The concept of a strong work-life balance is all about maintaining a healthy split between the time we spend at work and the time we spend on family or leisure activities. Exactly what constitutes healthy will differ for each individual in any business, but what’s important is that everyone enjoys a good balance between the two.
For staff, a good work-life balance means feeling refreshed, fulfilled and enjoying life, while for a business, it can make all the difference when it comes to having an engaged, productive and happy workforce.
Getting the right split between home and professional life might seem like a mammoth task, but there are a few simple things individuals and businesses alike can do to strike that perfect balance.
Why work-life balance is important
Work-life balance is vital in any business, because when people feel fulfilled and happy, they’re more likely to be productive. In fact, one study found that when people are happy at work, productivity increases by an average of 12%.
The difficulty comes with getting that balance right. While it’s something most businesses promote, it’s not always a successful venture, with the Independent reporting that only a third of British workers feel like they have the ideal work-life balance.
So how do businesses and workers ensure they have the right work-life balance in place? Follow our top tips to learn more about getting that perfect mix of work and pleasure.
Work-life balance tips
Putting new policies in place can go a long way to helping employees have a better work-life balance. Giving them the ability to work remotely, letting them set their own working hours and ensuring people aren’t glued to their desks are all simple little changes that can go a long way.
Flexible working requests
Flexible working has grown in popularity in recent years. As a result, a YouGov poll found that it’s become an increasingly vital factor for staff, with 81% saying flexible working is important to them, and less than one in six preferring a traditional 9-to-5 day.
By allowing employees to fit their working day or week around their busy schedules, you can easily improve their work-life balance – letting them do the school run, attend social events or just work to a schedule that better suits their needs.
Modern technology means it’s no longer as important to physically have people in an office. Remote working allows people to work from home if they need to – ideal for parents who have a child off school ill or during the holidays, staff who need to attend an appointment or even for those who just need some space to focus on a big work task.
While the tech age has made it easier than ever to connect to the office, it’s also made it harder to disconnect from work. Emails on smart phones mean people are more likely to have work at the forefront of their mind, even after hours.
To help that work-life balance, bring in a policy where people are discouraged from checking emails out of working hours, encouraging them to fully switch off when they leave for the night. Managers can also set the tone here by not sending emails in the evening that people may feel obliged to reply to.
Encouraging work-life balance mindfulness
Businesses can also influence the nature of the working day to ensure it doesn’t leave an employee unable to enjoy their free time. People should be encouraged not to work through their lunch, to take regular breaks, and you could even provide fresh fruit, massages or wellness activities to help everyone feel happier at work.
These simple but effective work-life balance tips can all make the difference in ensuring people are happier and more productive in the workplace.
Want more top tips? Check out our guide on how to ensure your office environment isn’t contributing to illness.