Technology has made it possible for people to go about their business, literally and figuratively, anywhere. Sounds great? In hindsight, it made it more difficult for individuals to juggle their time between their works and personal lives. In their desire to keep their jobs and give their families better lives, most Americans, in executive and departmental levels, find it hard to achieve work life balance.
What Is Work Life Balance?
This is a concept that describes how an individual divides his or her time between work and the other commitments and activities in his or her everyday life. It is keeping the balance between work and a lifestyle, a person’s ambitions and career as opposed to personal life, family, leisure and spirituality. Oftentimes, we envy successful people and wonder how they go about being CEOs and parents to their children. For these achievers, this is a tough call. First, they did not get all these overnight. Second, they have to grapple to fit into their roles. But more or less, they have discovered the secret to work life balance. The secret is that there is none. And although different people have a variety of definitions for work life balance, achieving this offer numerous benefits.
There are numerous ways to achieve work life balance and employers can help employees to do this and reap from its fruits as well. By offering flexible working hours, employees who have school children at home can attend to these kids in the morning and report for work later in the day. Consequently, employees will be happy with their jobs and at the same time, employers can have a competitive edge over other companies. Hiring the right employees is already hard enough. Keeping high-caliber members of the team is harder. But, by applying work life balance in the office, businesses can have a wider recruitment pool and have loyal employees. Retaining efficient employees is not only good for the business but it also ensures savings from having to train new candidates.
As the old saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. This simply means that if a person spends long hours at work and leaves no time for rest and leisure, boredom will soon creep in. Imagine having to work 12 hours or more on a daily basis and even on weekends. Sooner or later, the person will be burnt out from stress and this can take a toll on one’s health. However, if a person will take a break from work once in a while to rest and relax, stress will be more reduced. Work life balance allows a person to earn and at the same time enjoy the things he has worked for.
If a person is able to balance work and personal life, this means that he or she only spends ample time doing his job and takes time to sleep and enjoy time with friends and family. With enough sleep each night, the employee will be rejuvenated the following day and be able to work better and more productive at work.
The benefits of work life balance are not only enjoyed by employees but by companies as well. When a company employs highly qualified employees, retains them and taps their creativity by allowing them some time off and making adjustments in work schedules, there will be fruitful results. These results will propel the business to success and profit.
Studies show that long hours of work, particularly stressful ones, can adversely affect the health of employees. Lack of sleep, stress, smoking and exhaustion can lead to medical conditions such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Moreover, these factors also affect performance. Lack of sleep can also result to inability to focus and safety hazards.
Companies that encourage work life balance in the workplace offer employees the option to work from home one or two days a week. This can result to savings for the company, from utilities to telecommuting.
Work life balance policies created by companies not only attract talented and excellent candidates to join their teams. These companies are also able to impress their clients with how they treat their employees. This also gives them leverage over their competitors.
Positive Working Environment
Experts say that engaged and satisfied employees result to effective work force which can create a working environment that is positive and happy. Encouraging work life balance at the office can make employees happy and productive, making working fun and lighter.
Better Customer Service
Telecommuting saves time and lets employees handle customer inquiries better and more efficiently for longer hours as opposed to not having flexible time at work. By making employees motivated and giving them more time to attend to their personal needs more, they will be happy to take their performance up a notch and offer excellent customer service.
Ways Businesses Can Help Employees Achieve Work Life Balance
1. Offer flexible time at work.
This option lets your employees choose the time they want to start working, say, 7am and leave earlier so they can attend to personal commitments.
2. Include alternative workday schedule.
If the nature of your business permits it, you can ask your employees to work for 10 hours a day straight for three days and take two days off or work every other day with 10-hour shifts.
3. Offer on-site child care options.
Some employees have kids at home that they take to day cares or leave with their nannies just so they can report for work. Perhaps, you can have an area at the office converted into a play area for kids so employees who are parents will not be worried about having to leave their kids in the care of others.
Work life balance is important for both employees and businesses because of its numerous advantages. And although achieving this is hard and doing it all at once is just impossible, knowing what, where and who does one can afford to sacrifice is important.