Many Americans struggle to manage competing responsibilities at work, home, and in the community. For many, attaining an appropriate work-life balance can seem practically impossible. For those who have done so, the benefits can be significant. It is not just employees that benefit from work-life balance. Employers do too.
What does work-life balance have to do with employers?
While determining and maintaining a satisfactory work-life balance is primarily the responsibility of individual employees, employers can help their employees obtain a positive balance. Employers who keep an open mind about how their business should run, are flexible in how they approach their employees’ working arrangements, and are cognizant of their employees’ needs make work-life balance possible. Employers can also benefit greatly from addressing work-life balance issues with their employees.
What is in it for employers who offer work-life balance?
Employers who are able to offer employees flexibility are likely to attract a much wider range of candidates than employers who do not. A 2012 Guardian Grad Facts Survey indicates that work-life balance is very important for recent graduates. According to the survey, 91% of graduates said that finding a good work-life balance was very important to them, while only 31% of those surveyed stated that salary was the factor they considered the most important in a job.
Employee retention is linked to satisfaction in a work environment. Further, satisfaction in work environment is strongly correlated with the employee’s flexibility at work and satisfaction with work-life balance. Employers who are able to offer employees work-life balance benefit because they are more likely to retain employees in whom they have already invested both time and money.
Offering employees a good work-life balance can significantly improve their morale. Happy, well-rested employees are less likely to get sick, are more productive, and are more likely to feel invested in the quality of their work.
According to a Corporate Executive Board study of more than 50,000 workers around the world, employees who feel like they have a good work-life balance tend to work 21% harder than those who do not.
Employees who feel satisfied with their jobs tend to praise their employers. Good word of mouth and employee praise are wonderful and inexpensive marketing tools.
We know what’s in it for employers, but how do we get it done?
Make sure that your employees know what is available to them. For example, if you are willing to let your employees work from home on occasion, make sure they are aware of that policy. Of course, it is very possible that a situation will arise that you, as the employer, have not considered. For this reason, make sure your employees know that they can discuss work-life balance issues with you whenever needed.
Many professional employees complete the majority of their work on a computer. If possible, provide your exempt employees with laptops instead of desktop computers to better enable them to work outside of the office when necessary.
Organization & Time Management
Workloads occasionally ebb and flow. As an employer, planning ahead can help you to avoid unnecessary work peaks that could negatively impact both you and your employees.
Be a Good Boss
Whenever possible, work with your employees when they need a little extra time, whether it is time off or time to complete a project. Being good to your employees will make it more likely that your employees will be good to you.
How should employers build a work-life balance plan?
Determining what work-life balance plan will be most beneficial for your workplace will take some consideration. There are several factors you will need to consider.
Once you have answered these questions you can begin to incorporate them into a plan that works for you and your employees. Oh, and remember, everyone needs work-life balance. That means bosses too.
Please contact a Gjording Fouser lawyer at 208.336.9777 if you would like any additional information about this topic or any other employment issues facing your company.