A Fine Balance
Progressive Companies accommodate the personal and professional
By Dave Haley
As the line between home and work continues to blur, thanks to technology and culture shifts, a balance between the two is more important than ever.
For employers, the risk of ignoring employee work-life balance is high. Burnout and chronic work-related stress and its attendant physical and mental health problems can have serious negative impacts on both an employee’s work and home life.
Winning employers are those who recognize the need for balance. This can be scary, as it often means letting go of old attitudes and policies and relinquishing control. But the rewards are worth it. Your people will be happier, healthier and more productive. And it’s a powerful recruitment and retention tool for top talent.
Here are some ways to nurture work-life balance in your organization:
- Discretionary days: A paid day (or days) for employees to do with what they like, whether that’s spending time with family, observing a religious holiday or just relaxing.
- Working remotely: In the old days, a video call in sweatpants from your living room would have been unthinkable. Now, it’s practically the norm.
- Flexible hours: The ability to step away from traditional office hours for appointments, errands and more gives employees a sense of control over their time and responsibilities.
- Extracurricular activities: A growing number of companies give employees paid time to volunteer or take part in corporate sports leagues or lunchtime fitness or yoga sessions.
- Mental health awareness: Programs that prioritize wellness send the right message to employees, pointing them towards support in stressful times.
- Annual Short-Term Incentive Programs (STIP): Employees feel empowered when they have a vested interest in the company’s success and annual profits.
- Professional Development & Training: Expanding an employee’s knowledge and potential is a great way not just to build skills, but for their personal development, as well.
As you can see from the list above, work-life balance is about treating each employee as a whole person and respecting the range of their skills, needs and responsibilities. How is your organization creating a workplace that accommodates employees’ personal lives?
Senior Technical Analyst