Work-related stress costs businesses billions of rupees annually. Sensible employers must see that their employees don’t get burned out. Better work-life balance motivates employees, make them less stressed out, and give them a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives. It generally makes the employee-management relationship better, reduces management-coworker conflicts, and improves productivity.
That’s why it is important for an employer to foster a healthy work-life balance throughout the organization, which will ultimately help the company with better financial outcomes.
To improve your workforce’s work-life balance, an employer can give importance to the following:
1. Remote Working
Increased digitalization has helped businesses to work with anyone, anywhere and always remain connected. Now, it is not always required for an employee to commute to the office. If an employee gives more than 1 hour daily in commuting to work, it is a waste of valuable time.
If an employee has an internet connection and computer at home, remote working can be extremely beneficial. It has been found out that 60% of the time remotely working workers are the most engaged ones. This indicates that better work-life balance of an employee can lead to business success.
2. Scheduled Flexibility
If an organization is not completely comfortable with the idea of remote working, they can explore the option of Scheduled Flexibility of work. Suppose a child of an employee is sick, in that case, an employer can offer that employee with any of these two
- Let that employee take the day off and compensate the lost working hours on the weekends.
- Let that employee work from home that day
3. Flextime or Flexi-time
Traditional work arrangements involve standard 9am-to-5pm work schedule. Owing to better work-life balance and attract talent pool, companies are offering flexi-time or flexible hour schedule.
Flextime schedule requires an employee to work for a “core” work period (say 11am-to-3pm) and a “bandwidth” period (say 5.30am-to-7.30pm) of the day. The core period is compulsory. However, the flexible time can be chosen from the bandwidth period of the working day. Whether you are a new parent or have other family-related responsibilities, flexi-time arrangement can help you balance both work and family life.
4. Childcare Help
Childcare can’t be ignored by parents. Even when you leave for work, childcare duties don’t leave you. Problems with childcare can rattle an employee’s work-life balance. That’s why an employee needs a family-friendly work environment.
Some companies offer on-site childcare facilities as they find it cost effective. However, many find the dependent care flexible spending account more feasible and effective. The second option is generally offered through childcare service discount. It has been found that 83% of the larger companies and 58% of the smaller firms prefer dependent care flexible spending account to offer childcare help to their employees.
5. Maintain Structural Consistency
A reliable work environment makes employees get less stressed. Maintaining a sense of consistency as well as the organization in the company-structure lets employees know what to expect on an average day. This decreases the anxiety of the employees, thereby helping them to lead a less stressful life. It helps the employees to provide more quality time to their families and at the same time offer more productive work to their companies.
6. Encourage Employees to Volunteer for Social Work
Human beings feel to have a more meaningful life when they contribute to society. Encourage employees to donate time for others, especially social work. This will give them a feeling that they are contributing to society and therefore be more content with their lives, providing them with a better work-life balance. This is a proven fact, backed by numerous scientific researches.
7. Adopt Paid Sick Leave Policy
More and more companies are offering paid sick leaves to their employees. However, it is a dangerous trend. Sick employees can’t make a healthy company. It’s a proven fact. Many employees force themselves to work even when they are sick. This will either make other coworkers sick (if the disease is infectious or viral) or provide poor productivity. By avoiding paid sick leave policy, an employer can force employees to take their sick leaves or endowed casual leaves within a financial year. This will help the employees get healthy faster and in turn, provide more productive work throughout the year.
8. Promote both Physical and Mental Health
In the United States, studies have found out that companies spend around US$125-190 billion every year in healthcare due to burned-out employees. That’s why companies all over the world have started to promote the benefits of both physical and mental health. To promote health, many companies are adopting multifarious ways including:
- Offering discounted gym membership
- Bringing in exercise instructor every week/month
- Arrange yoga sessions after lunch or working hours
- Offer partial reimbursement on the purchase of wellbeing apps, and others
An employer can improve workforce’s work-life balance by following the above-mentioned ways. Companies can also offer proper leadership training to the managers so that they become more empathetic and skilled in managing employees. This enables employees to be less stressed and consequently strike a better work-life balance.