Maintaining a balanced professional and personal life can be challenging for some employees. A healthy work-life balance is essential in maintaining a positive and stress-free life. Despite how common this statement is, unhealthy work habits are still happening.
Suppose you have to work longer hours; you may take your personal life for granted. This causes numerous negative impacts. This does not only affect your job but your personal life as well. Our desires to earn more and do better at work can cause us to set aside our well-being and to overwork.
As you continue to read through this article, you will learn different ways to establish a good work-life balance and effectively handle and prioritize demands from your career.
What is an Effective Work-Life balance?
There are no formulas drafted nor equations formulated that can tell you how to manage your work and life. There are times when the demands of your job require you to work overtime and during the weekends causing you stress and fatigue. You might not have noticed it, but you are overworking and having a poor work-life balance.
When poor work-life balance happens, you experience relational and intrapersonal issues. Either problems with your loved ones occur because of how much time is spent over work instead of quality time, or you experience health issues and burnout.
A healthy work-life balance means that you prioritize your work and personal time; It is in equilibrium and has clear boundaries. It simply means that you have to leave your responsibilities in the office after an 8-hour shift. You then go home to spend quality time with your loved ones or grab a few drinks with your friends.
How to Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance for Employees?
Drawing boundaries between work and personal life can be challenging for some, but it is important in preventing burnout and for better mental health.
The stress brought about by too much work can reduce productivity, efficiency and can influence an employee’s motivation to get a job done. This can be bad news for a business and starting up companies who tend to overwork their employees, failing to give much attention to the welfare of their workers.
Employers who provide a workplace that supports a healthy work-life balance for their employees are guaranteed to have lower cases of tardiness and absenteeism. They get to enjoy a more productive workforce who are happier and motivated with better work behaviors.
Work-life Balance in the Workplace
Employers can only help employees find ways to maintain their work-life balance, but it is still their responsibility to change their attitude and manage their work lives.
The company can only provide schedules, day-offs, and vacation leaves that can work for most of their employees, but it still depends if the employee will take them or not.
Work-life balance is not just about splitting your time between work and play. It is more about being flexible in getting the job done in your work life and still have enough time and energy to enjoy your social life.
Importance of Work-life Balance to Employee Performance
Employees want to enjoy their lives at home and in their workplace without giving up either. Each of us aims to earn without sacrificing our activities to achieve a total sense of harmony in our lives.
Having an imbalanced work-life affects the performance and results in burnout of the employees and the whole management as well. A poor work-life balance affects the employee’s quality of life and work accomplishments.
How Work-life Balance Affect the Employees Mental Well Being
Working for long hours in the office and less time for your family and social life can negatively affect your mental state. Having a poor work-life balance disengages a person from the outside life. This can cause depression, anxiety, and a feeling of unfulfillment which can later lead to physical and mental disorders.
When employees are given the benefits they deserve and time to live their lives, it promotes a better sense of well-being. This article highlights ways to create a happier workforce that could be a piece of good news for the company’s business.
Work-Life Balance Tips for Employees
Here are some of the ways on how the management can support work-life balance for their employees:
Offer a Flexible Work Schedule
The average work hours on a regular day is usually 8 hours. It is the number of hours that an employee is expected to render work at their respective workplace. It is also the average number of hours an ordinary human can function to their maximum productivity before they get exhausted and retire for the day.
But each of your employees has different priorities when it comes to their personal lives. Not all are expected to function their best in the first 8 hours of the day. When a rigid work schedule binds them, their time will be wasted more on checking the clock than being productive at work.
Offering a flexible work schedule allows your employees to work on a time that they prefer where they are most effective. Night owls go to work late at night or take the night shift, while some choose the dayshift to have more time for their personal activities in the afternoon.
Encourage Your Employees to Take Breaks
Allowing regular breaks can boost your employees’ performance. Start creating break time areas where workers can go to and hang out with other team members. Perhaps a lounge, bench outside the office, or a break room. It is also nice to step away from the desk after long hours of work for a short break once in a while.
Relaxing social breaks are beneficial to facilitate recovery of the employees’ physical and mental functions. Allowing them to socialize with their peers gives them a feeling of relatedness and belongingness, reducing stress and fatigue in the workplace.
Macro-Manage the Whole Team
Macro-management is allowing your employees to work on their own and with less supervision.
For remote workers, it is easy to assume that since they are working remotely, they could be surfing the net or watching movies on Netflix while working, which could be detrimental to the company’s culture. Micromanaging and pointing this out during team meetings and reprimanding specific team members can cause ineffective rebellious behavior.
Having a broader perspective and trusting your employees to get their work done while supporting a good work-life balance can significantly reduce the team’s stress levels. Rather than keeping track and calculating the tasks, managers should focus on how they keep the job done, and their productivity is what matters the most.
Encourage Employees to Go On Paid Vacations
It is the company’s policies that determine how an employee can earn his vacation time.
During these times, since we started facing the Covid 19 pandemic, unplugging from work and taking a short vacation is no longer considered a luxury but rather a necessity.
The thought of facing a backlog of work after coming back from a vacation or disrupting the workflow are some of the reasons why employees are afraid to take the much-needed break. Not taking a breather from work can cause damaging effects on the health of the employees as well as with their family life.
Letting an employee take a paid vacation and spend time with their family without sacrificing their salary can be very effective in making them feel more relaxed and rejuvenated. This is proven to result in better productivity.
Gather Feedback and Assess the Work-Life Balance of Employees
Another way to empower your team employees is by having a daily healthy team meeting where they are allowed to raise personal questions and concerns. It is also a perfect way to gather feedback and assess how they can manage their work and home.
Conducting surveys to gather feedback can help the organizations know their employees better and create solutions for problems that restrict employees from being productive and achieve work-life balance.
Frequent team huddles allow communication that makes your employees feel that they are being heard and taken care of. Having a connection with the team breaks down walls that hinders them from contributing fresh ideas that could improve the business.
Managers shouldn’t become too busy to check in on the team. Being updated on some degree of how his team member’s family is doing, if they are overworked, underworked, or not properly compensated should be acknowledged to keep loyal, hard-working employees in the company.
Always Prioritize the Health of the Employees
Companies should ensure that employees take advantage of their day-offs, sick leaves, maternity/paternity leave, wellness benefits, and self-care benefits. Some workers with a desire to succeed professionally tend to overwork more than the required work hours and to the point of exhaustion.
When workers are exhausted mentally and physically, they tend to be less productive at work. Having a healthy workforce by learning each member’s interest by heart motivates them to do their part in helping the company succeed.
Allow Them to Make Time for Themselves and Their Loved Ones
Their job is important, but boundaries should be set to prevent the demands for work from taking control of their outside life. Employees should be allowed to take the weekends off to make time for friends and loved ones. Focus on having a healthy workplace and aim to achieve as a team.
Socialization is vital in human nature, and with too much workload, they are deprived of it. Specific work hours and strictly imposing a “No Take-Home Policy” can encourage employees to leave work in the office and separate business from pleasure. For those who work from home, set boundaries and do not let them overwork. Have a culture at work where employees are excited to go inside the office. This will result in better work performance.
Are you having trouble juggling the demands in your workplace with daily life pressures from family and friends? Are you having difficulties in achieving a healthy work-life balance? Or are you an employer who wants in-house mental health counseling readily available for your employees?
You can book an online mental health counseling session at Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC). Make it a habit to take care of your mental health. Do not live to work, work to live. Contact us now through the KCC Direct Services.