Work-life balance has become essential. Millennials are the largest group in the workplace, and besides salary this is the most important factor for them when considering a job. Millennials may be driving the charge to integrate these two traditionally separate areas of their lives, but that doesn’t mean other generations aren’t getting behind the idea. How can companies incorporate this concept, which is becoming increasingly critical to recruiting and retaining quality employees?
Flexibility – Integrating Work Into Your Life
There are a variety of options available to organizations when it comes to providing your employees with flexible schedules. One popular option is allowing employees to telecommute – at least partially if not full time.
How popular? About half of the US workforce currently holds a job that is compatible with partial telecommuting, per the Global Workplace Analytics’ research. However, 80% to 90% of that workforce says they would like to telecommute. That’s a sizeable number of people who would be more satisfied with increased flexibility!
Of course, your organization might be concerned that they will see a loss in productivity. Worry not, because there is a wealth of information that indicates telecommuters are just as productive as employees who work full time in an office. Not only has research shown that 77% of occasional telecommuters report greater offsite productivity, but 23% also reported being willing to extend greater effort and work longer hours. Those are the kind of numbers you can assign dollars to.
What does flexibility mean for your employees? It means greater satisfaction overall. Of those surveyed, 50% said their flexible schedules made them more committed to their companies. Employees who telecommute can spend less money on childcare, spend less time stuck in traffic, get more sleep, exercise more, and even eat better.
Interested in knowing more about work at home programs? Check out this piece by FurstPerson that focuses on work at home employees.
Perks – Integrating Life Into Your Work
As impactful as it can be to allow employees to telecommute, organizations can also benefit from increasing the focus on personal lives when employees are in the office.
There are onsite benefits that organizations can explore that help relieve some of the pressures on their employees. We all know how frustrating it is to try and incorporate your everyday errands into our schedules. Why aren’t post offices open later!?
Potential onsite perks companies can provide employees are dry cleaning, gyms, and yes even post offices. Even the little things can contribute to employee satisfaction, such as letting them have their birthdays off automatically.
Although no company can be expected to provide everything, allowing employees to incorporate their life into their work is essential. It can even effect your company’s bottom line. For example – adding an onsite gym and encouraging employee wellness can be considered a true strategic initiative. Your healthy employees are more likely to work harder and be less costly in the long term.
Empower Your Employees
As critical as organizational action is to successful work-life balance, it is equally important to encourage your employees to balance their own lives. After all, not everyone can work from home and not every organization can host a post office.
Yes, deadlines can be critical and technology has made the workforce able to meet them at all hours from a variety of locations. However, a quick and impactful way to increase a sense of work-life balance in your employees is to encourage them to de-plug and say no. There is always going to be more work, but allowing your employees to disengage empowers them. This time off will give them the ability to recharge and stay engaged.
While they’re unplugged your employees should be taking time to improve their own well-being. This will mean something different for everyone depending on where they are in their lives. For some people this may mean turning off their phone for two hours around dinner to spend quality time with their families. For others, this may mean unwinding at the gym or going to their book club meeting. Take a moment to think about what you would like to do with a completely unplugged hour every day.
It’s important to remember that all your employees are different and what makes them satisfied and balanced may vary. Simply taking the time to open the lines of communication around work-life balance is the first step!
What do you think? Leave a comment, and make sure you check out the rest of our series on Remote Hiring!