“Work-life balance” is a term we hear used more and more in society today, as the lives of Americans grow increasingly hectic. To find out exactly what this means, you need look no farther than the dictionary. Per the Cambridge Dictionary Online, work-life balance is “the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time you spend with your family and doing the things you enjoy.” While this definition is a bit narrow, because it implies people do not enjoy their jobs, it captures the general sentiment. With a large percentage of our weekdays spent at the office, it can be difficult to fit in life’s necessities, such as chores and errands, and still spend the time you want with your family and friends.
As an employer, there are some ways in which you can help your employees achieve work-life balance without impacting your bottom line.
Allow telecommuting when practical.
Allowing employees to work from home can truly help them balance their hectic schedules. Telecommuting does not even need to be a weekly event to be valuable to employees. For example, you can consider allowing staff to telecommute when a sudden emergency impacts their child care for the day, of if they have an ailing family member that needs care for a week.
Give your employees the option to flex their hours.
There are a number of ways you can do this. One is to offer employees a variety of times they can begin their 8 hour workday. Another is simply to allow someone to come in earlier or leave later to complete their 8 hours if they have a doctor appointment scheduled. A third would be allowing employees to work 4 10-hour days instead of 5 8-hour days.
Promote a relaxed atmosphere.
It’s amazing what something as simple as having casual dress Fridays can do to lift spirits around the office. You can also promote theme days, such as encouraging people to dress up for Halloween or wear their favorite team’s jersey on the first day of a sports season. In addition to this, you can encourage employees to decorate their desks or cubes in ways that make their space feel more like home. You may even want to hold a contest with small prizes for the best decorators.
The effort you invest in considering ways to help your employees achieve work-life balance will pay off in increased morale.