The emergence of Covid-19 has made the whole world stop and think more about what truly matters and how we can take better care of our mental health. Since most people spend so many of their waking hours at work, it makes sense that we need to find ways to balance work with our private lives. There should be a clear end to the work day with defined days off. Businesses that value their employees look for ways to help their employees find a work-life balance that is supportive of both a happy life and a productive workday.
How to Support a Healthier Work-Life Balance for Your Employees
There are many different things that employers can do to provide a healthy work environment that encourages their workers to have a life outside of work. Here are some suggestions:
1. Write a work-life balance policy into the company policies and procedures manual
When employees are hired, HR should ensure that they receive a copy of or online access to the company policies and procedures manual. The manual should include a work-life balance policy that makes it clear where the organization stands on supporting their employees’ lives outside of work. Work-life balance policies and practices are usually designed to decrease the toxic practices that lead to work-life conflict and support employees in creating a healthy work-life balance. In addition, verbalizing a company’s position on a healthy work-life balance during the interview and onboarding processes is an important reinforcement of your commitment to being a great place to work.
2. Lead by example
Telling your employees that they should take breaks and head home at the end of the workday is only effective if managers and top performers are doing so as well. Set a good example by creating a workday schedule that allows you to get your work done, take breaks, and head home at a reasonable time. In addition, managers should not email workers during out of office hours or set unreasonable project deadlines that force workers to work longer hours.
3. Focus on the outcome, not how the work gets done or how long it takes
Different workers do better in different environments and accomplish tasks at different paces. Some are more productive in the office away from home while others get more done when working alone in their pajamas. Whenever possible, give employees the flexibility to get work done in the ways that work for them and refrain from micromanaging. It’s also good to keep in mind that some days, employees may not need to put in the whole eight hours to get their work done. Focusing on productivity and the end result instead of the process allows workers more control over their work day, which leads to happier employees.
4. Review employee workloads
If you are noticing certain employees putting in extra hours or sending emails way outside of regular business hours on a regular basis, sit down with them to review their workload. Ask them which tasks take them the longest and why. It’s easy for something to seem quick and easy when you have never done it. Some additional questions to ask: are their duties achievable within regular business hours? Is there anything their manager can do to help support them better? Could some duties be shifted to another team member who has more time in their day?
5. Give employees time to volunteer or spend with their families
There are few things more rewarding than quality family time or volunteering. Both these activities can lead to higher levels of mental health and should be encouraged by employers. Providing a couple of extra paid time off days with the intent of giving employees the opportunity to volunteer or spend more time with their family is a way to make a financial investment in your employees’ wellbeing and work-life balance.
6. Switch vacation and sick pay to PTO
Employees shouldn’t be shamed when they need a mental health day. One of the ways to support your employees is by giving them the freedom to choose what they want to do with their vacation and sick days. Employees who feel comfortable taking a day off because they just need an extra day to rest or need to care for a sick child or other loved one are more likely to be rejuvenated and productive when they return to work. Switching all time off to Paid Time Off is a great way to give employees more freedom.
Partnering with Makai HR
Need help supporting a great work environment for your employees? We’ve got you covered through HR outsourcing! When you partner with Makai HR you can get on with the business you are trying to grow while we take care of your employee needs from payroll to taxes, health insurance/benefits and worker’s compensation. You also gain peace of mind that you are compliant with all of Hawaii’s employer laws (if you’ve ever looked you know that the list is very long and changes happen). When choosing a PEO to partner with, there are many things to consider including cost, services, and technology solutions.
With the cost of doing business in Hawaii at record highs, we know how important it is to keep labor costs in line with revenue. Our plans are priced competitively and include value-added services like time-in/time-out systems. Our three tiers of PEO service plans are tailored to the size of your business and specific needs. We offer a 100% paperless solution which means that your employees can manage their needs through a computer, tablet, or phone. We can truly improve your employees’ work benefits while freeing you up to run your business.
What are you waiting for? Companies that partner with a PEO benefit from 7-9% faster growth, 10-14% lower employee turnover; and they are 50% less likely to go out of business. Contact us today to get started!