Achieving a work-life balance is becoming more difficult in today's fast-paced business world. Employers expect more from their people, and we are increasingly putting additional pressure on ourselves to achieve more outstanding results.
It can be challenging to have a proper balance between life and work. Combining work, family responsibilities, and personal life in the best way possible is essential for an employee's wellbeing.
In Australia, about 13% of employees work very long hours in paid work, above the OECD average of 10%. More than 1 in 10 employees work for more than 50 hours per week, which is considered "very long hours" by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
What is Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance is defined as effectively breaking adequate time between work and other vital aspects of life. An excellent work-life balance occurs when an employee can give equal opportunity in different parts of life, including work, family, friends, and hobbies.
Who is affected by poor work-life balance?
Australians spent more work hours than most people in other developed OECD countries, with less time to look after themselves. Working for long hours can have a negative impact on your employee's health. It increases stress and cuts leisure activities, making it more challenging to achieve a healthy balance between work and personal life. As a result, there is a loss in productivity at work and a sense of missing out on their personal life.
It also impacts employers because poor work-life balance issues, including higher levels of work stress, sickness absence, staff turnover, and a lack of loyalty or commitment among employees, negatively affect the organisation and the business.
Why is work-life balance crucial to employees' productivity?
1. Less stress & burnout
Those who have poor work-life balance are prone to experience high levels of stress and burnout – it's emotional and physical exhaustion, which can occur after a long period of excessive or stressful work. Work-life balance is vital as it allows you to distinguish between work and home, which means that the stress of work stays at work and does not come after you outside of office hours. Allowing work stress to invade your home life is one of the primary indicators you are not achieving a work-life balance.
2. Create great control & focus
Keeping a work-life balance is essential for your health and relationships, but it can also improve the efficiency of your work performance. With a balance between work and personal life comes more significant control of where your focus should be. If you leave work at the office, all your attention will be on your home life, and you give yourself and your loved ones the attention everyone needs.
When spending time with your family or friends, your mind should be focused on the moment you are in rather than thinking of work. Likewise, if you are in the workplace, greater focus should be placed on the tasks at hand. This will make you a more efficient worker, demonstrating one of the many benefits of achieving a work-life balance.
3. Reduce health problems
Stress can cause various symptoms and can impact your overall health and wellbeing, a reason why maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential. Having the time to look after yourself by exercising, eating well and relaxing can limit your health problems and make you a more efficient worker during working hours.
How can you encourage better work-life balance for your employees?
Provide staff with flexibility options like part-time work, job sharing and working from home to increase job satisfaction, productivity, and motivation.
Include a work-life balance policy into your mental health policy at work.
Train employees' time management skills and strategies to help them better manage their workload. Diaries, apps and to-do lists are all useful.
Adopt family-friendly policies to make family life and work-life easier for working parents, especially when they have young children.
During one-on-one meetings, take time to ask how employees feel about their workloads and other responsibilities and what things you can do to facilitate a healthier work-life balance.
Provide access to resources to help employees practice mindfulness.
Encouraging work-life balance benefits everyone in the workforce and contributes to a healthy workplace environment. Employees have more time to spend with their families and have greater job satisfaction. Meanwhile, employers reap the rewards with improved productivity, employee engagement, and decreased turnover.
The more people spend time at work, the less time they spend on their personal life activities. The quantity and quality of leisure time are essential for people's overall wellbeing and can bring additional physical and mental health benefits.
Contact us to know more about how to make a positive impact within your business and improve your team's mental well-being. Call us today on 1300 114 818 for a private and confidential conversation or email us at email@example.com.
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