What Can Your Business do for National Work/Life Week?
Today marks the start of National Work/Life Week; a chance for employees and employers to consider how they can improve work/life balance at their business.
The event was created by Working Families, a charity that helps parents, carers, and people with family commitments, to achieve their full potential at home as well as at work. National work/life week is intended to raise awareness of how important having a healthy work/life balance is to both the employee and the employer. More than a third of today’s workforce is made up of parents (11 million people), one in ten of which have had to refuse a new job or promotion because of lack of work/life balance opportunities. So, every year Working Families collaborate with companies like American Express and Barclays Bank to promote the advantages of a better work/life balance to employees’ mental and physical wellbeing, alongside improving business productivity and recruitment.
But what can your business do for National Work/Life Week? The best way to get involved, is to start planning how you can improve your own company’s work/life balance. Here are some examples to get you started…
Firstly, explain why having a good work/life balance is important for staff wellbeing as well as the company’s wellbeing. Having a better work/life balance is beneficial for employees because it enables them to spend more time with their family and have more control over their lives, thus improving their mental health and happiness in general. As for what benefits it brings to the business, studies conducted into the effects of implementing a better work/life balance have shown that employees are generally more productive and willing to remain in the role longer. Outlining these factors can help dissuade staff from overworking and feeling burnt-out because of it.
Overworking might also cause your employees to suffer from stress or even physical illness, so it’s important to ensure that they take holiday on a regular basis. Try implementing a HR policy where staff must take, or at least plan to take, some holiday every six months. Also consider enforcing a no contact rule for those who do go away and ensure that measures are put in place to avoid ever needing to contact them (unless in a dire emergency).
Try bridging the gap between your employees’ home-lives and their careers, by organising events where they can bring their families and friends into work. We held our very own family day during August, and it was a rousing success with our employees. It helped to familiarise their children and partners with what they did at work and provided a great opportunity for everyone to de-stress.
Implementing the right technology can also help your employees to be more productive and waste less time because of miscommunication or inefficient practices. With a good CRM (customer records management) system or intuitive communications set-up in place, your employees won’t need to work additional hours playing catch-up.
But perhaps the most significant way you can help improve your employee’s work/life balance is to introduce flexible and remote working options. Offering either can help your employees to save time they’d otherwise have to spend commuting. But flexible working gives employees the most control over their work/life balance, as it enables them to fit their projects and tasks around their family responsibilities (like picking children up from school or caring for a sick relative). We offer our very own remote and flexible working schemes here at Redsquid, primarily to support employees who cannot commute in and parents who have young children to care for. Accommodating these needs helps our staff to obtain a better work/life balance and can therefore focus on their work without stress or distractions.
There are smaller things you can do to get involved in National Work/Life Week right now, by visiting Working Families website and downloading their free toolkit. You can also engage with Working Families on social media and join in the discussion on how to improve peoples’ work/life balance.