The term ‘work-life balance’ is something that has been somewhat of a buzzword in business, but this year especially, we’ve seen just how important it is. Although an employee is in control of their own work-life balance, there are ways that you as their employer can make it easier for them to create a more positive balance between working life and home life.
In this article, discover the three most important things you can do to improve the work-life balance of your employees.
Instil a culture of employee trust
The first and potentially most important thing you can do to improve the work-life balance of your employees is to instil a culture of trust within the business. Even if you have all the right practices in place, if employees feel as though they are not trusted by their employer, they may be apprehensive about using those practices efficiently.
When trying to nurture a positive work-life balance, making sure employees feel that they can be honest and open without being judged is important. This can mean that if they have a personal matter to deal with, they feel they can say something without being hit with a barrage of questions they aren’t ready to answer.
Obviously, there will be occasions where you may need to step in as an employer to ensure the system isn’t taken advantage of, but where staff have given you no reason not to trust them, making it known that they are trusted to use the practices you have put in place how they see fit is important.
Offer flexible and remote working
One of the systems that can make the biggest difference to a work-life balance is flexible and remote working. Giving employees the chance to work on their own timescale and in their own space can eliminate a vast amount of the work-life issues that can arise. From watching kids who are home sick from school without having to take an emergency day to moving around working hours to account for an appointment, offering flexible and remote working can put employees in the position where they can balance life and work with much more ease.
In the light of the Coronavirus pandemic, a large number of businesses have already started to offer remote working and flexible working. Although this period has been hard for a lot of reasons, one silver lining has been that businesses can see how these practices might work for them, and what a difference they can make to employee welfare.
If you didn’t offer flexible or remote working before but have had to put them in place during the pandemic, why not assess how they have worked for you and find a way to integrate them moving forwards?
Encourage full use of holiday entitlement
Holiday entitlement is important, but for the workaholic, it can be something that isn’t fully used. Whether it’s cancelling holiday to meet a tight deadline and never rearranging, or just not utilising it properly, missed holiday days might mean more working hours but it also means that employees are missing out on their downtime. It’s that downtime that can make a massive difference to an employee’s mental wellbeing and help stop burnout.
Yes, there are occasions where holiday might not all be used in one financial year, or where an employee may want to save some of their holiday time up for a longer break (when planning a honeymoon, for example) but, if you have employees who have a habit of not taking holiday time it can be a clear sign that they haven’t got a good work-life balance.
How to improve your employees’ work-life balance:
• Instil a culture of employee trust
• Offer flexible and remote working
• Encourage full use of holiday entitlement
Helping to nurture your employees’ work-life balance can be a tricky job, but with a strong and well-rounded HR team, you’ll be able to stay on top of making sure employees aren’t working themselves too hard and are taking time out to enjoy life. By ensuring your team has the best tools for the job, whether that’s iTrent Payroll or Sage People Training, they can use their time more efficiently and help tackle issues like work-life balance.
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This blog has been written by James Proctor, Director of Consulting & Services at Phase 3.