If your workers are feeling disengaged and demotivated, they are not alone. After all, workplace burnout is at an all-time record high, surpassing even the peaks of the pandemic.
People across all industries feel overworked and under-appreciated. As a manager, this is the last thing you want.
Burnt-out employees perform poorly, don’t stick around, and damage your reputation. That’s why ensuring everyone has a healthy work-life balance should be a priority.
But how can you get started? Check out these essential work-life balance examples that you can quickly implement to improve employee engagement and mental health.
1. Get Serious About It
Building a healthy work environment will not happen overnight. You need a serious strategy and a long-term plan, with realistic goals.
Rather than introducing one shiny new policy, you need to look at how you can gear your entire culture to better incorporate work-life balance. For this, the right system can make all the difference.
There is no shortage of corporate wellness platforms you can use that allow you to systematically and automatically incentivize wellbeing. For example, the popular woliba.io platform allows companies to dispense rewards automatically to employees such as vacation days and wellness benefits.
You can find out more about woliba.io here to see what kinds of work-life balance initiatives you can introduce to your company.
2. Be Flexible
For any employee to feel like they have an appropriate work-life balance, flexibility is key. This means having a flexible work-from-home policy if possible.
After all, pretty much every single study shows that flexible WFH policies translate to better well-being and higher productivity. Even the mere gesture of showing that you can trust your employees to do their jobs unsupervised can go a huge way to improving well-being and work-life balance.
On top of this, you should also consider flexible scheduling. This is a popular policy that states that employees can work however they want, whenever they want.
It’s all good, as long as they work the hours they are paid for and do not miss any important meetings. This kind of flexibility empowers your people to pay more attention to their own well-being.
3. Be Accommodating
Flexibility is one thing. Being accommodating is another. Your people have all kinds of backgrounds, and you won’t necessarily know what some people are going through. Being accommodating is one of the most powerful ways to improve work-life balance.
This can mean many things. It can mean going the extra mile to make the workplace more accessible for disabled employees. It can mean implementing a “bring your pets to work” policy to make life easier for those with animals to care for.
It can mean letting employees with kids leave for the school run. All of these small gestures make it much easier to attain a lasting work-life balance.
4. Encourage Creativity
There is a reason why the tech titan Google mandates that all employees have 20% of their schedule carved out for “creative time“.
All employees, no matter their area of expertise, need dedicated thinking time to get their best work done.
Instead of filling schedules with meaningless grunt work and pointless meetings, give your people a chance to think for themselves. Not only will this improve their well-being, but it will also probably deliver magical results for your company.
5. Prioritize Downtime
It is not a given that people will use their free time as free time. If they are stressed or overworked, they will take work home with them. Alternatively, they might feel so burnt out that they just veg out at the weekends and do nothing.
You can play a role in ensuring that employees have the opportunity to pursue downtime that is fulfilling, relaxing, and rejuvenating. You can offer coupons for activities or wellness gift cards.
You can organize team outings to fun events, without any expectation that there will be work involved. You can also push your people a little to find out the activities and hobbies that they love and empower them to pursue those.
6. Focus On Health
Burnout is bad for our physical and our mental health. Likewise, poor physical and mental health makes burnout much more likely. That’s why you have a valuable role to play in boosting the health and well-being of your employees.
There are quite literally countless ways to go about this. You could introduce a fruit or salad bar at the office for free. You can start an office running club or a dedicated sports team.
You could give cash payments or bonuses to employees that meet specific health challenges, such as running a half-marathon or quitting smoking.
All of these are tried-and-tested initiatives that can and do deliver lasting results, so think about which ones could work for your people.
7. Set Boundaries
Finally, don’t forget to set some of your own boundaries that everyone should follow. It’s all well and good to say that you value work-life balance, but that is rarely enough to change behaviors or workplace cultures. It is your job to be the boss and draw the line somewhere.
For a start, this means implementing a “no emails at the weekend” rule (unless it’s a real emergency). It means making it clear that pinging someone on Slack at 3 am is bad manners.
It means encouraging employees to use up every vacation day they have, without having to worry about the consequences. By setting healthy boundaries, you’ll find a more positive work-life balance culture will take root in your company.
Did You Find These Work-Life Balance Examples Helpful?
Work-life balance might sound easy in principle, but it is difficult in practice. Getting there requires proactive work from across your organization.
You need to set a good example and help others understand the benefits of being strict about balance. Only this way will you be able to undo toxic working cultures and empower your people to realize their full potential.
If you found these work-life balance examples helpful and inspirational, there is more where that came from. Make sure to check out our Business guides for more tips on running a happy, effective organization.