5 Benefits of a Work Life Balance for Employers

26th August 2018

The benefits of a strong work life balance is as important for your business as it is for your employees. Helping your employees keep their professional and personal lives in harmony will pay dividends down the line.

Promoting a positive work life balance within your business provides a number of benefits to your business, including:

  • Better staff retention
  • Increased productivity
  • Higher employee engagement
  • More profitability
  • Strong brand reputation

Any good business knows that that investing in people is one of the most valuable things you can do. Your business relies on the talent of the people behind you, so helping to keep them engaged and happy will help your business go further.

UK Work life Satisfaction

Almost 30% of the working population, some 6.5 million employees in all, are unhappy at work. According to recent research, employees are not just unhappy, they rate job satisfaction higher than more pay. People know that they have to spend most of their lives at work and want to find value and contentment in their jobs.

The Mental Health Foundation calls the increasingly demanding work culture in the UK “the biggest and most pressing challenge to the mental health of the general population.” A survey by the foundation in 2016 reveals as much:

  • 1 in 3 employees feel unhappy about the time they devote to work
  • 40%+ are neglecting other aspects of their life because of work
  • When working long hours, 27% feel depressed, 34% feel anxious and 58% feel irritable
  • 60% experienced a negative effect on their personal life as a result of work

A follow-up study in 2017 revealed that managers are aware of the importance of a healthy work life balance, but less than a quarter have made steps to do anything about it. So what can businesses do to promote a healthy work life balance to their employees?

Promoting a Healthy Work Life Balance

Before you can introduce new policies to your business to promote an improved work life balance, it’s important to get a thorough understanding of the diversity of your workforce. The makeup of your teams will affect which changes you make and who will benefit most from them.

Flexible Working Hours

Flexible working hours are starting to become a necessity rather than a privilege. With more millennials in the workplace  than ever, the demand for flexible working has never been higher. Flexible working allows employees to attend to important personal matters even while working. With the advantages of technology today, it has never been easier to promote a programme of flexible working in your business.

In addition to promoting a healthy work life balance, there are number of other benefits to embracing flexible working, including:

  • Reduced sickness levels
  • A reduction in staff turnover
  • Allowing people to work when they accomplish most
  • Extended operational hours

Alternative Working Days

Most businesses are pretty settled into their 8 hour day, 9 to 5 routine. But there have been studies that show that this may not be the best way to ensure a happy and productive workforce. Some companies are exploring the idea of four day weeks with longer hours.

Take the time to explore which working structure works most profitably for you. You may find that your business would benefit from a better balanced working week. Alternative working days can help promote a healthy work life balance and boost the physical health of your employees.

Promote Health Incentives

Prioritising health is an essential part of ensuring a good work life balance. Long work hours combined with long commutes can force employees to sacrifice health and fitness. Offering discount gym memberships for a nearby fitness centre can encourage your staff to keep up their healthy habits. You could also hold optional classes at your workplace, or sponsor company sports teams.

Physical health is one of the major aspects of an employee’s personal life that can impact their working life. Overworking leads to stress, which can increase the risk of a variety of health problems from high blood pressure to strokes and substance abuse.

Encourage Holidays

UK law states that full time workers must receive a minimum of 28 days of paid leave per year, including public holidays. Yet despite this, 2.2 million UK employees don’t take all of their entitled holiday.

A combination of workloads, expectations and employer ignorance are depriving employees of the holiday they are entitled to. As an employer, you should know how much holiday your employees are entitled to. But beyond this, you should be encouraging your staff to take it.

Holidays are essential to personal satisfaction, relaxation, physical and mental health. Whether your staff are able to jet off to the Bahamas or not, time off work is a vital part of the work life balance. It gives staff a chance to reset, reflect and recharge. Studies have shown that workers are more productive after going on holiday.

Benefits to Employees

Employees are looking for advice on how to achieve a harmonious work life balance. Lead by example and help them create balance in their lives. It will provide them with a number of useful benefits, including:

  • Better time management
  • Personal growth
  • Better focus
  • Higher engagement
  • Personal health & wellbeing

Better Time Management

Being able to report to work when they’re most productive, employees are able to maximise their performance and finish their tasks on time. This will make them more productive, allowing them to achieve more with their day.

