Work is Not a Four-Letter Word: Helping Employees Pursue Work- Life Balance
Workplaces are filled with people coming from different cultures and previous working environments. In most cases, we meet a diverse group of people with different work ethics. Some employees seem to get everything done quickly and conveniently. These people do not need productivity hacks, and the word “procrastination” seems like a foreign word for them. Work can be a four-letter word; for some people having a perfectly balanced world and a supportive working environment, self-direction at the workplace is easy.
If you look closely, there are two types of employees in the workplace. Some work simply because they are paid a salary. On the other hand, they are people who apply a set of values based on ideals of hard work and discipline. For the latter, they have a willingness to work hard, and they feel that they are well-supported by the company in pursuing a work-life balance.
Developing Good Work Habits
While we view good work ethics as a set of strict values and discipline, companies today are also aiming for a more balanced world to help employees develop better working habits. Happier employees develop persistence, have a better focus and develop a dependable work ethic. Although it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that their employees get a well-balanced world, they can do a lot to provide a better work-life balance for their employees. Aside from that, here are some things that can help employees in their quest for a well-balanced world and how it can help them develop a reliable work ethic.
Flexible Work Schedule
When a company offers a flexible working schedule, it does not mean that your employees can decide on their working hours. You can craft a policy on the flexible work schedule for employees to understand this offer. Some workplaces allow flexible start and end times. Likewise, more sophisticated Flexi-schedules like telecommuting and a four- day workweek should be well-studied and planned before implementation. But in essence, a flexible working schedule is a cornerstone of work-life balance. Employees can save hundreds of hours in commuting, especially with the city’s heavy traffic situation. More so, employees also save on expenses and have more time for other life’s needs.
Paid Time Off
Some companies are offering Paid Time Off instead of the usual paid personal leave, paid sick leave or paid vacation leave. Using paid time off or PTO allows employees to decide on how to use their paid time off. With this kind of system, there is less worry about accounting on how the time off was spent. There may be some downsides to offering PTO in place of the traditional leaves, but it is also a great motivation for employees to pursue a better work-life balance.
Allowing Limited Numbers of PTO to be Carried Over for the Following Year
Paid time off should encourage employees to take time off and spend it on themselves or their families. Paying an employee is counterproductive, as the company will benefit more from employees who are well-rested and rejuvenated. Although some companies offer employees to donate their paid time off value to some charity or co-workers, this will not encourage them to pursue a well-balanced life.
Time Off Is Indeed Time Off
When employees are electronically connected to the workplace 24/7, whether they are in or out of the office, pursuing a work-life balance becomes challenging. As a leader, you
have to set the expectation that when employees go on vacation, it is okay to send an email that he is on vacation and has limited email access. Likewise, the employee’s time off should be respected by not contacting them unless it is truly an emergency.
Allow Employees to Take Unpaid Leaves for Life Cycle Needs
Employees can have life-changing events, family emergencies and the desire to explore other career and life opportunities. Although there are mandatory leave policies that cover many events, it may not be sufficient. Thus, companies now allow employees to take unpaid leaves for specific situations like premature birth of a baby who needs extended hospitalization, nursing aging parents, extended maternity leave, attending graduate school and others.
Don’t Expect Employees to Work Hard and Long Hours All the Time
While it is okay to push employees to work long, hard hours when there is a deadline to be met, they should not be expected to render overtime hours constantly. Employees cannot sustain a high level of energy working long hours and extending over the weekend. They will burn out, check out or leave if this is the norm in the workplace. Therefore, do not confuse dedication, commitment and engagement with working weekends or with up to 60 hour week.
Employees today seek a well-balanced work-life scenario. Apart from working on a career that they love, they also want to pursue other activities or live their passion. By providing employees with better options, companies are creating a more balanced world. When employees feel that they are given more leeway, they feel their horizons expand. They are encouraged to develop themselves and be more engaged to contribute to the goals of the company.