Everyone wants work-life balance, but are you living it? And perhaps more importantly, are your employees? Overworked employees can suffer from health problems, burnout, and even job dissatisfaction. But encouraging a healthy balance can make employees more healthy, energetic and engaged in order to surpass company goals and maintain top productivity. As a manager or business owner, you can help set the tone for your business. Follow these five guidelines for a great work-life balance.
1. LEAD BY EXAMPLE
When you work 80 hours a week, your employees will see that and think they need to do the same. Leaders, as much as any team member, need to take time off and recharge. It may be tempting to work around the clock, but it’s important to remember the example you are setting for those in your office. If you want your employees to have a good balance, you need to have one too.
2. DON’T REWARD WORKAHOLICS
Positively affirming team members who consistently stay late, take work home and work through the weekends is not a smart move for leaders trying to encourage a good work-life balance. Employees will see that that behavior is rewarded, and soon it will become the norm.
While working a few hours on the weekend or working late nights may happen occasionally, they should not be part of the routine. And even hinting that employees should be willing to consistently give up their “time off” will ruin any hope of a work-life balance.
3. ENCOURAGE VACATION TIME
Everyone needs to take time to recharge and refresh by leaving the office for a few days. That’s why employers provide vacation days in the first place! But unfortunately, in some offices it becomes a badge of honor to have never taken a vacation day. Why? We all know how important vacations are, so make it easy for your employees to take the time off they need. Send reminders of how many vacation days your employees still have if you need to.
4. PROMOTE UNPLUGGING
There may be emergencies that need to be dealt with while employees are on vacation or enjoying their weekend, but do your best to keep work activities during working hours. Some employees may be fine with answering emails after work, but their productivity will slowly be deteriorating. Respect that your employees need to step away from their computers on the weekends and evenings, and you should do the same.
5. OFFER WORKPLACE FLEXIBILITY
The 2015 Workplace Flexibility Study found that 87 percent of human resources leaders surveyed said they believed that workplace flexibility programs lead to employee satisfaction. Whether its allowing employees to take an afternoon off for a dental appointment or to see a child’s performance, or providing opportunities to work remotely, flexibility will help employees with their work-life balance. Team members are less likely to feel burdened and burned out by working an occasional night or a few hours over the weekend if they are offered this support.
Achieving a work-life balance will make you happier, your employees happier, and your business more productive. Though you don’t necessarily need to go as far as the four hour work week, a few steps to achieve this balance can make a big difference.