10 Ways Employers Can Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance in the New Year
Having a healthy work-life balance is vital to your well-being, and the same goes for your employees. When employees experience the benefits of a positive work-life balance, they work harder, are more productive, and are less stressed. As an employer, you’re in charge of the kind of business you lead. By offering benefits that contribute to your employees’ overall health and well-being, you can be sure that your employees will be more strongly motivated and loyal to your company.
Here are ten ways you can encourage a healthy work-life balance in the New Year:
- Encourage breaks: America has developed a culture of working without respite. 91 percent of Americans work over 40 hours per week, only 1 in 3 Americans say they take a lunch break, and 54 percent of Americans forfeit half of their earned vacation/paid time off. Taking workday breaks helps to make employees better at their jobs and significantly increases the brain’s ability to focus on a single task for prolonged periods of time.
- Provide employees with schedule flexibility: In a study conducted by Fractl, more than 75 percent of respondents say they would give some heavy consideration to the benefit of flex hours when choosing between a high-paying job and a lower-paying job with better benefits. Giving your employees flexible scheduling allows them to better manage their time so that their needs outside of work are met.
- Stock free snacks and coffee: No one likes working on an empty stomach. For times when workers don’t have the opportunity to go out and get a bite to eat, stock the office with free snacks and coffee to curb their hunger and fuel their energy. Employees will feel more balanced and they’ll appreciate the gesture.
- Provide work-from-home options: Employees value remote working options for a myriad of reasons. According to a study conducted by Dell, it was revealed that 30 percent of at-home employees sleep more, 40 percent drive less, and 46 percent feel less stressed. Offering employees the option to work from home on a part-time basis is a great way to incentivize your workforce.
- Discourage workers from coming in when sick: Employees work better when they know their jobs aren’t in jeopardy because they take a sick day. Many states have already passed sick laws that provide workers with annual sick leave, allowing employees to rest and the rest of the team to continue working. Not only should employees feel supported when they can’t come in, but they should also know they’re preserving the health of the team by doing so.
- Create designated quiet spaces: If you have the room, consider creating designated quiet spaces where employees can retreat if they’re feeling overstimulated, fatigued, or need to take a personal rest break. These spaces should be kept tranquil and relaxing, so consider filling it with pleasant, comforting decor such as plants and flowers, cozy furniture, some light reading material, and perhaps some soft music. Make sure to keep the employee lounge and these spaces separate.
- Provide more vacation time: According to a survey conducted by temporary staffing firm Accountemps, the benefit that tops the wish list for employees is more vacation days. Why? Because employees want to thrive both personally and professionally. A good synergy between work and life can be measured in the flexibility and control a person has over their own life while still supporting the business. Often times this valued benefit even trumps getting a pay raise.
- Offer gym memberships or wellness programs: While gym memberships or wellness programs are still on the bottom end of the totem pole in comparison to traditional benefits, according to Glassdoor’s 2015 Employment Confidence Survey, 16 percent of employees prize this perk more than a pay raise. While you may be a skeptic, one study concluded that healthy employees cost their employers less, as wellness programs can reduce health care expenses for companies by as much as 18.4 percent.
- Provide childcare services: Figuring out childcare when it’s time to return back to the workforce can be challenging. If you have the budget and space, consider providing an on-site childcare facility that provides daycare services. If this isn’t possible, consider offering a childcare service discount to help ease the financial toll on your working parents. You can also provide flex hours to help your employees balance their childcare responsibilities with work.
- Provide better health, dental, and vision insurance: According to studies by Fractl and SnackNation, health, dental, and vision insurance is still a highly desired perk. While healthcare is a daunting financial expense for employers, offering health insurance is a great way to attract talent and retain top employees, as healthcare is a universally necessary expense for everyone.
Leading with work-life balance in mind will inspire your employees and create a positive environment in which everyone feels appreciated, respected, and encouraged. What better way for your business to grow and thrive?