work-life balance

Ensuring employees have a work-life balance

This week marks National Work Life Week and gives both employers and employees the chance to focus on ways to address the work-life balance. For most people, balancing career demands and personal responsibilities can be an ongoing struggle, especially at a time when commuters are facing increasing delays and strikes. For instance, Southern Rail services are set to grind to a halt this Thursday as drivers stage a walk out over working hours. Obstacles like this can often make achieving a good ‘work-life balance’ feel like an impossible goal. Here are the steps you can take in order to address the balance for your business:

Be upfront with requirements

Understand the things that are truly important. Encourage employees to communicate what makes them feel fulfilled. For instance, are some members of staff keen to leave work at a certain time, so they can have dinner with their families? Having an open dialogue will help managers understand employee’s priorities and help set realistic expectations. Although every job role is different, it’s beneficial to have an open and honest conversation at every level about what balance means. Giving employees a voice and taking their opinions into consideration will also help them feel happier in their roles and more productive. Ultimately having these conversations will help business owners to identify common requires and create policies and initiatives which can be applied across the board.

Make use of available technology

Allowing employees to work from home may seem like a daunting prospect but putting trust into individuals is the first step. It’s important to believe they’ll be as hard working at home, as they would be in the office and there’s a whole host of technology available which can help employees to strike the work-life balance. Collaboration software such as video conferencing can help employees to stay connected whilst working away from the office – to people both inside and outside the business. Having access to shared resources will also enable employees to remain productive and communicate quickly, efficiently and effectively. Remember to choose solutions carefully and make sure they meet the needs of the business but also staff.

Set aside time for family and friends

Ensure that employees utilise their holidays. It’s estimated that half of British workers don’t use their full holiday allowance and this isn’t just a problem from staff it’s also a concern for businesses. If employees are reluctant to take time off it could be an indication of heavy workloads, schedule clashes, staff shortages or the office culture makes them feel they just can’t. For employees to have a healthy work-life balance it’s important they feel they can ask for time off as part of their holiday allowance. It’s not only beneficial for the individuals but also the business as having a break helps to refocus staff and help them feel re-energised.

Work smarter not harder

If employees are struggling to balance work-life commitments, look at initiatives such as flexible working. Customising the working week to better-suit your employees could help your workforce to be more productive, whether it’s changes like working hours across fewer days or splitting shifts.

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