4 Ways to Encourage Work-Life Balance and Create a Happy Work Environment
In today’s digital world, it’s all too easy to get sucked into the mentality that technology enables constant availability in the workplace. It’s no wonder that 66% of American workers feel that they lack work-life balance. If C-level executives and managers aren’t mindful, they can create an environment that decreases morale and leads to high employee turnover, as 72% of Americans consider work-life balance a very important factor when choosing a job.
Here at AirTank, we value work-life balance, so we implemented policies and procedures to convey this to our employees. Here are a few strategies that have worked well for us.
Offer a flexible work schedule.
Flexibility is everything when it comes to juggling work, life and family. No two employees have the same exact needs, so allowing for flexibility empowers everyone to determine what works best for them. Of course, some boundaries and oversight are necessary—especially when you’re dealing with clients or vendors who may be on a more rigid schedule—but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer flexibility in certain areas. For example, you may consider a rotating four-day work week so that there’s always coverage each day, or allowing for flexible start and end times. At AirTank, we’ve found great success in having our employees telecommute 3-4 days per week.
Plan fun company events (during work hours)!
One of the best ways to boost morale is to do something fun! “Work hard, play hard” is how we explain this at AirTank. That said, employees don’t want to feel obligated to partake in these activities in their precious free time, which is typically reserved for family. For this reason, we suggest planning company outings and gatherings during work hours. It could be something extravagant like a day trip to go ziplining, as we did a few summers ago, or as simple as a weekly happy hour where work stops for an hour to all share a beverage of choice together.
Encourage vacation time.
Personal time off is an important opportunity for employees to recharge and also helps prevent burnout. Consider implementing a PTO policy that truly encourages people to take advantage of this benefit, and try not to be too strict about approving PTO requests. Set expectations that when employees are on vacation, they don’t need to be available to respond to every email that comes their way.
Lead by example.
Fostering an environment where employees feel encouraged to enjoy a work-life balance begins at the top. When employees notice managers acting in a certain way, it signals how they ought to behave. This means that those at the top should always be mindful of the message they want to send. Do you have a vacation coming up? Use the out-of-office feature in your email to show employees that this is the norm here. When booking meetings, be courteous of your employees’ schedules to prove to them that you value their time both in and out of the workplace.
Have you had success fostering a healthy work-life balance at your workplace? Share your best tips with us over on Twitter and we’ll retweet our favorites!
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