The Benefits of Work-Life Balance.

A recent study by Aviva has caused a bit of a stir. It showed that ever since the pandemic, people care more about work-life balance than about salary. Aviva says, “More workers said they liked their current job because of the balance between work and life (41%) than because of the salary (36%).”  This is a different order than what it was in 2019, before the pandemic.

Since the pandemic, people now desire a healthy work-life balance more than ever. A survey of more than 9,000 UK workers in 2021 showed that 65% of jobseekers valued work-life balance more than pay and benefits. It’s the same in the US. 63%  of people who took part in FlexJobs 2022 Career Pulse Survey, said they’d rather have a good balance between work and life than make more money.

So, what does this term mean right now for workers? In the past few years, work-life balance has changed a lot. For example, strict 9-to-5 hours are no longer the norm, and more people are working from home.

What does “work-life balance” mean?

It was found that when people really think about what a balanced life would look like, they say things like:

⦁ Having a greater impact on the workplace and the world

⦁ Making a difference in the lives of your children,

⦁ Being in the present moment with space where you can think,

⦁ Putting yourself and what’s important to you first, without feeling guilty, ashamed, or sorry;

⦁ Setting clear limits that you’re happy to stick to,

⦁ Giving up on trying to do or have everything.

Having a good work-life balance is really about being happy with who you are and the choices you make. It starts with how you think. It’s not something you can just find. Balance is something YOU make (through making tough choices).

What is the value of a healthy work-life balance?

The results of employees achieving a work-life balance include increased productivity, decreased absenteeism, increased motivation, and an overall healthier state of mind and body.

A positive work environment increases the likelihood that employees will remain loyal and work harder. Reduced stress, reduces employees’ likelihood of leaving the organization. Revenue and overall profitability will ultimately benefit from an increase in employee engagement. Companies that care for their employees’ well-being are known for their compassion in the industry. In turn, this will attract talented applicants who wish to be a part of the company’s culture.

In addition to workplace benefits, work-life balance enables employees to advance their personal lives and goals. You only have one life, so give equal weight to your personal and interpersonal objectives as well as your professional ones.

In order for a company to have a genuine work-life balance, there must be careful, strategic consideration of how to support the health of employees without negatively impacting their personal lives.

How to create a better work-life balance?

⦁ Recognize that there is no “ideal” work-life balance.

When you hear the phrase “work-life balance,” you probably envision a highly productive day at work, followed by an afternoon spent with friends and family. This may appear ideal, but it is not always feasible.

Aim for a realistic schedule rather than the ideal one. Some days you may be more focused on work, while on others you may have more time and energy to pursue hobbies or spend time with loved ones. Balance is achieved gradually, not daily.

Heather Monahan, the founder of the career mentoring group #BossinHeels, said, “It’s important to remain flexible and constantly assess where you stand in relation to your goals and priorities.” Sometimes your children may need you, and other times you may need to travel for work, but the key to finding balance is to remain flexible and assess your needs on any given day.”

⦁ Unplug

Technology has helped us in many ways. It let us work from home, while making it easier for us to do our jobs. However, it has also led to expectations of constant availability. It seems like the work day never ends.

According to Robert Brooks, (professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of the book The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life). “There are times when you should just shut your phone off and enjoy the moment.” Brooks says that phone notifications cut into your free time and make you feel more stressed. Brooks says that you shouldn’t text at your kid’s soccer game or send work emails when you’re with your family. Make quality time true quality time. By not reacting to news from work, you’ll be able to handle things better in the future. Brooks says that resilient people feel like they have more control over their lives, while reactive people feel like they have less control and are more stressed out.

⦁ Request Employee Advice:

Why not ask your employees for creative ways of enhancing their work-life balance if you are at a loss for ideas?

Are you noticing that the people under your leadership are having trouble striking a balance? Find out what kind of changes they believe would help improve their situation. By working collaboratively with your team, you will gain greater insight into the way they think and be able to collaborate more effectively on future strategies.

Consider holding meetings on a regular basis or putting in place real-time cultural feedback programs that will supply you with data-driven insights to assist you in facilitating these conversations. Both of these options can help you. In this manner, you can constantly assess the mood of your workforce and make adjustments to maintain the proper balance.

⦁ Providing flexibility

Flexibility in the workplace does not mean that employees are free to come and go at will. It simply refers to allowing employees to modify the traditional “nine to five” workday to accommodate their personal obligations.

Employees who prefer to drop their children off at school in the morning may arrive at work at 9:30 a.m. and remain until 5:30 p.m. Some individuals may prefer a 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. schedule so that they can enjoy a few hours of daylight after work. If they’re getting their work done, allow them to create their own schedule.

⦁ Putting your health first

Your mental and physical health should be your top priority at all times. If you are experiencing difficulty in either of these areas, be sure to devote sufficient time to addressing the issue. If this is the case, be transparent with the company’s leadership about your situation.

In addition and this may sound like a broken record, try to schedule time for exercise. Adding movement to your day, such as walking the dog, practicing yoga, or going for a run, is a great way to achieve a healthy work-life balance because it involves activities that are solely focused on you.

When members of your team are not actively working, it is critical to respect their need for balance as well as their need for privacy. This means you shouldn’t contact them outside of work hours, so they can relax and recover from the stresses of the day.

The majority of us will spend the majority of our time at work. We allow it to influence every aspect of our lives. In light of this, it is crucial to determine and implement the optimal balance in the workplace. This will make it possible for you and your employees to disconnect from work and devote the same amount of attention to your personal lives as you do to your professional responsibilities.

By loosening the reins on your employees’ work-life balance, you will make significant strides in building a motivated and productive team.

Finally, if you’d like to know more about the benefits of performance management software and WorkCompass. Please get in touch and request a demo with one of the team.