It’s no easy task to achieve work-life balance in today’s unpredictable and fast-paced business world. As we’ve become more dependent on technology and social media, and with COVID-19 keeping most folks at home and out of the office, it’s also becoming difficult to separate work from our personal lives.
Work-life balance is the state of equilibrium where a person equally prioritizes the demands of one’s career and the demands of one’s personal life, but it’s often a difficult state to reach. This may sound like just a win for employees, but employers who are committed to providing environments that support work-life balance for their employees can save on costs, experience fewer cases of absenteeism, and enjoy a more loyal and productive workforce. So in order for team to strive for work-life balance they need a company culture that champions it.
You and your team need to be fully schooled-up on why work-life balance matters if you’re going to successfully champion it. So here’s a quick refresher:
- Increase individual productivity – your team is more productive in-office when they’ve had time out-of-office. Fresh ideas need breathing space.
- Increase team productivity – The Mental Health Foundation found 27% of people working long hours feel depressed, 34% feel anxious and 58% feel irritable. Not conducive to positive working relationships. Reduce those feelings and teamwork will prosper.
- Improve retention – your team will stay with you longer because they’re happier and more fulfilled. They feel they’re achieving in their career, not reaching burnout.
- Improve engagement – Recent research found that 56% of people aren’t happy in the workplace. Encouraging work-life balance helps your people feel more positive – which is the key to increased productivity, performance, and retention.
- Boost diversity – work-life balance makes your company accessible and attractive to great people you might otherwise have alienated, like the family-minded. The best people aren’t always the ones who love the 9-to-5.
Now memorize that list. So when you get pushback from employees who wear stress as a badge of honor, you’ve got a persuasive arsenal at your fingertips.
Promoting work-life balance isn’t enough. You have to ensure that team members take you up on the offer. This means you need to train leaders, and their leaders, how to spot impending burnout and poor work-life balance. And when they do, we need the power to take meaningful action. Like sending that teammate on a ‘COVID wellness-health day off’.
Megan Van Petten
Van Petten Group INC.