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WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO ENCOURAGE WORK LIFE BALANCE FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES

It’s well known that a happy employee is a productive employee. If you run or own a business and you want to make sure that those who work in your business continue to perform effectively in the long term, you need to implement a strategy that encourages a healthy work life balance.

On average, one third of your life will be spent at work – that equates to 90,000 hours over the course of someone’s life. That is a lot of time, and it is no wonder that creating a balanced approach is crucial to maintaining the emotional and physical wellbeing of your employees.

What steps need to be taken?

Creating a mentally healthy workplace takes time and consistent effort. You are in effect overhauling the very culture of the working environment. An open and honest channel of communications needs to be established in every department to make sure that every one’s voices are heard, and that people have the opportunity to voice their opinions. 

In the meantime, here is a simple checklist of practical changes that can be implemented to help smooth the process of improvement. 

Implement an employee benefits scheme and EAP

An EAP – Employee Assistance Programme – is an established platform of employee benefits. There are several options available which offer a range of services. These services include access to private medical, dental and mental health support. Many offer 24 hour mental health support particularly to help reduce stress, anxiety and depression, in a bid to both get employees back into the workplace and ultimately increase productivity.

Also included in some EAP packages is financial and legal support for those needing professional help, giving them initial assistance and guidance to help them through challenging situations. This is particularly important for those who are overcoming relationship and family difficulties.

Other EAP schemes offer more in terms of employees perks that you can be used to give your employees access to discount vouchers, cash back schemes, discounted tickets to events, special offers, flights and holidays, supermarket vouchers, points schemes. 

Birthdays as a holiday

Offering your employees the chance to celebrate their birthday as a day off is a small concession that can be awarded and planned in as a special perk for everyone. 

This boosts good will and motivation. Not only is it a ‘special’ day for each and every individual employee and makes them feel valued, but it is also a successful way of eliminating unplanned absences around those birthdays. 

Hybrid working model?

The massive pivot to working from home that was instigated by the pandemic has created a whole new mindset around whether it is necessary to work from an office five days a week. While working practices have on the whole reverted back to normal, many companies have maintained a more hybrid approach to working, whereby employees can choose to split their time.

For many families this has significantly improved the work life balance. By eliminating lengthy commuting, and incorporating a more flexible approach to working hours, employees are finding that they can spend more quality time with their families, while still maintaining high levels of productivity.

Encourage suggestions and participation

Ultimately making any change to the working environment can be met with resistance, no matter how much they are done to the benefit of the employee. The most important aspect is to maintain those open channels of communication. The more an employee feels that they are being consulted, that their opinions are being valued, the more likely they are to welcome changes, rather than resist them. 

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