If members of the team will be given longer hours of work in return for three days off from work, they will be able to organise their time and divide it among different tasks. This will also give them time to attend to personal matters at home without sacrificing work.

Flexible working hours give people options. Options encourage people to manage their time more effectively, which will, in turn, make them better at it.

Autonomy and Personal Growth

A healthy work life balance empowers personal growth. Allowing staff to choose their own schedules and the days within a week when they report for work, you give them the power to make decisions regarding their work and personal life.

This is beneficial to employees because it can encourage them to become more confident about themselves and more assertive. This can help them maintain a positive mental attitude and strive to be more productive and successful.

Increased Focus

A strong work life balance allows your employees to focus on what they are best at. Free from the stress of their personal life, your staff are able to focus on work, allowing them to feel the satisfaction of doing a good job and achieving something with their work day.

Employee Engagement

Employees with a balanced work life relationship feel more content about their workplace. Contentment is the bedrock of employee engagement. It inspires employees to get behind their brand, be proud of their work and encourage them to do more. Harnessing employee engagement is easy; creating it is the challenge. But a good work life balance is a great place to start.

Personal Well Being

Ultimately, successfully balancing work and personal life will lead to better personal well being. Everyone wants to feel better, settled and in control in their lives. A healthy work life balance is a cornerstone of personal wellbeing because work is central to so many people’s lives.

Balance means less stress. Less stress can reduce the risks for medical conditions and allows people to have healthier and happier lives.

Benefits to Employers

Things that benefit workers benefit businesses too. Employees with a healthy work life balance will ultimately help your business become profitable and successful. Other benefits include:

  • Better staff retention
  • Increased productivity
  • More profitability
  • Higher employee engagement
  • Strong brand reputation

Reduced Employee Turnover

Satisfied employees stay. Work life balance is a key aspect of job satisfaction, so encouraging a healthy work life balance among your workers will help reduce employee turnover. Staff turnover costs businesses £16,000  per employee on average, a cost most businesses can’t keep absorbing. High staff turnover is also terrible for morale, disrupts projects and makes it harder to get things done.

Potential new hires pay attention to things like staff turnover rates. They are often a sign of business culture and workplace satisfaction. By boosting staff retention by promoting healthy work life balance, you make your business more attractive to potential new talent.

Improved Productivity of Employees

Offering flexible working options to employees does more than make their lives easier. Allowing employees to enjoy flexible work schedules, lets your staff work when they are at their most productive.

Some people love mornings, while others are night owls. Some people are more productive when they know their children are safely in school, allowing them to concentrate on work. Staff with a healthy work life balance are more productive, which means your business becomes more profitable.

Profitability

In addition to being more productive, staff with a healthy work life balance can offer other profitable advantages. Employees that are happy in body and mind take fewer sick days, have better control over their own finances and are able to commit more to work.

A good work life balance allows people to be more flexible, giving them the opportunity to take advantage of business opportunities when they arise. They are also more receptive to personal growth and training, allowing you to potentially expand your business offering with new skills and proficiencies.

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is important for any business, but particularly businesses looking to grow. You need to help your people feel happy and content so they can get behind you and help drive your business forward.

Engaged employees also take fewer days off sick, being more prepared to work through a sniffle than use it as an excuse for a day off. Engaged staff are also more reliable and trustworthy, giving you the power and peace of mind to delegate and know work will get done.

Reputation Build Up

Ultimately, encouraging a healthy work life balance in your business will make your business a much more attractive place to work. Build up a reputation for taking care of your people and the top talent will overlook your competitors and come to you.

People want to know that they are cared about and the more you show it, the better your business will be. When people are proud of where they work, they will tell people. This makes them true brand advocates that will continue to boost your company’s reputation in the marketplace.

Work life balance is essential to both employers and employees because of the number of benefits it offers. This is why more employers are making use of best practices to achieve this much needed balance to their employees.

Flexible Work Needs Flexible Payroll

A carefully balanced work life relationship requires a flexible payroll solution. As demand for more flexible businesses grows, payroll becomes more complex. As people juggle working patterns and different ways of working, make sure your payroll is flexible enough to meet your needs.

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