A recent study revealed the pivotal role that employee wellbeing plays in the workplace. Astonishingly, nine out of 10 employees deem wellbeing benefits as ‘critical’ when selecting an employer, as per the Employee Wellbeing Data Report by global flexible workspace provider Mindspace. Furthermore, the report underscores that more than eight out of 10 (82%) employees now expect their employers to actively support them in achieving a healthy work life balance.
The Employee Wellbeing Data Report delved into the most impactful ways In which employees feel their employers should contribute to their overall wellbeing. Nearly half of the respondents (43%) highlighted flexible working hours as the most influential benefit on employee wellbeing. Additional desirable benefits include flexibility regarding work location (21%), free healthy meals (24%), increased vacation days (33%), improved health insurance (16%), and physical amenities, such as on-site gyms.
Importantly, when questioned about the negative effects of workplaces that do not prioritise wellbeing, 23% of employees acknowledged that such environment adversely affected their desire to remain with the company. Half of the respondents (50%) believed that motivation was the most compromised aspect, followed closely by productivity. This data underscores the shifting attitudes towards the workplace and work life balance, with the majority of employees facing a greater emphasis on mental and physical health and overall wellbeing, even as workplaces evolve in the response to trends like ‘quiet quitting’ and the return-to-office mandates.
The Importance of Work Life Balance
Work life balance is of paramount importance for employees as it directly impacts their overall wellbeing and productivity. In a faced paced, modern work environment, striking the right balance between professional and personal life can be a challenging endeavour. When employees are able to manage this equilibrium, they experience reduced stress and burnout, improved mental and physical health, and enhanced job satisfaction. A healthy work life balance enables individuals to devote time to their families, pursue personal interests, and recharge ultimately leading to increased job engagement and creativity. Employers who promote work life balance not only foster a happier and more motivated workforce but also benefit from higher retention rates and greater productivity.
Neglecting to prioritise work life balance can have detrimental consequences for individuals. Studies show more than one-third of all workers are regularly working more than 48 hours per week. It often leads to chronic stress, burnout, and a decline in overall physical and mental health. As boundaries between professional and personal life blur, relationships can suffer, and personal wellbeing may deteriorate. Moreover, prolonged neglect of work life balance can result in decreased job satisfaction and performance, leading to reduced productivity, higher absenteeism, and a higher likelihood of making errors at work. Ultimately without work life balance, individuals risk compromising their quality of life, happiness, and long-term career success, which can have lasting negative effects on both personal and professional aspects of their lives.
What Can Organisations Do?
Organisations play a crucial role in promoting and implementing work life balance to their employees. Organisations should foster flexibility in work arrangements. Research shows the majority of the working population (54%) currently works in a part-time of flexible role, and organisations that have flexibility in working options, 71% report their team is innovative, compared to 57% without flexibility. Offering options like remote work, flexible hours, and compressed workweeks allows employees to better manage their personal commitments while fulfilling their professional responsibilities. Clear policies and communication channels should be established to ensure that employees can easily request and access these flexibility options.
In addition, promoting a healthy work life balance involves educating employees about the importance of self-care and wellbeing. This can be achieved through wellness programs, stress management workshops, and mental health resources. Only 48% of US workers say they use all their vacation days, according to a new survey from Pew Research Centre. Employees should encourage employees to use their paid time off and vacation days, emphasising that downtime is essential for recharging and maintaining a productive, engaged workforce.
Furthermore, manager should set the example by modelling work life balance and respecting employees’ boundaries regarding after-hours communication. By creating a supportive environment and prioritising the wellbeing of their workforce, organisations can help their employees achieve a healthier work life balance, leading to greater satisfaction, retention, and productivity.
How Can Leaders Help Promote Work Life Balance?
Leaders set the tone and culture within an organisation, and when they actively support and encourage work life balance, it sends a powerful message to employees that their wellbeing matters.
Here are a few ways in which leaders can promote work life balance:
Set the Example
As a leader, setting the example for work life balance is crucial. When employees see their superiors prioritising their personal lives and wellbeing, it sends a powerful message that work life balance is not just encouraged but also practiced within the organisation. Leading by example means taking breaks, utilising vacation time, and not sending work-related emails during off-hours. This demonstrates a commitment to a balanced lifestyle, which can help employees feel more comfortable doing the same without fearing negative repercussions.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Flexible work arrangements encompass a variety of options, including remote work, flexible hours, and compressed workweeks. These arrangements give employees the freedom to tailor their work schedules to suit their individual needs and preferences. For example, remote work allows employees to avoid commuting, saving both time and stress. Flexible hours enable them to attend to personal matters or family obligations, while compressed workweeks can create long weekends for relaxation. Implementing these options acknowledges that one size doesn't fit all and respects employees' diverse circumstances, which can result in increased job satisfaction, reduced stress, and higher productivity.
Clear communication is a foundational element in promoting work-life balance. It starts with transparent expectations and open dialogue between leaders and employees. Leaders should ensure that employees know what is expected of them in terms of work tasks and performance standards. They should also establish channels for employees to voice their concerns, ask questions, or request support. Regular check-ins can be a valuable tool for assessing workloads and stress levels. By fostering a culture of open communication, employees are more likely to feel heard and supported in their efforts to achieve work life balance.
Setting boundaries is a critical aspect of work life balance. Leaders should encourage employees to define and maintain clear boundaries between their work and personal lives. This means not allowing work-related tasks to encroach on personal time, such as avoiding late-night emails or weekend work. Leaders can play a role in this by respecting and reinforcing these boundaries, promoting the idea that employees' personal time is precious and deserving of protection. By actively discouraging overwork and fostering a culture of respect for personal time, leaders help employees strike a healthier balance, resulting in reduced burnout and enhanced wellbeing.
How Can Wellity Support You?
The modern world has been driven by a rapid advancement in technological growth. Over the years the way we communicate in this digital world has transformed working behaviours, compelling workers to be plugged in 24/7 and having a direct correlation with stress, anxiety, and burnout. Our session 'Disrupting Digital Burnout' will help attendees to get their work life balance back, redefining their priorities and exploring ways to mentally and digitally switch off, particularly in a hybrid world.
Establish the psychological impact of being switch on 24/7.
Explore the role of boundaries, non-negotiables, and limits.
Discover how to practically switch off when working in a remote/ hybrid role.
Understand ways to unplug mentally and digitally.
For any information on this session or others we offer contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.