True work-life balance is a make-or-break element of attracting and retaining top talent. So it can help to have some solid work-life balance tips in your toolkit.
A good work-life balance is very important to 72% of employees. And 57% of employees feel that a poor work-life balance is a deal breaker when they consider a new job.
That feels like somewhat of a contradiction to me. Surely, with the right work-life balance, fewer employees would experience burnout?
Which means many of us aren’t balancing work and personal commitments as well as we think we are.
It’s all too easy for employees—particularly remote employees—to work just five more minutes to get something done.
And for those five minutes to turn into five hours…
…then when they look up at the clock, they realize it’s almost bedtime and they’ve spent all day staring at a computer screen.
So what are some work-life balance tips to ensure employees really do have a positive experience? And that they can comfortably fulfill personal commitments in addition to their jobs?
Encourage disconnection outside of office hours
One of the biggest work-life balance tips centers around being able to disconnect. And to do that, it means only responding to notifications during working hours.
A simple way to get employees to disconnect is to have set work hours on apps like Slack or Teams.
And make it clear that employees shouldn’t feel the need to “check in” when they’re just browsing through their phone off hours.
Or worse—on vacation!
(Yes, I do know people who’ve done this while lounging by the pool. Insert horrified emoji here.)
Some phones and operating systems allow you to set different home screen layouts depending on the time of day or what you’re doing. You could suggest employees set this up if they use their phone for work.
Or if they have a separate work phone, get them to set an alarm so that they know it’s time to turn it off for the day.
If it’s harder for them to get to Slack, Teams, or emails, and they’re not getting notifications every time a message comes in, they’re less likely to check those messages outside of working hours.
Give employees time back if they work overtime
One way you can show employees you value their work is by giving them time back if you know they’ve worked overtime to finish a task or project.
This ensures they don’t lose out on time with their loved ones, or relaxing, just because they wanted to finish something before wrapping up for the day.
Make sure employees use their paid time off (and consider offering them more)
It’s all very well and good offering paid time off (PTO), but if employees don’t use that time, is it anything more than a token gesture to lure in new hires?
Employees should be able to use their paid time off without feeling guilty about it. Or like they’ll be reprimanded for doing so.
PTO is key to employee wellbeing, providing them with vital time to recharge their mental and physical batteries. And helping them come back to work happier and healthier.
If employees don’t use their PTO at your company, ask yourself why? And how can you change that? When thinking about work-life balance tips, paid time off should be a core consideration.
Talk to employees about their schedules
If you have an employee who’s regularly online well outside of working hours, talk to them. Is it that their workload is too much and they don’t feel they can get everything done during their allocated hours? Or are they a workaholic?
Either way, no matter how great the results that person gets you now are, they’re at high risk of burnout.
So be sure to keep in touch with them. Suggest they disconnect on weekends, use their PTO, and don’t check in off hours. Or just send them this list of work-life balance tips with a friendly note!
Allow employees to work where they work best
79% of workers feel a flexible schedule allows for a better work-life balance.
And 91% decided to work remotely because they wanted a better work-life balance.
That says something about the office environment and how much time we can lose to things like the daily commute.
Everyone’s ideal work environment is unique. For some, it’s at home in their own space. It’s in the office, surrounded by other people for others. However, for most, it seems to be a hybrid work model.
To find out what makes the biggest difference to your employees, ask them! Send an employee survey with questions on how they feel they work best, and ask for their feedback on how things work now.
Most importantly, implement changes based on the feedback so that employees know you listen. Otherwise, they’re less likely to take part in similar activities in the future. Plus, you won’t get much in the way of work-life balance tips from their suggestions if they don’t feel heard.
Provide discounts on well-being activities
Days out with loved ones, a trip to the gym, or even a vacation are all excellent ways for employees to reduce their stress levels and get a change of scenery. Particularly for employees who work from home.
Staff discounts are a great way to show employees you value them and to help them disconnect.
Could you partner with an employee benefits platform to offer discounts? Or work with local businesses/your customers to provide employees with exclusive offers?
Whether it’s subsidized gym memberships or discounts on meal boxes, little things like this can contribute to improving employees’ overall well-being inside, and outside, of work.
Make sure employees take their lunch breaks away from their desks
When I worked in an office, I almost always ate at my desk because I brought in my own lunch and reheated it in the staff microwave.
But, before I ate, I always went for a walk so that I got a break from the office.
Whether your employees go for a lunchtime walk like I did, go to the gym, or just sit outside on a bench, remind them to get away from their desk during the day. It breaks up the day, gives them a change of scenery, gets their blood flowing, and can calm their stress levels if the office is noisy. It’s one of the more straightforward work-life balance tips that can have a big impact.
A positive work-life balance is key to our long-term health. It reduces stress levels, gives us more time with loved ones, and prevents burnout.
The right work-life balance is different for everyone, but the key is to ensure employees can disconnect from their jobs without feeling guilty or like everything will go wrong because they’re unreachable for a few hours.
Looking to implement some of these work-life balance tips? Workrowd can help. By centralizing all your employee information, programs, groups, and events, you can save team members time and highlight all the great ways they can find better balance.