New Year’s Resolution: Help Employees Find a Healthy Work-Life Balance
The start of a new year is all about renewal. The holiday season helps us renew connections to friends and family; renew our energy and enthusiasm; and is a time when we renew our commitments to try new things and do better. It’s also a great time to remind employees of the importance of finding a healthy work-life balance.
Research shows that nearly 90 percent of Canadians are continually looking for ways to improve their overall well-being. And there is no better time than the beginning of a new years to start promoting a better work-life balance for your employees.
Not sure how to start? Here are four tips to help encourage healthier, more productive habits in your workplace:
1) Offer flexible work schedules or telecommuting
Unless work must be completed during traditional business hours, consider offering your employees more control over their schedules. You could let them structure their own workday or workweek, as long as they work the required number of hours overall.
Telecommuting is another way you can support better work-life balance. Surveys show that employees who telecommute have less stress and higher morale, and yes, they’re more productive too! Today’s technology makes telecommuting a breeze, so why not allow your team to work from home (or another location they choose) during some or all of their workweek?
2) Be mindful of projects and workload
Don’t let your people get buried in their work — a good employer understands and respects limits. As you manage workloads, you might be able to redistribute projects to relieve an employee who’s overloaded. Or look for work that’s no longer a priority, so you can postpone its due date or scrap the project altogether. Regular reviews are important to this process. (And the beginning of a new year is ideal for trimming excess!)
3) Give time off
Give team members a little extra free time, beyond vacations. For example, provide a longer lunch break on their birthdays or to get ready for holidays and other special occasions. Or reward their hard work on a project with a day off for fun. Of course, the total amount of time off should be the same for everyone.
Let your staff volunteer for a cause they’re passionate about, while on the job. Starting a toy drive — or a food drive for local shelters — can be a great way to unite everyone around a cause. Better yet, get the whole company involved.
4) Lead by example
This might be the most important habit of all: practice what you preach and model a healthy work-life balance. Leave on time most days, and don’t check your email on vacation. You’ll show employees through your actions that you value time away from the office — at least as much as the time you spend in the office.
Why does it matter? Consider what Howard J. Ross, Founder & Chief Learning Officer of Cook Ross has to say:
"The single most important factor that affects customer satisfaction is employee satisfaction. Employees who feel satisfied and happy at their jobs naturally tend to be more helpful and considerate toward customers. It’s simple logic. If I like my job and the company I work for, I’m going to communicate to customers that we have a good product."