In the modern office, the work-life balance is something that is vital to everyone’s experience. However, as society is more social media dependent and technology makes it so easy to work from home, sometimes it can be difficult to separate work from our personal lives.
Undercover Recruiter recently conducted a global study to discover which countries ranked the best for overall work-life balance and cross-compared the findings with the last World Happiness Report. The study found that two-thirds of the world’s happiest nations were also rated the highest for work-life balance. Unfortunately, the UK only ranks 28th in the world for work-life balance and 19th for overall happiness. This illustrates that there is room for improvement.
So how can employers improve the work-life balance in the office?
1) Ask Them
The first thing you should do is ask your employees what they think would improve their work-life balance. It’s all well and good thinking about what allows you, as their manager to get a break, but it’s vital that you actually ask them to fully understand your team and what’s important to them. Even by asking your employees about what they want and need in the office is a massive positive – it shows that you value them as people and not just a number.
2) Encourage Time Off
For most people, work isn’t their entire life. Your employees have friends, partners, families and a tonne of other things they love doing outside of the office. When your employees have plenty of time off work in order for them to enjoy these things, their work-life balance is improved heavily. Time-off isn’t a luxury, it is vital to your staff’s well-being and mental health. It’s also vital that when your staff do have time off, you try not to disturb them. Allowing them to switch off and have that break from work allows your employees to recharge, which increases focus when they do return to the office.
3) Encourage Breaks
Some people will refuse breaks, choosing instead to work throughout the day non-stop. In order to increase the work-life balance, it’s important that you do encourage your employees to take a break from their job in order to meet friends for lunch, or pop out for a walk. Giving your employees that much needed break will increase their happiness at work and breaks up their day. If you can, you should install a social area in your office where your employees can talk and take their minds off work for a little while.
4) Don’t Expect Overtime
Some members of your team may do overtime occasionally, but it should never become the norm within your office environment. When employees are working more hours than average all of the time, they are less likely to be happy in the office – even if they adore their job. Everyone’s human, and everyone experiences burn-out. Sometimes, if there’s a project or something that is really time-sensitive, employees may need to work overtime – which is fine, as long as you show your appreciation and make sure they understand that it is not a normal expectation for every day work life.
5) Make Sure You Do Too
When you’re telling all their employees to take time off and to take their breaks, it’s also important that you do it too. Everybody needs to find the right work-life balance, and even as a manager, you need a break. If you don’t need to, don’t send emails out of work hours and try not to bother employees when they are trying to find that right work-life balance! You will also find that by doing the same things you are encouraging your employees to do, you will be happier in the office as well.
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