People define work-life balance differently. One factor that affects how a person perceives the concept is the generation in which they are born. For example, baby boomers, millennials, and Gen Z-ers bring their unique perspectives to the idea because of the varied workplace settings they each have worked in. As a cross-generational concept, it constantly evolves and continues to stir conversations.
Jumping into today’s global situation, work-life balance has seen another major shift. Now more than ever, many workers do their jobs remotely, blurring the line between work and life.
As an HR personnel from recruitment agencies in the Philippines, it is your responsibility to inspire employees to strive for work-life balance. Here are some tips to help them draw the line between work and life at home:
1. Talk about their current state
Conduct a survey to know what your employees need to achieve work-life balance. Keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this challenge. A mom of two working from home might need different support compared to a bachelor only living with his canine companion.
When you touch base with employees, ask them how they are coping with the blurring of work and home life. Learn the areas in which they struggle and try out different solutions. Take note of the changes they respond positively to and see what works.
2. Aim for efficient work
Some managers still subscribe to the notion that employees who come to work the earliest and leave work the latest are the most productive. Do not fall for that outdated way of thinking—it’s high time you put a premium on efficiency, and efficiency does not translate to the most hours clocked in at work.
Teach employees how to achieve work efficiency, so they have more time for life. Remind someone who’s in charge of a small team not to shy away from delegating. This will let them zero in on more important aspects of their job.
Equip your staff with task monitoring tools, such as Trello, so that everyone knows what the others are up to without the need for micromanagement, which is counterproductive to efficiency.
3. Provide avenues for creativity
Employees working on repetitive tasks are at risk of turning into robot-like thinkers, not to mention it’s a recipe for burnout. Keep in mind that a person’s level of creativity must be nurtured, even at work.
Mitigate those problems by allowing them to pursue creative projects during work hours, even if these may be of little relevance to your line of business. Think of it as self-directed training. It will also give your employees the impression that they are, to a certain extent, in control of their schedule, which is vital to work-life balance.
4. Offer flexible work schedule
Once you send your employees home to do their job remotely, you should be prepared to adjust work policies accordingly. For example, following a strict schedule makes little to no sense. Instead of focusing on the window of time, zero in on the level of productivity. This will let your employees manage their time as they see fit. After all, they are the ones juggling the challenges of combined work and home life.
So long as the deliverables are delivered, the time in which they were accomplished does not matter. Of course, work requirements that need real-time collaboration are the exception.
5. Encourage them to take some time off
Employee turnover costs at least 33% of an employee’s annual salary. One culprit why employees decide to leave their jobs is burnout, and this can be remedied by encouraging employees to take some time off.
Some employees overwork themselves without knowing they are about to reach the end of their ropes. HR personnel should be able to spot an employee at the risk of burnout and immediately address the issue with a much-needed discussion on work-life balance.
A paid time off (PTO) will suffice to rejuvenate an employee’s morale. And, in the end, it’s far more cost-efficient than hiring a replacement.
6. Show that work-life balance is doable
Lead by example. If you preach about work-life balance, but you have a penchant for sending out work emails at midnight or during weekends, you’re not sending the right message to your employees. Let your employees know you go on regular vacations. Leave the office on time or log off when there’s nothing more to do.
Sustainable Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is the key to happy employees, which would eventually lead to a thriving company. The opposite scenario is unsatisfied employees and high turnover rates—both of which are costly paths for the company.
Open communication with employees is of the essence here. Know where they are at in terms of work and life. Provide the necessary support that will allow them to make both as satisfying as possible.