in the eyes of the business / company. This also helps to build a cohesive unit and inspire loyalty among not only just the employee, but also their support system, for the company.
Be A Good Example
In regards to work-life balance, it is crucially important you practice what you preach. Employees will look to you – and what you do – as their model. Specifically, you can’t say you support a balanced life or encourage balanced living and not have your own actions represent that too. Or your employees will not believe you. Therefore, they won’t work on – or exercise – their own work life balance because they will think that while you say you support it, your really just don’t feel that way.
In essence, you must be the change you seek before you will reap the benefits.