a healthy work-life balance is important for us all
It helps us stay well but what can HR do to help their employees' with their work-life balance...
Many companies in the UK have introduced hybrid working, with 82% of employees intending to spend at least one day a week working from home and 54% planning to split their time evenly between the office and home (Poly).
Hybrid working does have its benefits including cutting out commutes and more time with family, but it can also blur the lines between home and work lives.
According to research by Poly, 58% of employees believe that the increase in remote working has meant they are unable to relax or switch off from work. This could be because they're working more hours than before, or because they don't have a physical separation from their workplace. This could be impacting your employees' work-life balance.
Here's why it is important, and how you can support it...
The importance of work-life balance:
A healthy work-life balance is important for your employees, but also for your business. Here's just a few ways it can help you and your teams:
- Employees with a good balance between their home and work lives are more efficient, productive and motivated.
- Your teams will be healthier, with lower absence and sickness levels.
- Taking time away from work can help reduce stress and therefore improve your teams' mental health.
- Your employees will be able to be more creative at work which means better problem solving skills too!
There's clear benefits of encouraging a good work-life balance, but how can you support your teams?
How HR Teams Can Help with Work-life balance:
MAINTAIN OPEN AND REGULAR COMMUNICATIONS
With most of us now working at home at least some of the week, it's important to help your teams maintain social interactions with their colleagues and the wider business.
Now, the important thing to remember here is that it shouldn’t be to be virtually checking in to make sure your teams are working and only talking about work. Sharing good news stories, tips on maintaining positive physical and mental wellbeing and positive news from within the business can all help your people still feel part of the team wherever they're based.
ENCOURAGE DOWN TIME
One of the main downsides to working from home is the fact that people will be bringing work into their home environment. Whilst maintaining a regular work routine can help maintain positive mental wellbeing, it can become all too easy for work to start dominating home life.
This can start by perhaps just responding to work emails outside of regular hours, or maybe dealing with work issues when you’re on leave or away on holiday. With your work life now readily accessible and potentially lingering over you 24/7, it’s important that you encourage your people to keep their work and personal lives as separate as possible – after all, everyone needs regular downtime to unwind and relax!
Of course, there will always be occasions when your people need to deal with work-related matters outside of regular hours. You can help limit the impact on their lives and support that healthy work-life balance by giving time back in return – be it a morning off, early finish or extra leave.
On the subject of time, according to research from global recruitment firm Workplace Trends, 87% of HR leaders found that flex-time policies improved employee experience in their organisations and that 7 out of 10 hiring managers encouraged using it as a recruiting tool.
Flexi-time is a benefit which goes beyond a monetary reward. It can lead to healthier work-life balances for everyone in your business and also help your people to work at times which really works for them – meaning they are more likely to be at their productive, engaged best.
GIVE ACCESS TO PROFESSIONAL MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Finally, positive mental health is the foundation to successful company cultures. If your employees are under pressure or encountering heightened levels of mental stress, they may need more professional support to help get them through more challenging times.
An Employee Assistance Programme can give your people access to professional mental health counsellors and support when they need it most. At the very least, they can offer people a safe and confidential space to talk through their problems and speak to someone via phone or email 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
How we can help you support your teams with a good work-life balance:
Helping support your employees' wellbeing helps in two ways: Firstly, a healthy and happy workforce will be better placed to tackle the challenges your business faces. Secondly, you'll be sewing the seeds of a positive company culture - a critical part of any successful organisation. So, what's stopping you?
Learn more about the benefits of an Employee Assistance Programme and how it can help your business - just click the link below to discover more!