Encouraging Work/Life Balance In The Workplace

There’s plenty of discussion about the benefits of an employee work/life balance such as attracting top talent and retaining a skilled workforce, but how can an employer achieve it?

Here are a few ways you might want to consider to help you achieve a beneficial employee work/life balance.

Lead by Example

In our highly connected world, the lines between “work hours” and “after hours” often blur. You might think it is okay to dash off an email or text to an employee after hours or when they’re vacationing, but that devalues their free time.

Managers should not expect employees to be on the clock continually, and they should not do this to themselves either. When a manager can’t “leave” the workplace, it sends a powerful message to employees that they’re expected to do the same.

Consider Flexible Hours

People may need to attend to matters outside the workplace which clash with their regular work hours. Consider offering a flexible work schedule allows employees to complete their work and manage their personal life too.

This doesn’t mean employees come and go as they please. Your policy outlines the requirements. Options include a required number of hours of work per week, starting earlier or staying later, or ignoring scheduled hours as long as the work gets done. Some companies allow employees to reschedule their hours for a week or longer if they provide notice, and it does not interfere with company demands.

Allowing flexibility shows you appreciate your workers and recognize they have other valuable things in their life that deserve attention too.

Switch to Paid Time Off

Paid time off is a benefit offered instead of paid sick, personal, and vacation days. Employee bank accumulated work hours (approx.1.3 days for each bi-weekly pay period for example) in a virtual bank, and then use the time when they need it. This method is a great recruitment perk and improves employee retention.

The company establishes clear policies such as posting days off on a shared calendar, with several months’ notice if the employee plans on taking a week or more off. Employees should use their banked time annually to ensure they take a break. The employer may permit a rollover for a major holiday or event.

Offer Job Share &Part-Time Work

Not all jobs merit a full-time employee or the same employee constantly. Consider splitting a position into two part-time jobs or have two employees share one position. These arrangements improve employee work/life balance and it may reduce employer costs too.

Look At Work-From-Home Options

Allowing employees to telecommute a few days a week is a great way to restore work/life balance. It doesn’t suit all employees or positions, but it’s worth trying if it’s possible.

A recent study confirms workers are more productive at home since they work a full shift, take shorter breaks and fewer days off, and they also stay with a company longer. Plus, businesses may lower their overhead due to reduced space requirements.

Create an Unpaid Leave Policy

The requirements in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) don’t cover all events. Consider creating an unpaid leave policy to cover things such as attending to family medical issues, settling an estate, extending maternity leave, moving, or attending grad school full or part-time.

Give a Little

Most companies need employees to work more sometimes, but demanding long hours from workers continually leads to shoddy work, disengaged employees, and burn out.

If workers do put in extra hours, give a little and allow time for personal tasks in the workplace. When a worker stays late or works weekends, they might need to do their grocery shopping or pay bills online.

Ask Your Employees

Employee challenges differ, so why not ask them? Create a survey and ask your employees to rate elements that could help them balance demands more easily.

Some people perform well early in the day, while others thrive later in the day. Still others prefer to dedicate many continuous hours to a project so they can enjoy a long weekend. Once you identify common preferences, you can explore possible solutions.

While some of these suggestions may take you out of your comfort zone, it doesn’t mean they’re not worthwhile. Encouraging a healthy employee work/life balance shows you value your employees and trust them to make wise decisions.

If payroll complications are a concern, we can help. Charlotte Payroll offers a free consultation so you can see how simplifying your backend processes can help you achieve employee work/life balance, and reduce costs for your business.

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