The idea of a balance between life and work has never been more prominent. Not only has the recent health crisis shown that businesses can deliver home-based processes, but there are tons of benefits for employees and employers. As the boss, you need teams to be fully rested and productive to generate as many leads and sales as possible. Offering employees more, longer breaks may seem counterproductive, yet it’s the perfect solution.
Workers who benefit from office perks are more likely to share a strong bond with their employer. Therefore, these people will work harder because they have skin in the game and are loyal. Also, it makes employees feel supported and valued, and a higher level of morale is proven to impact success. Companies with a toxic work environment very rarely make it past the first year.
For bosses, the key is to strike a balance between awarding workers time off to forget about work and ensuring output remains high. It’s a fine line to walk for an employer, and many get it wrong. Thankfully, you don’t have to if you follow these strategies.
Here are six ways for businesses to help their employees achieve a better balance between their careers and lives at home.
Hours For Individuals
The reason a typical nine to five schedule is under threat today is that it treats everybody the same. While this is a fair option, it comes at a price. Yes, the last thing you want to do is create a rule for one person and a rule for another, yet you shouldn’t expect workers to perform to the same standards if they’re tarred with the same brush.
Some people, for instance, will work harder during the morning after a good night’s sleep. However, others may prefer to come into the office later because that’s when they perform at a high level. Implementing flex hours allows employees to decide their schedules so that they can pick the shifts which work best.
There are rules that everyone has to follow, such as finishing daily workloads, but erasing the need for a punch clock will empower your business to be productive.
It’s a massive bonus for the company if you can provide a schedule that suits every individual rather than the collective. Otherwise, certain workers will lack the motivation to be successful, and this will reflect in their performance and inability to hit targets.
Before COVID-19, letting people work from home was a perk reserved for managers and the most trustworthy employees. After all, it’s harder to gauge productivity levels when you have to speak remotely. Plus, managing individuals is challenging, too. It’s not as if you can put your arm around somebody when they’re tens of miles away. As a result, bosses were reluctant to make home-based working a permanent policy.
Of course, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed everything. Now, businesses and employees know that it’s possible, which kicks up problems for bosses. Firstly, workers may not accept your excuses any longer. They have proven that it’s doable, so they will expect this perk to continue in the future. Denying them could hit morale hard as it’s a sign that you don’t trust or respect them.
Secondly, working from home provides people with extra responsibility. Workplaces that aren’t productive are the ones where managers and leaders micromanage and get employees to ask for permission for small decisions.
When this happens, workers (rightly) feel slighted. To them, they are being treated like children, and this makes adults want to rebel against authority. A work from home policy proves that you believe in them while adding accountability. Let them know that it’s down to them to manage themselves effectively, or else the perk will be revoked.
Modified Working Week
Bosses like to be in control, and letting employees work from home or choose their hours doesn’t fit the bill. In this case, you must find a way to extend their balance between life and work without giving writing a blank check. Ideally, you still want them in the office, but you need to ensure they get time off so that they aren’t overworked.
A tactic that is popular with businesses at the moment is a 9/80 working week. In this scenario, employees are in the office for a total of eight nine-hour days and one eight-hour day. Then, they get one day off spread over two workweeks. You can check out a sample 9/80 work schedule for more details, yet the basics are this:
- Employees work eighty hours over nine days rather than ten
- This means they get a full day off after ten days
- That’s three days out of the office, including weekends
- Or two extra vacation days every month
The 9/80 work schedule is making waves, although not everyone will enjoy the idea of fitting a regular eighty-hour week into one less day. Still, businesses that get it right benefit from fewer sick days and requests for time off, as well as fewer interruptions. A side-effect of the latter is that tasks are completed more efficiently.
Flexible Break Times
If you do expect people to stay in the office, you shouldn’t watch the clock every time they go on a break. Apart from making the office feel like a prison, it’s the only time that employees get to do things that aren’t work-centric. Although you won’t like it, these errands probably have more meaning to them than the ones in the office.
It’s not hard to see why when 51% of people use the time to catch up on personal correspondence, such as speaking with children and family members.
Considering the average worker doesn’t get more than thirty minutes to run household errands, the last thing they want is their bosses telling them that they are one minute late. In the grand scheme of things, sixty seconds isn’t going to impact anybody’s workload. Rather than watching the clock and holding them to account, a better way to enhance people’s balance between work and life is to let them take a reasonable amount of time for their lunch.
This gives them a level of autonomy without having to worry about the boss breathing down their neck. Plus, it encourages them to forget about the office for half an hour, which should encourage them to come back to their desk refreshed and ready to work.
A balance between work and life is a big deal for people because they hate going to work. While more businesses are attempting to engage workers for the sake of the company, a whopping 70% of employees say they are actively disengaged. The more this happens, the lower the odds of reaching your business plan targets. Thankfully, something as small as the way the office is set up can change peoples’ minds. T
The key is to make the workplace as welcoming as possible so that people want to come to work every day. That way, the desire for a greater work-life balance won’t be as strong because they’ll enjoy their job. As a rule, open spaces are more conducive to productivity as they flow better and aren’t suffocating. Being able to walk around freely is an excellent way to encourage communication and socialization, as well as reducing the sedentary nature of the lifestyle.
Colors are useful, too. Different shades evoke emotions, so you can decorate the office strategically to ensure it’s a happy place to work. Light, airy hues work the best, especially in the summertime. Quiet spaces are also worth considering. Open structures are healthy, but some people may prefer a relaxed place to get away from the constant background buzz.
Of course, part of making the office an enjoyable place to be is providing schedules that are fun and challenging. Otherwise, it will become boring very quickly.
Open Door Policy
Open door policies are almost cliche. Bosses try to go the extra mile to make a point, which is why the door is literally off its hinges to represent the fact that they’re always available. Don’t worry because there’s no need to go to these extremes. Instead, it’s about communicating that anybody can speak to about private matters in confidence.
Often, problems at home cause employees to take their eye off the ball at work. By helping them work through their issues, you’re more likely to get them back on track. Setting up counselling services is an incredible way to put workers’ health first. Also, talking to a stranger could be more appealing than speaking to someone who knows them personally.
Alternatively, you can attempt to prevent these issues from occurring in the beginning. To do this, you must focus on boosting employee health. Fitter workers will be able to tackle stress triggers because of their strong brains and bodies. Here is a selection of fantastic examples that encourage improved employee wellbeing.
Achieving a better balance between work and life for employees is about being creative and not treating everyone the same. How do you strike a healthy balance?