Most employees today work in highly stressful and competitive environments, where the traditional 9-5 schedule has become a rare occurrence. This impact the personal and professional lives of employees. Organizations today are trying to promote a better work-life balance for their employees to address this problem.
The term work-life balance is part of almost every corporate discussions these days. HR experts consider it to be critical for building a highly motivated and engaged workforce. It is the ability to achieve a sense of balance between personal and professional lives.
A healthy work-life balance makes it easier for employees to excel in their workplace while enjoying a fulfilling life outside. It is possible if employees can split their time evenly to fulfil their professional responsibilities and their personal passions.
A healthy work-life balance directly impacts employee engagement and motivation levels besides ensuring their good health and happiness. A poor work-life balance, on the other hand, leaves employees in poor physical, mental and emotional health reducing their productivity. For example, employees, who let their work to eat into their personal time tend to remain constantly stressed.
So, employees become habituated to working long hours, with little or no time to relax or pursue other passions. They become mentally and emotionally burdened, face the risk of burnout at work and fall out in personal relationships.
The corporate world has countless examples where organizations have lost their best talent to this vicious circle.
Despite the significance of a healthy work-life balance, ensuring the same is not that easy for most employers.
However, organizations can consider implementing the following strategies to help their employees achieve this objective:
1. Conduct surveys to understand employee needs
Ensuring healthy work-life balance is almost impossible without organizations first trying to understand the needs of their employees. For this, organizations should conduct surveys to gain a better understanding of various work-life balance-related factors.
Excessive work pressure, unrealistic project deadlines and burden of personal responsibilities are common reasons. Hence, identifying these issues helps organizations come up with strategies to ensure better work-life balance and higher employee motivation.
2. Creating awareness among employees
Many times, the employees themselves fail to understand the significance of having a healthy work-life balance. Hence, in such cases, organizations need to create awareness about this important subject and the benefits of the same.
Therefore, organizing seminars, professional presentations or interaction sessions with experts from this field can prove extremely effective. So, apart from providing proper guidance, such awareness programs equip them with right tools for a balanced and healthy life.
3. Provide flexible working options
Allowing flexible working options to the employees is one of the most effective ways to ensure a better work-life balance. It enables employees to plan their professional tasks so that they have ample time to fulfil their personal responsibilities.
For example, employees with school-going kids might be allowed to start work early, to help manager their time better. Similarly, those with extremely young children or aged parents requiring attention can be given the freedom to work from home.
In fact, there are numerous similar situations where providing flexible work options can be a boon for the employees.
4. Offer paid time off for important life events
Some personal events in the lives of employees are so important that they have higher priority than work. Events such as engagement, marriage, parenthood or even the death of an immediate family member, fall under this category.
Offering paid time-off to employees to attend such events can help in enhancing the sense of belonging and loyalty to the organization. This impacts employee motivation quite significantly and results in higher productivity and business impact.
The efforts made by employers to ensure a healthy work-life balance assures employees of being valued not just as an asset but also as a human being. This can help in increasing the overall productivity and efficiency of the workforce.
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