One of the biggest challenges of having a family, healthy social life, and promising career is finding time to do it all. There has been an increasing focus on establishing healthy work-life balances throughout the past several years. While this balance looks different for each person, the outcome is the same for all: a satisfactory level of involvement in all roles of one’s life (Garg & Rani, 2014). This positive balance between the different roles in our lives leads to better functioning and performance at both work and home.
Organizations that provide good work-life balances for their employees tend to have lower turnover rates and absenteeism and higher retention, employee loyalty, and productivity. Additionally, employees who report a sufficient work-life balance also report better mental and physical health, reduced stress, increased job satisfaction, and a greater sense of job security.
If the benefits are so great, why aren’t more companies focusing on work-life balances?
In two words, because it’s hard work.
Creating programs and a culture where work-life balances are a focus are not as easy as rolling out a flexible work schedule or a work from home option. They require careful planning, assurance that all employees can benefit equitably, and the creation of a culture that doesn’t just support it, but actually encourages it.
Here are some suggestions to create an organizational culture that promotes work-life balance:
- Leaders must not just buy in, they must actively participate in each initiative.
- Each initiative should be evaluated to ensure it is inclusive for all and results in equitable work-life balances for each employee.
- Provide several different opportunities for employees to create a work-life balance for themselves.
- Ensure employees are truly supported as they take advantage of work-life balance initiatives. For example, if they are provided time off or a flexible work schedule, do not fill their inbox with to-do items while they are not working.
- Ensure every position and level within the organization is supporting and participating in initiatives equally.