Many of today's executives, managers and employees continually check their phone or personal laptop for work-related emails when they should be spending time relaxing with their family. Consider this 2016 survey from Deloitte that revealed that Americans collectively check their phones 8 billion times per day, which comes out to an average of 46 checks per day for each American.
Tethered to work 24/7? Even if such short-term, intensive commitment results in high productivity for a while, employers know that these employees are doomed to undergo an eventual burnout, which may have more far-reaching negative implications.
Considering the possible negative consequences, which may include illness or an extended leave, involving too much ongoing connectivity, you will probably quickly see that it is important that today's conscientious employers help facilitate an environment that encourages a healthy work-life balance.
What are Some Key Benefits to Adopting and Implementing a Work-Life Balance Philosophy in Your Office?
Whether employees realize it or not, putting the smartphone down, out-of-sight and out-of-mind at the dinner table is going to give them more satisfaction.
Consider the following additional benefits of work-life balance if you are on the fence about launching an initiative:
- Employees become more responsive when it counts, such as when they are at their desks or in an important meeting.
- A fresh perspective boosts positive employee characteristics like self-esteem and loyalty.
- Home life becomes happier and more relaxed, which spills over into the work day.
- Employer-employee relationships are likely to improve when the employee feels more rested and refreshed at work.
- Turnover rates decrease while productivity increases.
- Employees need to take fewer sick and personal days to recover.
How Can You Help Your Employees Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance so You Can Both Reap the Benefits?
The Work-Life Balance CEO states that "Work-life balance is not a problem to be solved. It is an issue to be managed." Your organization's job is to manage your employees in such a way that allows them the freedom and peace of mind to choose to pursue work-life balance.
Try working in a few of the following ideas to launch your work-life balance program:
- Start with Lunch - Sometimes small steps are the best way to get things started in a positive direction, and lunch is the perfect small step. Encourage employees to take their full 30-minute or 60-minute lunch break without checking their phone.
- Manage Out-of-Office Situations - Encourage employees to set up an automated message for their voice mail and email to let colleagues and customers know that they are out of the office and not checking messages, recommends The Balance.
- Limit the Carryover of Paid Time Off (PTO) - PTO sometimes gives employees permission to work continuously. Knowing that their PTO awaits them, they tell themselves that a few more months or one more year won't hurt to wait for that vacation. Limit the amount of PTO that employees can carry into the next calendar year, and you are likely to see an influx of vacation requests, which is just what you want for work-life balance.
Rested and focused employees are productive employees, so creating and implementing a work-life balance program in your business is a definitely a worthwhile endeavor.