8 ways to help improve your employees’ work-life balance
Employees want to be able to work and have time for other things in life, like activities, family, friends, and personal time. The importance of work-life balance is especially apparent to millennial employees, who are used to filling their days with hours of screen time and various activities. While it is not exactly your responsibility as an employer, finding ways to support a better work-life balance for your employees is a win-win for everyone.
Your company’s policies, values, expectations, and choices can support the workforce in achieving work-life balance. These decisions foster employee mental and physical health, which, in turn, improve productivity, presenteeism, and more. On top of that, it’ll be instrumental in helping you attract and retain superior talent.
We explore 8 ways to promote a healthy work-life balance among employees in this Pacific Prime Dubai article.
1. Offer flexible working
Flexible working is a strategy that allows employees to work around their needs. For example, they can have flexible start and finish times, or work from home. This work-life balance example is especially popular since it offers many benefits, with the flexibility to meet personal obligations and needs being one of them.
Employees who are allowed to take care of their commitments outside of work are often more focused and productive when they are working. They tend to be happier and more satisfied with their employer too.
It’s up to you as the employer to clearly define what you mean by flexible hours. Flexible starting and ending times can easily be implemented in many workplaces, whereas four-day workweeks and telecommuting need more planning.
2. Provide Paid Time Off (PTO)
Paid Time Off (PTO) is a policy that combines paid vacation, personal days, and sick leave into a single bank that employees can use when they take paid time off. This approach allows employees to decide exactly how, when, and why they want to spend their employer-sponsored time off.
PTO systems eliminate confusion, concerns about how the time off was spent, and the need for policies surrounding topics like what qualifies as sick leave. PTO may also have its drawbacks, but work-life balance isn’t one of them.
3. Encourage PTO
The goal of PTO is to get your employees to take time off. However, a portion of the workforce won’t take time off unless they have to. A TSheets study found that 65% of employees left an average of five days of PTO unused in one year. Consider allowing only limited carryover of PTO into the next calendar year to encourage time off. It’s important for employees to rest and recalibrate, as well as get their personal life in order.
4. Honor time off
Our devices can keep us digitally connected to work around the clock if we let them, regardless of where we are. This makes achieving work-life balance even more challenging, and is why it’s crucial to set expectations in the workplace that time off is truly time off. When an employee is away on vacation, it’s acceptable to use an out-of-office autoresponder email message. Honor your employee’s time off by avoiding contacting him/her unless it’s an emergency.
5. Practice what you preach
Employees need to see team leaders, managers, and senior managers model the work-life balance they encourage employees to practice. For example, a manager who is on vacation and still responds to emails like they never left the office tells employees that they should be working while on vacation too. Similarly, employees notice when a manager hops onto a virtual meeting during PTO. Make sure you model work-life balance to help employees when it comes to their personal choices.
6. Sponsor events and activities
Company-sponsored activities and events are excellent for team building and encouraging connections. In the case of family events, it also allows families to be involved. Some ideas for events include bowling, sports events, charity events, and game centers. Likewise, company-sponsored meals and parties for holidays and special occasions can be a nice change for the workforce.
7. Promote your employee assistance program
Is your employee assistance program (EAP) rarely being used? Emotional support can play a huge role in helping employees find a healthy balance between work and personal life. Access to counseling is a valuable benefit, but that doesn’t mean much if employees don’t know they have it.
Hold a meeting to go over your EAP offerings so your employees know what they can participate in. Send out reminders about EAPs and make information accessible so your workforce feels empowered to get involved – and like you really care about them.
8. Understand that every employee is different
While some of your workforce is probably longing for better work-life balance, others may feel satisfied with the way things are. Some don’t mind staying in the office a bit later if that means they can leave work at work. Some may want hybrid work arrangements (a combination of working from the office and working at home) but are not sure how to discuss it with their manager.
Companies that attract and retain top talent understand that every employee is unique, and they personalize their work experiences accordingly. Realize that creating better work-life balance for your workforce won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach.
Tailor your employee benefits with Pacific Prime Dubai
The right employee benefits plan can be a cost-effective and valuable way to increase employee retention, enhance wellbeing, and so much more. However, designing a plan that meets the varied needs of your workforce can be overwhelming. As a leading employee benefits specialist and health insurance broker, Pacific Prime Dubai can help you find the ideal solution for your company.