How a better work-life balance helps keep your best employees

  Published : January 19, 2024
  Last Updated: May 23, 2024
How a better work-life balance helps keep your best employees


Employees’ work-life balance is no longer just a buzzword anymore. In fact, there is a direct correlation between employee engagement and work life balance. An employee who manages their personal and professional time responsibly, ensuring both sides of their life get equal importance, is a healthy, engaged and productive employee. An employer who recognizes the benefits of work-life balance for employees is rewarded not only with a happier and more productive workforce but also manages to retain top talent in an era when employees are switching jobs at the drop of a hat.

How can employers improve work life balance?

Of course, offering flexible work options, such as remote work and flexible hours can help sweeten the deal, but it takes more than simply cutting down hours at the office to make sure employees are happy, healthy and motivated to work. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can help your employees balance work and personal life better.

  1. Every employee is different

Not everyone manages their personal and professional life the same way. Some might have their boundaries clear, while others may struggle to get the perfect balance. Some might like to get an early start, while others might work better later into the night. Some might want to come to work every day, while others might want more flexibility. What matters at the end of the day is companies that recognize their employees as individuals and provide them with a schedule that allows employees to balance work-life according to their strengths.

  1. Make flexible work schedules a reality

The one good thing that came out of covid was that people realized the value of flexible working hours. Being able to fit their family life and hobbies around their work empowered them and helped create a more positive employee experience. In a 2021 Gartner study, 52% of employees said that they would decide whether or not to work for a company based on its flexible work policies, and 16% would consider quitting if their profile required them to go to work onsite.

  1. Productivity matters more than long hours at work

Create a work environment that’s focused on achievement and not on clocking hours. Let your employees know that they don’t have to complete an eight-hour shift every day if they’ve completed their tasks. However, when the job requires extra time, they will be expected to put in those hours. When you look at the larger picture and don’t micromanage their time, you’ve created a healthy work environment. 

  1. Insist on breaks

Most people’s attention starts to wander after 18-20 minutes of work. Encourage your employees to take regular breaks. Step away from the desk, take a short walk, move to other areas of the office, or make a cup of coffee. The Pomodoro technique has been known to do wonders for improving focus. This is how it works:

– Set an alarm for 25 minutes.

– Focus on a task till the alarm goes off.

– Take a break for 5 minutes.

– Repeat.

-Take a break of 20-25 minutes after finishing 4 such tasks.

  1. Support employees with children

Some of your most skilled employees could be parents. But they are one of those who find it toughest to achieve work-life balance. Both parents would like to spend quality time with their children, but if they are constantly working, they could get resentful or experience burnout, leaving little or no room to enjoy time with their children. You might end up losing them. As a caring and considerate employee, you could:

– Provide assistance with childcare costs

– Arrange for a company crèche

– Have good maternity as well as paternity leave options

– Offer flexible jobs or part-time roles

  1. Help employees feel valued and needed

Employees who are entrusted with sufficient work that tests their skills and capabilities feel secure in their job, which has a direct impact on their well-being. On the flip side, employees who are given workload below their capacity feel negatively about job safety and their well-being.

  1. Employee wellness matters

Your employees’ physical and mental health is crucial for their well-being as well as their approach to work. Employees who are negligent towards their health – whether through bad eating habits, irregular sleeping patterns or lack of physical activity – don’t feel their best, nor can they give their best at work.

A responsible employer can arrange for on-site or virtual wellness programs, such as yoga classes, fitness challenges, stress management classes, nutrition coaching, sleep coaching, etc. that can help steer people towards adopting healthier habits, thus achieving greater work-life balance.

Also Read: How to Identify Overworked Employees and How to Handle Them?

  1. Offer special perks

A good employer understands that one of the ways to retain talent is to elevate the relations between the two beyond simply a transactional one. Going beyond a typical employer’s responsibilities and offering access to benefits that can take away the stress of managing daily chores will be greatly appreciated. Here are a few ideas:

– Free food and drinks at work

– Discounts at gyms

– Access to company vehicles

– Taxation advice and support

  1. Help employees form social connections

One of the work life balance tips for employees that seems to work is helping them form a connection with colleagues outside of work. This can build a supportive network that can make them feel more engaged at work while also helping them make connections with like-minded people. Employers can take the time and effort to enable such connections, through book clubs, on-site fitness classes or virtual fitness challenges, running (or walking) clubs, hobby groups, etc.

  1. Practice good work-life balance

Leaders can set an example to their team by being mindful of their own actions. Instead of sending emails after work hours or on weekends, use technology to schedule messages only during work hours. This will prevent the recipient from feeling pressured to check messages during their off hours and will also inculcate a habit of keeping work and personal life separate.

Strike the balance

There is no magic formula to achieve this coveted balance between work and life. Nor is there a specific number of hours that you need to devote to each side of life. A good work-life balance means finding satisfaction and meaning in both aspects of life, without one of them overshadowing the other. When you shift from one to the other, you should look forward to it.

As a manager, it is important that change begins with you, and you help your employees find their path to find their balance. The best way to do that is to be attentive and to listen to what your people are saying.

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