The philosophy of work-life balance for employees seems to becoming the new standard. In fact, today more than ever more and more CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies are exercising daily, eating healthy, practicing anxiety-reducing techniques such as meditation, and promoting work-life balance within their companies for all employees. As a result, employees and managers are becoming more productive at work and home because they are happier and more engaged in both places.
Many recruitment research companies are recognizing that work-life balance now ranks high on potential candidates’ lists when seeking out new job opportunities. Some of the highest-rated companies in the U.S. for work-life balance include Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Raytheon, American Express, Honey Baked Ham, Pfizer Inc., and Cisco.
Here are a few things you can do today that will have an impact on your life and your associates, regardless of the size of your organization:
Make flextime flexible
While many employers offer flex-time, they don’t allow it to be very flexible. Instead of a one-size fits all, allow the employee and supervisors to work together to meet the needs of all team members. For example, employees that have children involved in extracurricular activities should be able to schedule their time to make it to games or school events. For those employees taking care of young children or an aging parent, provide them flexibility on the front or back end of their schedule. Success comes from discovering each of their personal needs and allowing everyone to work together. Because your team will be more engaged and happy at work, you are almost guaranteed to boost productivity and will see firsthand how balanced lives will lead to greater employee engagement, productivity and profitability.
Working hard is important, but working smart is even more so, says Jason Wachob, a former stock trader and author of “Wellth: How I Learned to Build a Life, Not a Resume.” When you combine the two, “you’ll be well on your way to achieving your professional goals,” says Wachob. “But if you’re just grinding away for the sake of grinding away, you’ll be well on your way to burning out.”
Analyze if your employees really need to work 16-hour days and pull all-nighters and shift your focus on helping them get more done in less time.
Three out of four people indicate they’re less productive due to fatigue two hours a day. Most people aren’t getting the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep at night. Surveys show the American population sleeping progressively less, and the category that has been declining the fastest is the eight-plus hours group. For an employee costing $100,000 a year, that’s about $25,000 in lost productivity, and Harvard researchers estimate that sleep deprivation costs America $63.2 billion in lost productivity every year.
Offer alternative schedules
Your ability to offer schedule flexibility for your employees can make a benefits package and job offer more attractive. According to a survey on workplace flexibility by World at Work, the 4/10 work week — where employees work four 10-hour days in the office, followed by three days off — is the most common alternative work schedule. Another option is the 9/80 arrangement, where employees work nine-hour days Monday through Thursday and get every other Friday off.
The Bottom Line
Individuals and companies become most profitable when the quality of everyone’s work-life balance is functioning at a high level. Life and work, after all, are to be enjoyed.