A positive work life balance will contribute towards your employees’ mental health and wellbeing. And mental health has become one of the top factors when workers evaluate their jobs today. With National Work Life Week happening between October 11 to 15, stop and consider the benefits of work life balance to your employees.
In an economy that has become more and more challenging, workers’ general wellbeing can hold the key to their success. And, as a result, to your success as a business. Discuss their work life balance with your employees and what would improve it.
Ultimately, understand the possible ill effects of a serious imbalance on workers’ mental health. Dealing with mental health difficulties at work can feel challenging. Our employees assistance programme will give you guidance and support, so you can better support your employees.
In this article, we will look at how a good work life balance might be meaning different things for different people.
What is work life balance?
Work life balance refers to prioritising and differentiating between professional life and personal life. Certainly, achievements in both aspects of life contribute to a person’s happiness. However, if the time they dedicate to their work drastically reduces any personal time they have, this will negatively impact on their health, regardless of how motivated they are. We can easily see why. Lack of personal life also means lack of time to stay active and eat healthily.
Different people achieve a good balance in their life differently. Some workers prefer to focus on high earnings and travel to exotic locations twice a year to disconnect. Others appreciate regular breaks, and more flexibility that will allow them to focus more on family time.
Avoid creating standardised expectations over these aspects in the workplace. As each employee has their own strengths and weaknesses, and each job role is different, trying to fit everybody into the same box will result in nobody fitting after all.
Instead, consider the main challenges to work life balance and address those.
Challenges to work life balance
The development of both work related and digital technology poses the biggest challenges to employees disconnecting. Add to this working from home and hybrid working as fairly new models across industries. All of these factors blur the line between professional life and personal life. When workers fail to disconnect and the distinction between the two sides of their life is lost, their mental health is likely to suffer.
Even pre pandemic, a nationwide survey showed that 74% of UK adults felt “overwhelmed or unable to cope” at some point during the year. Most concerningly, it highlighted 32% of the women and 39% of the men surveyed experienced suicidal thoughts due to stress.
With further challenges in the economy and employment market, the picture did not get rosier through Covid times.
Chronic stress tends to be a fairly common issue affecting contemporary life. It presents symptoms similar to anxiety and depression, according to research.
If the above data paints a grim picture, it should also pinpoint the importance of a good work life balance.
How can you support your employees to achieve it?
Work life balance tips
We will look next at three aspects of your employees’ life that you can contribute towards. This will ensure they are better equipped to deal with stressful situation and to maintain good health.
Firstly, encourage them to look after their physical health by:
- Arranging for gym membership discounts
- Offering online fitness classes with independent instructors
- Giving nutrition support for people interested in it
- Allowing short breaks throughout the day so they can stretch and benefit from movement
- Serving a range of healthy options – such as low carb, or low fat - in the canteen (if one exists on premises)
Secondly, don’t forget that mental health difficulties will affect their physical health too. From training mental health first aiders to encouraging one-to-one informal meetings with team leaders and managers, you can put a variety of measures in place to support your staff.
Read this article we published for World Mental Health Day for more details in this respect. And remember that our employee assistance programme specialists are here to help.
Call today on 0800 124 4992 to find out how we can assist you.
Thirdly, a good social life contributes towards a person’s wellbeing. In this very dynamic employment market we are experiencing today, businesses introduce new job roles and restructure their teams. If you hire new staff, think of how socially intimidating it can feel to join a new team.
When you consider the social aspect of working within a team, get creative. Organise work social gatherings, events and other opportunities for your staff to know each other better. Often, the social aspect will boost an employee’s motivation, or have the opposite effect. As we are looking at positive action, we won’t linger on instances of bullying, harassment and exclusion. However, don’t dismiss the fact that such situations occur, and be prepared to deal with them in a timely manner.
How Croner can help
The best way to achieve a good work life balance differs from one person to the next. You can create a happier workplace for your employees by acknowledging this and offering them the support they need.
And you don’t have to do this alone. Contact a Croner expert for advice and support to improve your systems and pre-empt staff burnout.
Call us on 0800 124 4992.