A balanced life – balancing work and family; having balance between work, family friendships and even personal time – is not only good for you, it’s good for everyone in your sphere if influence. This includes your employer.

Similarly, if you are the boss, it’s imperative you realize that the work life balance of your employees not only benefits their life, it benefits your business too!

Employees have more respect and exhibit greater loyalty to an employer who respects their work life balance.

This respect often translates into a greater desire to serve the employer. To demonstrate appreciation for their recognition of you as a person and not just someone who works for them.

In many studies, it has been shown that employees actually work harder – often for more total hours in the week – for companies that respect the employee’s need for freedom and flexibility in the standard work week.

Specifically, in Inc. magazine, the Corporate Executive Board, which represents 80% of the Fortune 500 companies, discovered employees who believe that they have good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t after researching 50,000 global workers.

Generally, this then means that employees who feel they have freedom and greater flexibility – greater work life balance – are more productive than less.

Another angle…

When you and/or your employees get overwhelmed and burnt out, less in the workplace is going to get done. Just as they have proven that driving while tired is as dangerous as driving while drunk, employees (and bosses!) who are over-stressed and fatigued actually have brain function that resembles those who are ASLEEP.

Contrastingly, when employees have the leeway to make sure their personal and familial needs are being attended to and met whenever necessary, they are less preoccupied at work. Furthermore, they don’t have to take full days of personal leave (where nothing is getting done at the office) for just the few hours that may be needed to take care of their personal concerns.

Companies that support work life balance experience less turnover (turnover that results in lost time, money, and productivity).

When employees are happy and fulfilled – when they feel well-rounded and believe they have the flexibility in their job needed to make sure their personal and family lives are in order – they experience fierce dedication to their company and don’t feel the need to look elsewhere. They will often even turn down “better offers” because of their contentment with how they are treated and respected in their current position as a “total person” (and not just a money-making cog in the wheel).

This in turn diminishes turnover and saves the company the money they must spend in the acquisition and training of new employees. Not to mention, it eliminates the downtime that occurs because of employee turnover as well! Just imagine this: the Center For American Progress discovered that the cost to replace an employee is 21% of an employee’s annual salary

As also reported in Inc. magazine:

A Philadelphia-based global management consulting firm called the Hay Group, conducted a study that found that 1 in 4 employees at organizations they felt had no support for work life balance, planned to leave their company within the next two years. Contrastingly, this was only true of 17% of employees in companies where balanced living was supported.
Additionally, a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), found that 89 percent of HR professionals reported an increase in employee retention simply by implementing flexible hours or allowing flexible work arrangements.

Can you really reduce company healthcare costs – and avoid the high cost of absenteeism by allowing employees more freedom?

Most employers who do not support flex-hours and/or do not support work life balance through flexibility, actually experience great financial penalties because of this.  We’ve already discussed the extra money they spend on employer turnover but there are other financial consequences when a company does not promoting balanced living as well.

Approximately 1/3 of workers report having high levels of stress. Whether the employer acknowledges or accepts this as truth or not, this stress is very often due to an employee’s perception of a lack of flexibility and lack of freedom in the workplace.

This is true either as it relates to their job and/or not feeling able to meet family obligations without punishment or penalty of some kind. It has also been found that in these companies – where work life balance is not promoted or supported – healthcare costs and/or premiums are 50% greater than in companies where it is.

Additionally, the heavy stress of a corporate environment not supportive of work life balance, results in overall higher levels of absenteeism—despite the fact that the company feels they are reducing absenteeism by taking a hard line.

To get to the heart of the matter, when a company supports balanced living – the work life balance of their employees’ professional and personal lives – they will have happier, healthier and more productive workers.

This has been shown to directly correlate in a savings to the company by reducing healthcare costs, the expense associated with absenteeism, and the increased revenue from the extra productivity. In other words, it becomes a win-win for everyone!

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