Finding the balance between work and life is a challenge for companies and employees alike. Identifying the right split between work responsibilities and life responsibilities can be difficult, but getting that balance right can make all the difference in how an employee works. As a company, culture is important. It outlines the personality and priorities of a company and how it interacts with its employees internally. In order to mesh work-life balance with company culture, it’s important to make note of why it’s important and understand how to build those values into your culture.
Why it’s Important
Not only should you prioritize a company culture built around the best interests of your business, you should also build a company culture built around the best interests of your employees. In many ways, those two things are basically the same. Satisfied employees and good employees who stick around and do their best work. For that reason, work-life balance is an important aspect of company culture.
When work-life balance is, well, balanced, employees tend to be happier and more well-rounded. Employee satisfaction is important in so many ways. It helps to prevent burnout, encourages employees to focus their energy into work, and allows employees to more present.
A productive employee is an asset to any company. Promoting productivity is extremely important in getting the best from your employees. One of the ways to do that is to promote a positive work-life balance. When an employee is happier, fulfilled, and healthy, they are more productive.
Employee retention is an important aspect for companies. Training, committing, and shaping an employee just to have them leave is not good for a company's finances or their culture. One way to have high employee retention is to promote a friendlier work environment. Another is to show your investment in each employee’s happiness — both at work and outside of work.
Promoting flexibility can mean providing employees with a flexible work schedule. Allowing for flexible work hours, shorter work weeks, or telework opportunities can keep employees happier while boosting their productivity. A flexible work schedule encourages, employees to work at times that are best for them and have more time for their life outside of work.
Instead of feeling stressed out when their child needs to be picked up from school, they can arrange to complete that responsibility while completing those hours at a later time. If an employee is feeling particularly inspired at a time that isn’t during regularly scheduled work hours, they can feel safe to work when creativity is highest. If they are most productive in the mornings, they can work earlier if they need. These small perks can make a world of difference in their work-life balance.
Prioritizing employee health means prioritizing their physical health as well as their mental health. Instead of promoting the stereotype that working moms can't get sick, for example, because their sick days need to be used for their children, support them in making healthy choices for themselves, their families, and your company. Encourage all employees to take time off for their health, or allow telework opportunities for those that are sick. Allow quiet spaces that will allow employees to get their mental health in check at work when they are overwhelmed. Encourage breaks, be flexible with illnesses, and promote short walks and you’ll be creating a space at work that will allow for a balance for your employees.
Teleworking opportunities can work wonders for those that struggle with mental or physical health issues because they can design the environment that works the best for them. On-site, you can offer medical rooms for breastfeeding mothers or those that need to take an invasive medication during the day away from the rest of the company. A company culture that is inclusive for employees with health struggles is one that greatly impacts their happiness and overall productivity as an employee.
Offering Helpful Benefits and Activities
Things like childcare, a gym membership, on-site yoga/meditation, or off-site family days are all ways to offer work-life balance benefits to employees. Work and life being able to intersect easily and flexibly can do amazing things for company culture. Medical coverage is a great traditional benefit to show your employees they matter, but don’t discount the non-traditional benefits that can also leave a positive effect on employee morale. Having work be a part of life instead of having the two be seperate can create a much more comfortable balance.
Spending more time with employees outside of work can create a culture rooted in family. Though some may find that the professional line blurs too much in these types of situations, it’s possible to create activities that can both promote community and keep the line of professionalism. Park days, creating fundraising teams, and having a group outing to a sporting event are all great ways to implement an activity to promote work-life balance.
Implementing Work-Life Policies
Implementing policies at work that are built to even out the work-life balance can create a culture that promotes cohesion for employees. These policies can be things like offering paid breaks, taking team walks during the day, paid time off, being strict about overtime, creating a casual brainstorming space, or allowing for flex hours. Even something like providing an area where employees can take power naps can be helpful to reduce employee stress and improve their creativity.
Allowing family members to come into the office when they need to, letting parents telework from home with their children, or even letting pets come into the office are all policies you can implement with clearly outlined procedures and expectations that promote the work-life balance so many employees will benefit from.
Finding the right work-life balance can be difficult, but making it a priority in your company can create a culture that makes employees feel cared for. When you work for a company that actively blends the two and works to make work and life responsibilities cohesive, employees can feel at ease with both worlds. Employees can feel secure, happier, and more committed to their duties when their company works so hard to help them maintain the balance.