The term “work-life balance” has yet to lose its buzz in the last few years. It is partially due to the dominating presence of millennials in the workforce. Employers have been putting in a tremendous effort to determine the best way to appeal to millennial workers.
Striking for a healthy work-life balance is a difficult challenge in the best of times. It is all the more daunting and necessary during economic stagnation and uncertainty. Employees who have been able to crack the code to creating an effective work-life balance are more encouraged to work harder and are more likely to keep their jobs.
Work-life balance is an aspect of a healthy work environment. Maintaining a work-life balance helps reduce stress and helps prevent burnout in the workplace.
Steps to a Work-Life Balance:
Achieving a healthy work-life balance requires managing our professional and personal life in sustainable ways that keep our energy flowing, our minds and bodies healthy, our whole selves happy and content.
It means giving due attention to all things that enrich and fulfill work and career, health and fitness, family and relationships, spirituality, community service, hobbies and passions, intellectual stimulation, rest, and recreation.
1. Encourage time of:
The American Sociological Association suggests a larger number of vacations lead to a decline in the psychological distress of people.
Holidays are not a luxury, they are a necessity. A break from work will provide your employees with the chance to switch off and enjoy themselves. They’re a great opportunity to recuperate and recharge and you must communicate this to your teams to improve staff productivity and focus when they return to the office.
An effective way to encourage staff to take time off is to implement a mandatory system, where it is required staff to use up their entire annual leave each year.
2. Manage other people’s expectations:
Set boundaries by telling colleagues and clients when you will and won’t be working, so they don’t expect you to be available 24/7. And be honest about your personal needs. Let your boss know which regular activities in your personal life are non-negotiable, whether it’s putting your children to bed or doing yoga – whatever it is that matters for you.
3. Prevention of the occurrence of burnout:
A state of burnout happens when you’ve overworked yourself to the point where you neither have the strength nor desire to work anymore. It’s a full-blown stress attack.
Burnout comes with the symptoms of depression, lethargy, and even loss of concentration or inability to think – thus, hampering your productivity. Think of it more like an overheated engine. As such, the vehicle won’t move until it’s at the right temperature to start working.
With a healthy work-life balance, the occurrence of burnout is drastically minimized. Dealing with the symptoms that accompany burnout will result in an improvement in employee productivity.
4. Implement short breaks:
The human body was not designed to stare at a bright screen for hours on end without any downtime. To combat this, it’s essential to encourage small breaks throughout the day for your staff.
Why not consider installing a social area in your office, where people can get away from their desks and take their minds off work?
Consider encouraging light exercise to break up the day. Maybe you could introduce walking meetings outside the office or a lunchtime running club. Some leading companies invite meditation practitioners to run internal seminars to enable staff to learn the best coping mechanisms for dealing with stress during particular periods.
5. Create a tech-free sanctuary:
One of the biggest threats to a good work-life balance is our phones and tablets, which buzzing with new texts and work emails. If you aren’t careful, you’ll get swallowed up by all these updates and essentially be working all the time.
To fix that, Crenshaw recommends having a tech-free sanctuary in your house. Maybe it’s your bedroom, so you aren’t checking email before bed.
Also, when you are with your family, you should do your best to stay off your phone, Crenshaw said. It will make that time higher quality sends a message that they come first, not work.
6. Educate employees:
One of the best ways to promote a healthy work-life balance is to teach your employees about it. Offer seminars on what work-life balance is, why it’s important and different things they can do to achieve it. You can host yourself, have them take a webinar, or even hire a professional to give the presentation for you. Educating your employees will the tools they need to help themselves– and that’s a crucial step.
7. Take care of your health:
Ensure you get enough sleep and exercise by including it in your routine, and make sure to reward yourself for your hard work by treating yourself now and then. To do this, you might need to “delegate where you can, to free up your time for what’s most important,” says Lambert. “Ask for extra resources if you need them.”