Jobs are an important part of most people’s lives. However, a job that dominates ALL of someone’s time isn’t healthy for either a company or an individual. So, what are the best ways to achieve work-life balance? Here are tips for both employers and employees.
How Employers Can Promote Work-Life Balance
- Be Empathetic
Empathetic bosses understand sometimes life interferes with work. Employees may be dealing with sick kids, family emergencies, broken-down cars, home repairs, or just an all-around exhausting day. And although some managers worry overly forgiving policies will lead to excessive absenteeism, the opposite seems to be true. Workplaces that support the need for unexpected time off tend to have happier teams and more positive cultures.
- Offer Flexibility
Even though some businesses must have their team on-site at given times, there’s usually a bit of wiggle room. For example, consider a working mother who puts her kids on the bus at 8:00. Would it be possible for her to report from 8:30 to 4:30 instead of 8:00 to 4:00? With a bit of creativity, most companies can discover flexible solutions (or at least minor adjustments) to make employees’ lives easier. Possibilities could include flexible start/end times, work-from-options, and/or compressed workweeks.
- Respect Time Off
Ultimately, asking people to log 50-, 60- or 70-hour weeks is counterproductive for everyone. In fact, a study from Stanford University showed, “After 55 hours, productivity drops so much that putting in any more hours would be pointless.” To increase efficiency and engagement, companies should actively encourage employees to set aside adequate time to recharge.
How Employees Can Maintain Work-Life Balance
- Set Realistic Expectations
Most full-time workers log around 40 hours per week. As a result, people should be realistic when planning out the rest of their time. Overscheduling during off-hours and/or skimping on sleep only leads to exhaustion, and this negatively impacts ALL areas of life.
When a boss catches an employee shopping online during work hours, they’re understandably upset. Similarly, it’s not fair to expect someone to check their work email during their family dinner hour. Of course, sometimes it’s difficult to draw clear lines. Nevertheless, individuals who successfully compartmentalize work into work time and life into personal time are more focused and less stressed.
- Find the Right Job
Workers spend an average of 90,000 hours on the job over their lifetimes. That’s over 10 years! Even if a person has a perfect work-life balance, their life is going to be more difficult if they hate their job. Of course, very few people like their work 100% of the time. Nevertheless, those who discover a job they mostly enjoy will have a higher overall quality of life.
Are You Looking for More Ways to Design a Better Working Environment?
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