Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a near-constant issue that many people face throughout their careers. The introduction of flexible and remote working to many businesses has been beneficial, however, it has brought with it its own drawbacks. Working from home has meant being able to spend more time with family and pursuing hobbies instead of commuting, but it also comes with the price of literally and figuratively bringing our work life into our homes, effectively blurring the lines between our working life and our personal ones.
It's not just those who work from home on a regular basis. Full-time office staff may also struggle to manage a work-life balance, whether that’s worrying about the rising costs of groceries and bills during work hours or thinking about multiple email responses when we should be going to bed. It’s an ongoing struggle, and it comes at a costly price.
Facts and Figures
Taking steps to encourage a healthy work-life balance
A workplace culture that is focused on the ‘right to disconnect’ is more critical than one that is ‘always on’. The hybrid culture brought about by flexible working makes it more important than ever to get things moving in the right direction. Allow staff to establish boundaries, such as silencing notifications for work-related emails and calls outside of regular work hours – after all, no one wants to think about work whilst on enjoying time with their family.
Managers may wish to schedule regular 1-2-1 meetings with employees. This allows them to discuss their workload, highlight any stress or overwhelm, and identify training opportunities. This can be done either remotely or in person.
In some workplaces, to support staff with both workplace and external issues, it may be helpful to allow time or even provide resources for employees to seek advice, guidance, employee support or counselling. Speaking to colleagues about their own experiences managing their own work-life balance is also a way to encourage support with one another when things get tough.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to wellbeing in the workplace – and what works for one organisation, might not for another – but open and honest communication between employers and staff is key to figuring out what works best. During such uncertain times, employee well-being cannot be overlooked.
A workforce that feels stressed, unhappy, or uncertain will not be a productive one, so have these conversations now and provide the appropriate support to your workforce where needed.