An extract from another interesting article from the team at "HR Grapevine". Click on the link to find our more or register for their regular updates: https://www.hrgrapevine.com/content/article/
Over the last few years, employers have grown increasingly concerned about the importance of work-life balance after realising the potential benefits.
Flexible working has become a common workplace offering as well as a key enabler to increase staff attraction and retention as it allows employees to pick and choose when and where they work. This is done in the hope that a better work-life balance will result in happier, healthier and more productive employees which will ultimately benefit business performance.
But, despite employers showing a conscious effort to shake up the norms of the nine to five working culture, some workers still feel shackled to their desks to catch up on deadlines or obligated to reply to work emails in the middle of the night. This is supported by a host of statistical studies.
According to 2018 research commissioned by Gympass, British workers are adamant that their current job takes up almost half of their life, while just one-third of the professionals polled believed that they had perfected their work-life balance.
However, one boss wrote a memo on LinkedIn which highlighted the importance of having a personal life outside of work – Yahoo News reported.
Ian Sohn, President of Wunderman penned a heartfelt message to employees which said: “I never want you to feel horrible for being a human being.” He then went on to list numerous work-related activities that some employees are penalised for. The post continued:
“I never need to know you’ll be in late because of a dentist appointment. Or that you’re leaving early for your kid’s soccer game."
“I never need to know that you’re working from home today because you simply need the silence.
“I deeply resent how we’ve infantilised the workplace. How we feel we have to apologise for having lives. That we don’t trust adults to make the right decisions. How constant connectivity/ availability (or even the perception of it) has become a valued skill.”
While the post received mixed reviews from users on the professional networking site, Sohn’s message was clear; employees are entitled to a personal life outside of work. While this has huge benefits for the employee, businesses can reap the benefits too.
Why is establishing a good work-life balance important, not just for employees, but for business too?
It increases productivity
For the business cogs to turn effectively, employees need to work hard and be productive throughout their shift. Staying at work for hours on end may insinuate productivity, but the employee's output level and quality of work is likely to be less. So, having a better work-life balance will ensure that when employees are at work for shorter bursts of time, their hours are spent more productively.
Work will become more enjoyable
If employees are feeling stressed, they will undoubtedly dread the thought of going into work. This will make them feel demotivated and unproductive at work and can be extremely damaging to business. If employees feel like they have a better grasp of their personal and professional life then they will enjoy going into work. Better work output and more creative ideas – as a result of having headspace and downtime – will come as a direct result of enjoying work.
You’ll have more ‘me time’
Taking care of yourself without feeling guilty either to spend time with your family, complete a hobby or spend time doing relaxation and reflection rituals is important for everyone. No one will feel productive if they are thinking about work both in and out of the office. You need a break to forget about work worries and concentrate on personal life. Having this headspace helps put things into perspective and can often be an effective way of thinking up solutions to work problems. So, setting aside some time in your calendar to do something you actually enjoy can have huge benefits for your working life too.
How can HR encourage a good work-life balance?
Here are seven tips:
Ask employees what they need
Be on the look-out for signs of burnout
Embrace flexible working policies
Advocate efficient working – rather than working more hours
Promote wellness initiatives
Educate employees on the importance of work-life balance
Lead by example.
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