The Article is contributed By Sanchit Malik, Co-founder & CEO of Paz care
We’ve often hear people complain about how it is so hard to maintain a proper work life balance while they work. Many times, it becomes impossible to take out time for ourselves because there are deadlines to meet. For some people, work ends in the evening and they get to utilize their time however they want. But for some people, their work takes up almost their whole day and sometimes eats up their weekends too! This practice of dragging and pushing the boundaries between personal and professional life should be abandoned. To maintain one’s sanity and to promote a healthy lifestyle, work and personal life shouldn’t be mixed but should always be parallel.
Ways to Offer a Perfect Work-life Balance
Often the employers are indirectly at fault for the unhealthy lifestyle and shrinking work-life balance of employees. It can significantly be reduced if everybody starts giving more importance to their health and personal well being. It works both ways as the employer and the employee, both need to focus on their physical and mental health. Work-life balance helps not only the employees but also their respective families as it brings with it a scope of personal growth and development too. There should be a very prominent boundary to achieve the same.
Employers play a crucial role in promoting a healthy balance and lifestyle choices of their employees. Some approaches towards taking care of the employees should be taken into consideration and acted upon. Modelling boundaries between work and home is essential so that the employees do not feel obligated to be available in the after hours. Inculcating the habit of spending quality time with family or pursuing a hobby should be encouraged. Additionally, employers should promote or devise strategies to bring in creative activities. They could partner with a company to provide creative workshops or classes for their employees. This will keep the staff engaged and occupied with something other than their deadlines!
It is not humanly possible to know each and everything about the employees and their needs, so the employers can start by taking an anonymous survey to help understand their work force better. It could be held quarterly or after every six months to ensure the policies are operational and feasible. Because of changing requirements of people, it becomes important to ensure that the purpose is being fulfilled. In this case, ensuring that the work-life balance is not compromised upon. It will not only help the employees open up but also let them know that they are being heard at work. Employers could either give a day off / half day, or give an option to take leaves, with no questions asked, for the betterment of employee mental health.
Enhancing Employee Skillset
Another step that the employers can take is to focus on enhancing their employees' skill set. Upskilling is an integral part of an organization as it helps the employees in enhancing their quality of work. This will additionally benefit the organization too. A better quality of work will result in improved efficiency as well.
Flexible Working Hours
Flexible time is a need of the hour because of the pandemic. Hybrid working conditions have enabled the new thought process to take shape. Flexible working models have come into play which has made people realise that they can very easily and efficiently work from the comfort of their homes. Employers have made the best use of this situation by taking care of the basic needs of their employees while they work remotely. The employees in turn are also aware that since their working hours have been reduced, their productivity rates should increase. Team managers should work on their tolerance levels as well. Because of COVID-19, a number of people are not able to meet certain deadlines and their productivity levels could also drop, the managers come into play here. They need to empathise and adjust according to their employees' needs, without making them feel as a liability.
Time management, as a skill, should be promoted not only at lower levels of a company but on the higher front too. Employers should always lead by example. Managing their own schedules efficiently and making time for themselves and their families should be prioritised. Along with that, keeping a separate day on a monthly basis for unofficial office gatherings could work wonders for employee engagement. The employers and employees could get together for lunch. It will create a friendly atmosphere between employees and help reach each other, barring the hierarchical boundaries.
Communication is one thing which could become a hassle if not done properly. There should be easy communication between managers and employees. A slight disruption in communication could pose a bigger challenge for the workers. Employees should inculcate proper mediums for free flow of information about tasks at hand. Knowing about the deadlines and adhering to them should be encouraged by all employees and employers alike. Employers should be able to promote a good work-life balance through effective and healthy communication. An onsite counsellor or in case of hybrid teams, access to a counsellor could also be a step in the right direction.
The pandemic has taught us to make the best use out of every situation. Similarly, approaching work should be done sincerely and not be transferred as a burden to people. The employees should not feel overwhelmed by the amount of work they have, but rather they should enjoy their work. A happy work culture should be promoted by the employers. Further, it will result in better employee retention.