Nurturing a Healthy Work-Life Balance
17 February 2023
A healthy work-life balance is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. In a time where hybrid and remote working is becoming the norm, and employees spend more time at their home office than business address - the boundaries are blurring. During this blog, we'll explore how HR can 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 has benefits, including cutting out commutes and more time with family, but it can also blur the lines between home and work.
58% of employees believe that the increase in remote working has meant they cannot relax or switch off from work (Poly). 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.
The importance of balance and how your HR team can help
A healthy work-life balance is essential for your employees and business. Here are just a few ways it can help you and your teams:
Employees with a good balance between home and work 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 improve your team's mental health.
Your employees will be able to be more creative at work, which means better problem-solving skills, too!
There are clear benefits to encouraging a good work-life balance, but how can you support your teams?
Maintain open and regular communications
With most of us now working at home at least some of the week, it's vital to help your teams maintain social interactions with their colleagues and the wider business.
Now, the critical thing to remember here is that it shouldn’t be virtually checking in to ensure 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 feel part of the team wherever they're based.
Encourage down time
One of the main downsides to working from home is that people will bring work into their home environment. Whilst maintaining a regular work routine can help maintain positive mental wellbeing, it can become too easy for work to dominate home life.
This can start by responding to work emails outside of regular hours or 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 essential 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 must deal with work-related matters outside 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 (Fast Company).
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 help your people work at times that really work for them – meaning they are more likely to be at their most productive and engaged.
Give access to professional mental health support
Finally, positive mental health is the foundation of 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 needed. 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.
Give your people more balance with Pluxee UK
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 sew the seeds of a positive company culture - a critical part of any successful organisation. So, what's stopping you?