Work-life balance is not a new concept but it has been a trending buzzword between companies from small startups to big organizations. For most people, the work ends at the end of the evening but for others, it eats away at their evenings, nights, and even weekends. Companies that encourage a work-life balance have been flaunting it as a perk and using it to attract young passionate talent, and most of the time, it works! This practice can really help small start-ups too.
Check out these 4 ways to become the trailblazer of work-life balance & help your employees become the best versions of themselves:
Often companies lose spectacular talent, especially parents and people with old parents because they don't provide enough support. Providing paternity, maternity or shared parental leave ensures the employees are fresh and maintain a good work-life balance.
This support can be offered in the form of childcare or parent care support costs. Other ways include offering part-time or job shares roles. AirMason, an online employee handbook software can be used to add these benefits to the employee handbook, and update them from time to time! Employees feel empowered in organizations where they know they can finish work early, go see their physician, get their boilers fixed, or go to their kid’s recitals. This also creates a sense of trust and security that their employers know they will get the work done.
Employees are known to perform better when they are physically and mentally active. The company can arrange monthly or weekly hiking trips to encourage physical activity and create a good relationship with the employees. Some companies also have gyms inside the office building so the employees can get some exercise during their break or at the end of the day to lay off some steam.
It also works with clients too. If you are going for something outside the box, change of venue always helps. It cultivates the feeling of freedom when you are not trapped inside a box behind a desk.
Rather than focus on the hours punched in, managers should focus on the tasks done by employees and the quality of those tasks. This is not to say to burden employees on one day and not burden them on other days. But to create a sense of meaning between employees and the company. Employees who are stuck in cubicles no matter how decorated they are will get fed up. It is important to monitor employee productivity over the work hours they put in. Let your employees work from different settings and communicate via email, project management software, text, and calls. This flexibility motivates employees to work wholeheartedly.
In addition to physical health, employees should be given time and encouraged to take on their creative projects. This kind of time and space are given to employees manifests itself in the form of the kind of outside-the-box thinking that will benefit your business in the long run. Some companies offer a 20% program, which is to let their employees work 20% of their time in the office on creative side projects. Your workers will appreciate you for this and their other skills might solve problems on the job too.
Most conversations about boosting productivity in the workplace revolve around what employees should do to set boundaries and prioritize. As an employer showing interest and encouraging a healthy balance communicates that you respect and value your employees as human beings as much as you care about their job performances.
Reviewing workloads regularly is a great way to ensure and enforce the concept of work-life balance throughout the organization. This also helps in knowing whether the team has achievable goals and if not what obstacles could be removed from their ways to make it easier.
Moreover, managers who are regularly engaged with their team in the form of small talk or meetings or even weekly lunches will know more about who is stressed, overworked, or busy with something at home and could use a break from work. Ask your staff to rate at the end of the day if they are overworked, right, or have spare capacity.
The company should ensure senior management is also enjoying a good work-life balance too. This is a great way to set an example in the organization.
Losing the office doesn't necessarily mean shifting your entire team to work from home as a lot of businesses don't have the liberty to do so such as Gaming studios, factory workers, etc.
Change of office space whether you send a couple of your employees to some co-working space every week or any other place they could get a fresh eye. This not only helps them network with people but also gets their productivity back on its horse.
100% work from home is a good idea for companies that can manage it efficiently. CEOs of Exposure Ninja have recently announced plans to make work from home permanent because they have realized that it not only saves the company money but also increases employee productivity and wellbeing.
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Another way to form a good association between the time at work and outside work is to offer paid community service time. These community or volunteer services help the company gain back its sense of purpose and give the employees meaning and benefit as well. E.g The company could consider offering 8 hours of paid volunteer work every year to its employees.
According to Pew Research Center, millennials are more motivated by working for social causes. This opportunity shouldn't be confined to millennials only as this makes employees feel generally good about themselves.
The giant of the self-help industry and one of the biggest learning platforms “Mind valley” regularly practices what we call “Learning Fridays”. This day is completely dedicated to learning about anything that will improve your professional career. This day was encouraged as a holiday at home to learn something but people generally have a lot to do at home, so giving an extra day off for learning isn't the solution.
On a learning Friday, you have to come to the office but not for work. This is only to give you free time to learn and be up to date with the fast-paced world. The employee could read a book, listen to podcasts or work on their business ideas or do anything else but they have to come to the office.
Every once in a while we all have our bad days and so do our employees. This is where the quiet space comes into play. It is a designated spot at the office where you could just switch off and relax for a bit when employees need a mental break.
This space should be free from company materials & shall be peacefully uncluttered. Comfortable seating, luscious green plants, reading material, and soothing music would make this place a paradise. Precedence should be established that this place is not for employee venting, chatting, or laughter rather this is a place to reflect in silence and respect each other’s solitude.
Who better to consult than the person for whom everything is being arranged. Get regular feedback from your employees on what they need to feel productive and relaxed. If someone is struggling with work-life balance, ask them what changes might help them. Feedback is a gift to both the employer and employee.
The feedback meetings are difficult as employees often fear getting fired. These meetings should be held quarterly or monthly as per the company and employee’s convenience. Although to get genuine feedback a general culture of transparent communication shall be cultivated beforehand.
It all comes down to whether an organization is people-centric or not. The benefits of work-life balance to your team and your company will be beyond phenomenal. Company’s need to keep everything flexible with discipline to attract and retain top talent. Just remember that every employee is different and might require a tailored experience.
About Author: This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.