Maintaining healthy lifestyles and paying attention to mental wellbeing have always been important aspects of daily living. However, with the world in crisis over the coronavirus pandemic, the concept of wellness has come under intense scrutiny even in the corporate world.
With the following tips, you can help your staff to continue to be productive in these unprecedented times by encouraging a healthy balance between their work and home lives.
Find out what your employees need no 1
The best way to implement well-tailored strategies to help your employees with their work-life balance is to know what they need exactly. Carry out a company-wide survey to get an idea of what your employees think about current work policies, how these policies affect their work and what you can do to improve the corporate culture in your company with regards to how it affects their personal lives.
Any new strategies you introduce are more likely to be effective when they are more targeted and evidence-based. Involving your employees in the process will ensure that the solutions you come up with will actually solve issues that affect your staff and are important to them.
Empower your staff no 2
Give your staff the tools they need to help themselves improve their work-life balance. Host seminars, webinars or virtual company retreats that teach your workers about the importance of balancing their work with their personal lives. Equip them with information on how to achieve this balance and how that can translate into better job satisfaction and productivity.
This can mitigate problems in the workplace, such as employee burnout and motivate your staff to be more efficient in their work.
Offer flexible and alternative working hours no 3
The typical nine to five model of working has been widely adopted across the globe. However, working longer hours does not necessarily translate into an increase in output of quality work. Studies have even suggested that decreasing work hours can have a positive effect on worker productivity. There are several alternatives to the standard 40-hour workweek.
One increasingly popular strategy is to implement a 9/80 work schedule, which offers more flexibility and guarantees employees a number of days off every month. Some 9/80 work schedule challenges to watch out for include difficulties with time tracking and insufficient staffing. This schedule may not be the right fit for small businesses with few employees.
Encourage time off no 4
Taking some time off to recuperate and recharge is essential for reducing stress and improving overall mental wellness in your employees. It allows them to come back to work refreshed and prepared to work with increased focus, commitment and drive.
Make it compulsory for employees to use up their annual leave each year or put a cap on how much time off they can carry over to the next year. This way, even the workaholics on your staff are given the opportunity to regularly take the pressure off from work and stay motivated.
Excessive work increases a person’s risk of developing health conditions such as hypertension, stroke, lower back injury (especially in more labour-intensive jobs), excessive alcohol consumption and mental health issues.
Ensure that your employees are energized and healthy enough to make meaningful contributions to your company’s growth by encouraging them to indulge in some well-deserved rest.
Make it a family affair no 5
Come up with ways to include the families of your employees in their work. This can be done by hosting work events where members of staff can invite family and friends to socialize with their co-workers. It promotes a warm and welcoming corporate culture in your company which allows you to connect with your employees on a more personal level.
Such a work environment will foster positive working relationships and strengthen teamwork amongst your staff. It also has the added benefit of allowing your staff more time to spend with their families.
Improve support for parents no 6
Companies that are not family-friendly often lose valuable employees who need support as they try to balance their work-life with their parental responsibilities. Working mothers and fathers can be supported by providing company daycare centres, job share opportunities and equal benefits for maternal, paternal and shared parental leave.
The corporate world is increasingly aware of the loss of expertise that it incurs when parents on staff do not feel supported and are compelled to seek better opportunities for the sake of their families.
Embrace remote working no 7
Telecommuting is an excellent way to introduce some versatility in your employees’ work lives. Even before the pandemic necessitated remote work, businesses with work-at-home policies already in place benefited from an increase in productivity of their remote staff compared to their office workers.
This is because remote workers have been shown to have healthier lifestyles due to reduced stress, less time and money spent commuting and therefore a better overall sense of wellbeing.
Prioritize your workers’ health no 8
Healthy employees will mean fewer sick leaves and work absences. Providing health insurance and promoting health initiatives such as company club sports, regular exercise classes at work, or even the occasional cycling retreat are some of the numerous ways companies can encourage healthy lifestyles among their employees.
With the current pandemic, businesses will benefit from being compassionate with employees who may need more time off to recover from illness or care for sick relatives. Your employees will appreciate your compassion and are more likely to remain loyal to you after the dust settles.
Practice what you preach no 9
Be an example to your employees and leave the office at set times to encourage them to follow suit. Try to avoid responding to work calls and emails after work hours to set clear work-life boundaries. Employees will feel less guilty about valuing their personal time when they know that you value yours and will, therefore, be less likely to overwork themselves.
Encourage breaks no 10
Get your employees to take short breaks throughout their workday by providing them with a break room where they can get some downtime away from their desks and screens. This helps to combat declines in productivity as the day wears on and allows your staff to build healthy coping mechanisms against stress.
Explore part-time options no 11
Hiring temporary workers not only saves you the time and money involved in obtaining permanent hire, but it also allows your permanent staff a reprieve from taking up extra shifts to cover other team members on parental leave, vacation or sick leave.
Respect their time off no 12
Calling or emailing employees after work hours or during their vacation time puts pressure on them at a time when they should be recharging. It is essential to respect the personal time of your staff members to ensure that they are well-rested to put in the maximal effort during work hours.
Design tailored work experiences no 13
Everyone is different. While it can be challenging to satisfy each and every employee’s peculiar needs in terms of their work experiences, it is certainly not impossible. Some people may be wired to work more efficiently later in the day, while others may consider themselves to be early birds. Your company will attract and keep more talented employees by figuring out ways to cater to their strengths and optimize their work experiences individually.
Your employees form the foundation upon which your business operates. Strengthen that foundation by ensuring that your staff are well equipped to handle the demands of their work responsibilities while living full and functional lives both in and out of the office.
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