Employee Satisfaction vs. Work-Life Balance

By Bryan Wood
November 2, 2017

In recent years, Americans have increasingly struggled to obtain the perfect balance between spending time at work and with family. Daily schedules have become busier; consequently, the concept of work-life balance is now a vital issue within the American workforce.

Why Work-Life Balance is Important

An adequate work-life balance is essential when it comes to enhancing employee satisfaction. Employees who feel they have ownership over their work-life balance usually have good relationships with their employers. Management personnel tends to be less stressed, more motivated at work, and keep their work and home lives separate.

Studies show work-life balance directly correlates with employee satisfaction. For example, a survey conducted by the Corporate Executive Board found employees work 21% harder when they feel they have adequate work-life balance. This study indicates a major business issue between employee happiness and engagement.

A positive work-life balance within a company creates ripple effects when it comes to productivity, decreased conflicts, better candidates for job openings and higher retention rates.

A company that promotes a positive work-life balance will typically gain a great reputation by having happier employees who work better. Advancing this kind of balance within a company is just as beneficial to a company as it is to its individuals.

Benefits That Promote Employee Satisfaction

More companies have figured out they can create a better work-life balance for their employees through the benefits they offer. The following are some great examples of how to promote employee satisfaction by creating a better work-life balance.

Access to Exercise

Exercise is by far the best way to alleviate the stress of all kinds, and every able-bodied adult should get 30 minutes, at the very minimum, of exercise per day. That can be difficult when your work-life balance is disproportionate and you barely have enough time and energy to be properly nutritional.

Employees who work out and eat healthily are much more likely to experience higher satisfaction.  Many office buildings include on-site gym facilities for employee use, creating a convenient alternative for larger businesses.  Businesses with fewer employees or office space with that amenity can offer employees a discounted membership to a nearby gym.


Parenting duties never end and, many employees can interrupt the workday.

A great benefit to offer employees is an on-site childcare service with reliable caretakers. This eliminates incredible amounts of stress that can build up for parents while they’re at work. Childcare service discounts are also a great benefit that can help employees decrease stress.

Simply being flexible with scheduling for parents is a great strategy. Allowing parents to take the time they need to be with their kids helps ensure a work-life balance that works for their team at home just as much as your team in the office. Understanding and adjusting expectations and schedules in light of family obligations can significantly increase employee satisfaction.

Some life events deserve paid time off. By offering unpaid time off for people to spend with their families in certain situations can also be just as important in terms of employee satisfaction. It indicates that a company cares about its employees’ familial necessities and individual desires to better themselves and their children overall.  It also reduces the likelihood of employees trying to juggle too many balls drop the “work” ball – leaving employers unable to meet commitments to their customers or clients.

Designated ‘Quiet Spaces’

No matter how reverent a company is towards providing a work-life balance to employees, there are always going to be times in which an employee is having a bad day and needs to spend some time away from team members.

Creating a place for people to go in the office that isn’t an employee lounge, enables employees to experience silent reflection and solitude.  Companies will be able to see the benefits of mental breaks during the workday and how they can coincide directly with overall efficiency and satisfaction.

By empowering employees to take control of their work-life balance, there can be profound impacts on the satisfaction that greatly outweigh any kind of inconveniences or policy changes. These impacts directly correlate to the overall effectiveness of any company.

The Wood Law Office, LLC’s mission is to help protect employees’ civil rights. Bryan Wood has practiced employment law in Chicago his entire career, representing predominantly employees for over half that time. He has helped employees successfully transition jobs and recover for their losses without ever filing legal claims. He also has helped employees win multi-million dollar verdicts and awards.

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