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7 Tips for a Healthier Work-life Balance

Published 30th November 2016 by Melissa Farrington
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High performing organisations are helping their teams strike the right balance between priorities inside and outside of work – so how can you do the same?

In today’s 24/7 society, the struggle to juggle professional and personal priorities is taking its toll on employee wellbeing. From irritability and tiredness, to stress and depression, The Mental Health Foundation has been quick to highlight the negative impacts of no ‘time-out’.

With 80% of employees stating that they’d feel more positive about their employer if they offered better health and wellbeing benefits, forward-thinking businesses are getting on the case. And in the process of improving work-life balance, they’re discovering how happier, healthier employees deliver even healthier returns on business capability and performance.

So, how can you help your people strike a healthy work-life balance?

1. Think flexi-working

Giving employees more control over when they work can boost employee wellbeing and morale, drive down absenteeism and lateness, and improve staff retention. From flexi-hours and homeworking to job shares – find the right approach to make employee freedom work for you and your people.

 

2. Exercise give and take

Showing care and support for your people encourages flexibility, making employees more likely to happily put in those extra hours during peak times. Think about official time in lieu, or an afternoon off every third Wednesday. Successful work-life balance is all about give and take. 

 

3. Remember that little things mean a lot

Develop a nurturing culture by paying attention to the life details that matter. Say ‘thank you’ regularly and adjust schedules to allow employees to visit ill relatives or attend children’s school events.

 

4. Utilise technology

Technology is a key tool in merging work styles and lifestyles. Introducing home-working can help desk-based employees maintain a healthier work-life balance. 

Facebook CEO, and author of family and career-balancing bible Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg leaves the office at 5.30pm to have tea with her two young children – and makes up the time later on her laptop, when the kids are in bed.

 

5. Make work-life balance accessible and relevant

Make work-life balance initiatives accessible and relevant to everyone – flexible working, for example, shouldn’t only be geared to employees with families. Providing incentives that encourage everyone to lead an active and fulfilling life can boost morale, attitudes and behaviour across the board.

 

6. Tailor to individuals

Success is equally important at work and in our personal lives. But what success looks like is different for each individual. Take time to talk to your team about what a healthy work-life balance means to them, be open to suggestions and tailor your approach to genuinely match individuals’ needs.

 

7. Equip your people with the right skills

Introducing initiatives like flexible working can require a shift in mind-set. Support your people to develop skills which help with their own time management and ability to meet objectives. Help employees see their work as more than just time spent in the workplace to see a greater level of engagement and productivity.