Posted on / Updated on / in Blog /

One of the top reasons great employees quit their jobs is due to a lack of work-life balance.

Employees feel overworked, unacknowledged, and under-appreciated, sacrificing their personal passions and time to contribute to a company and boss who appear to be unaffected.

The average US worker puts in 55 hours a week – not to mention all the time outside of work that they’re answering work emails and messages.

But, is more really better when it comes to logging time in the office? The answer is a resounding “No.”

Research from Stanford shows that productivity rapidly declines when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and even more so when it exceeds 55 hours.

Encouraging employees to balance their time between their professional and personal lives is remarkably advantageous to both employers and employees.

Why Is Work-Life Balance Important For Your Employees?

When people are able to find fulfillment in their personal, physical, psychological, and professional priorities, they experience a healthy work-life balance.

Establishing a healthy balance of work and rest gives employees a sense of security and control in their lives, enabling them to enjoy and navigate relationships, community involvement, and hobbies outside the workplace.

Healthy, happy people make for healthy, happy employees, which creates less turnover for you and your business.

How Do I Promote Work-Life Balance At My Company?

Creating a company culture that supports and encourages a healthy balance of professional and personal commitments is best accomplished by simply asking your employees what they need to facilitate their balance.

Keep in mind that the ideal work-life balance varies across generations, which is why it is so crucial to ask your employees what they need.

For example, older generations may appreciate flex time or part-time work as they navigate caring for aging relatives, supporting their grandchildren’s activities, and delving into new travels or hobbies.

Generation Xer’s might prefer creative overtime incentives in order to complete important projects rather than push off progress, while younger generations might prefer options for remote work as they juggle new families and busy personal schedules.

Host a simple, open forum discussion where your employees can share their needs and desires. Hearing their needs will help you to come up with solutions that fit your unique business.

To get your wheels turning, we’re sharing a list of 10 creative ideas you can use to help your employees establish a successful work-life balance. If you have a spectrum of generations in your organization, you might benefit from adapting our ideas below to suit the variety of work-life preferences on your team.

Are you feeling unbalanced yourself? Do you need help establishing the culture you desire for your employees? We can help! Give us a call at 502.753.0970 or check out our website to learn about outsourcing your employee issues to Integrity HR here.

10 Tips For Helping Employees Achieve Work-Life Balance

1. Get Endorphins

The physical, mental, and emotional benefits of regular exercise are well documented, so why do so many people still skip it?

Maybe your employees are too busy, lack the financial resources for a gym membership, or need a little extra motivation. Providing solutions for these deterrents may help your employees prioritize their wellbeing, which in the long-run will help you gain happier, healthy employees.

Turn that unused conference room into an exercise area, host group fitness classes in the office, offer discounts to local gyms, or create a rewards program as an incentive to stay fit.

2. Get Family

The biggest struggle in achieving a work-life balance comes down to fulfilling family needs and work demands.

Creating a family-friendly work environment breathes a sigh of relief into employees who wish they could be in two places at once. If you have the resources, offer daycare facilities in your office for a few days or hours a week.

Plan events and celebrations that can easily incorporate your employee’s families like a company picnic at the zoo, a Halloween party with trick-or-treating for kids, or a holiday party with significant others.

3. Get Efficient

Everyone lives a busy life, so much so that our mundane chores can feel like heavy burdens. That’s great for business owners, because the smallest act of generosity can be a huge gift to your employees.

Help employees tackle their errands by offering concierge services like: dry cleaning, meal catering, automobile services, or special event tickets.

Other ideas could include offering a day of free car washes on-site (a big hit with employees who travel often for work!) or, an on-site gift-wrapping service around the holidays.

4. Get Time

It’s awesome to acknowledge an employee’s work anniversary or birthday with an office card, but what if you really treated them and gave them a day off!

Even an employee who loves their job would enjoy the gift of free time as a sign of appreciation for their hard work and life.

If you want to really blow them away, give them the option of using their celebration PTO on any day of the year, so they can take a long weekend and go on an adventure if they wish.

5. Get Outcomes

When success is determined by the number of hours employees work, it’s easy to feel pressure to neglect personal care and commitments in order to meet time requirements.

Switching your company’s view of success can have a major impact on the stress your employees might experience when life conflicts with work.

Change your company’s measure of success to revolve around outcomes, instead of hours, so that employees are encouraged to be more efficient at work in order to gain more time at home.

While you may still need to track hours worked to run your business, you should try to focus on the positive outcomes (not the hours worked) when praising your employees.

6. Get Flexible

Despite all their best efforts, employees will have work-life conflicts. Needs of sick family members, school drop-offs and pick-ups, extracurricular activities, and community involvement might only be met with a little flexibility from work.

Offer flexible schedules to your employees to help alleviate these anxieties. You could also offer them the option of working remotely to help them balance their family and work priorities.

Consider adopting seasonal hours, where employees could leave early on Fridays during seasons that are demanding on the family – like summer break!

7. Get Quiet

Sometimes, all someone needs to rejuvenate is an opportunity to enjoy a little peace and quiet!

Create a designated “quiet spot” in the office for employees who need a break from the stimulus of the office to help their productivity.

Your introverted employees would especially appreciate the ability to take a quiet break throughout the day to give their minds a chance to recharge.

8. Get Unplugged

Many employees have access to their work email and phone even after they’ve left the office. But, did you know that if non-exempt employees access emails after hours, they must be paid for their time?

Encourage your employees to leave work at work, and to not check their work email or phone on their personal time – both evenings and weekends.

While it might seem disadvantageous for your business to set this expectation for your employees, but in the long run, it will lower their risk of burning out and your risk of higher turnover.

9. Get Rested

The most obvious and most likely the easiest way to promote a work/life balance is to encourage your employees to actually use their vacation days!

So many employees feel too busy or too nervous to leave work, even for just a long weekend (let alone a whole week!). Even when they do take time off, it’s likely that many employees are interrupted by work calls while on vacation.

Vacation days and mental health days exist for a reason – we need them. Promote the use of PTO and establish vacation preparation procedures to ensure the workplace is ready to navigate those days without contacting absent employees.

Some companies even require employees to take five PTO days in a row to ensure that they get a long, brain break at least once a year!

10. Get Modeling

Here’s the hard part. Employees need managers to model a successful work-life balance in order to build a culture that supports these ideals.

As a business leader, you need to model the balance you want for your employees, because they look to you to see what is expected of them.

If you take time off, leave work at work, and prioritize your personal life needs, they will feel comfortable doing the same. If you don’t have a work-life balance, then chances are, your employees will struggle to achieve it too.

The Balancing Act

Creating a healthy work-life balance can feel overwhelming, but it’s not as hard as it seems!

We challenge you to have a discussion with your employees about their work-life balance needs, and then pick just one of these 10 ideas to test out with your employees in this next quarter.

Are you feeling unbalanced yourself? Do you need help establishing the culture you desire for your employees? We can help! Give us a call at 502.753.0970 or check out our website to learn about outsourcing your employee issues to Integrity HR here.

Budgets are tight. What are you doing to help your bottom line?
Top 5 Reasons HR Outsourcing Improves Your Bottom Line

Our team talked to business leaders who have taken the step to outsource HR and provided real world insights and learnings in this free resource. Learn more about how HR Outsourcing can impact your bottom line, and see if it is a good fit for your business.

New call-to-action

about the author: Devin Rossini

Devin Rossini is a Human Resources Generalist for Integrity HR, Inc. In her role, Devin assists Senior Consultants and clients by providing a wide variety of Human Resources tasks. Her projects include recruiting, writing the employee handbooks and supplying specific services to fit each client’s needs.