The average full-time employee spends at least a third of their weekday at work and another third asleep. They usually spend the remaining 8 hours on activities such as commuting, interacting with family, and other recreational activities. Finding the right balance between work and personal life activities is very crucial to the happiness and wellbeing of an individual. Without this, the strain begins to affect the employee in many ways, including strained work and personal relationships and poor work performance. In this article, you can learn more about work-life balance benefits, the importance, and how to improve this in your organization.
What Is Work-Life Balance?
Before exploring some of the top life-work balance tips and benefits, we have to zero in on what this actually means. A very handy and commonly used work-life balance definition is "the equilibrium between an individual's personal life and career."
There’s no getting away from the importance of every sphere in a person’s life. Challenges in one area are likely to have an impact on all the other areas. For an employee to feel fulfilled, they need to find that healthy space where their career and personal life coexist in harmony. The demands and priorities of one area must not eat into the requirements of the other.
The importance of work-life balance cannot be overstated. As an employer or manager, this is one area that requires your input and initiative. There are many benefits to improving the work-life balance of your employees, including adopting a hybrid workforce policy, and these are looked at further.
Reasons Why Work-Life Balance Is Important
If you are still wondering about the importance of work-life balance, consider an example of an employee whose equilibrium is completely out of whack. The demands of work can vary by industry and position. Some careers require more physically and mentally exhausting work. As human beings, we all need time to rest and rejuvenate, and when that is not managed correctly, this can hurt everything else.
Imagine a hypothetical employee on your team named Joe. He’s excellent at what he does and always delivers above and beyond the expected. To get the work done and meet deadlines, you have had to ask Joe to put in more hours on a particular project. With that came long nights and even a few sleepless ones for him and the rest of the project team. Because of this new schedule, which has extended far beyond the original few days initially planned for, Joe’s work-life balance has shifted. He no longer has enough time to spend with his family and friends or to take part in the neighborhood soccer matches he once looked forward to.
As a result of these changes, his relationships have become strained, he is more on the edge, and he hasn’t felt himself in a while. Even his exceptional work performance is starting to decline. All the pressure in one area of his life has spiraled out of control, and without some major changes at work, Joe could be approaching his limit.
Having looked at the work-life balance definition and what happens without it, it’s time to consider the benefits of a healthy work-life balance in more detail.
Work-Life Balance Benefits
The benefits of a healthy work-life balance can be looked at from two different perspectives—benefits to the individual employee and benefits to the company as a whole. Let’s look at each of these in turn.
Benefits to the individual employee
When an employee has a good work-life balance, here are some of the benefits they are going to enjoy:
- Feeling happier, healthier, and less stressed
- Higher levels of productivity at work and in all other pursuits
- Experiencing greater levels of satisfying relationships and interactions
- Feeling more valued and connected
- Greater motivation and commitment at work
- A higher level of appreciation of the employer
Benefits to the company
On the other hand, there are also numerous benefits for you as the employer and for the company as a whole when the workforce enjoys a better work-life balance. Here are some of the main ones:
- Higher productivity and output
- Greater employee engagement, participation, and innovation
- Lower levels of absenteeism and conflict
- Greater levels of customer service and general work quality
- A more positive work culture and environment
- Reduced staff turnover and hiring costs
- Improved company reputation
The importance of work-life balance at your company is something you should invest in. All the benefits detailed above make a strong case for adopting some changes in your company's policies, culture, and schedules. With flexible work-life balance for employee initiatives as well as other changes covered in the next section, you can transform the trajectory of your organization.
How to Create a Healthy Work-Life Balance at Your Company
There are many life work balance tips you can begin implementing as soon as possible to improve your employees' lives. Here are some:
Investing in an ergonomic work environment
One of the best ways to show your employees that you care about them and to make their work-life better is to transform the workspace. It's never too late to redesign the layout of the offices and make them more ergonomic. You can switch out each tired seat for an ergonomic chair. You can also look into adding a standing desk station with an accompanying standing desk chair.
Health and wellness initiatives
There are plenty of life-work balance tips you can employ to improve the health and wellness of your team. Consider free exercise classes, subsidized gym memberships, group outings, and improved onsite food options.
Remote work arrangements
Remote work has been on the increase in the last few years. You can look into adopting a hybrid remote work schedule to give your employees more time at home and greater work flexibility.
It’s worth noting that some of these changes are not going to be a walk in the park. As you show your team how you value the importance of work-life balance, however, the benefits are going to be far-reaching. It can be a challenging transition to move to a flexible working model, for example, but in the long-term, your employees and company are more likely to thrive.
There are so many work-life balance benefits for your employees as individuals and for your organization as a whole. As you make the necessary policy changes to improve the balance, you can expect your company to go to the next level.
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