If you’re working as a full-time employee, then I can bet that juggling work and life is part of what you do on a daily basis. And I don’t blame you: you have personal responsibilities to attend to as well as deadlines to meet. Some days seem like it’s impossible to forego one. for the other.
To prove this, a study was conducted to determine how much time employees spend on both their personal and professional activities. The results revealed that 89 percent of 500 employees who took the survey go online for personal reasons aside from work.
It will surprise you that after millennials, senior managers spend the most time engaging in online activities that are not related to work. Despite these results, it’s interesting to note that the time spent at the office has considerably increased, bringing along effects like increased stress levels and unproductivity. You might be conversant with all the productivity tips out there, but when you’re unable to properly balance work and your personal life it’s bound to lead to some dire consequences.
Employees who have been able to crack the code to creating an effective work-life balance are more encouraged to work harder and are more likely to keep their jobs. But what effect does the work-life balance have on the overall productivity of workers?
In this article, I will share with you what a healthy work-life balance does to your productivity and ways you can help your staff improve their work-life balance.
1. Reduction in stress levels
There has always been a correlation between increased stress levels with low productivity. When you’re stressed, your cortisol levels shoot up thereby crippling your performance at work.
Your inability to meet up with all the tasks lined up for the day, despite the pressure you put on yourself, will make you stop in your tracks. This will eventually make you resent your job and hence plummet your productivity. As a business owner, this is the last thing you want from your employees.
A healthy work-life balance gives them the needed time to take a breather on work to meet their personal needs or vice-versa. This will help reduce the overwhelm your employees feel from the stress because of the pressure of the urgency of putting one aspect of their life aside for the other.
2. Prevention of the occurrence of burnout
A state of burnout happens when you’ve overworked yourself to the point where you neither have the strength nor desire to work anymore. It’s actually a full-blown stress attack.
Burnout comes with the symptoms of depression, lethargy and even loss of concentration or inability to think clearly – thus, hampering your productivity. Think of it more like an overheated engine. In such a situation the vehicle won’t be able to move until it’s at the right temperature to start working.
With a healthy work-life balance, the occurrence of burnout is drastically minimized. Dealing with the symptoms that accompany burnout will result in an improvement in employee productivity.
3. Improved mental health and well-being
According to the reports from the Mental Health at Work Survey 2018, work and work-related factors were seen as the major cause of mental health issues in 61 percent of employees. Most of these mental health issues are a result of stress from the workplace. These mental health issues hamper the productivity of employees.
However, with proper work-life balance, there will be improved mental health and well-being. As absenteeism, loss of concentration and poor decision-making due to poor mental health drastically reduce, so will employee productivity increase.
4. Improvement in motivation
A healthy work-life balance makes employees more motivated to take up tasks at the office. A good balance has the effect of making them feel refreshed. Since there is less pressure at work due to stress and anxiety, the positive balance makes it easier for them to perform their tasks at the office. There’s a renewed eagerness and enthusiasm to face work head-on.
A well-motivated worker is more productive and efficient. He or she faces work with a positive attitude and more often than not, it resonates through the whole office and it’ll only be a matter of time when the others catch the bug.
How can you encourage a healthy work-life balance in the office?
Now that you know how a healthy work-life balance improves productivity, here are a couple of suggestions that you can apply in your workplace to help your employees create a healthy work-life balance.
a. Give your employees the opportunity to work from home.
Sometimes a change of environment or even the chance to work from the comfort of their home will help restore some balance. The good news is that it won’t negatively affect your output but rather improve your employees’ productivity.
b. Create flexible working hours for your staff
Some people are of the notion that staying in the office for a long time means that they’re actually working harder, but that is hardly the case. Shift the focus from the hours spent in the office to the results that each employee is able to turn around.
You can encourage flexible working hours by allowing your employees to work on a part-time basis or even alternate working hours. This will give your employees the opportunity to spend time with their family, without negatively affecting output.
d. Encourage your employees to take a break
Don’t underestimate the power of taking a quality break. This won’t only give your employees the time to cool off and ease their tension but also give them time to devote to their personal needs without it having to share space with the things they need to do at the office. So, from lunch breaks to annual leave, encourage your staff to take a well-deserved break.
Ready to get more productive?
The truth is that making the conscious effort to create a healthy work-life balance will go a long way to boost the overall productivity of the company. You, as the business owner, may have to grant some leeway to enable your employees to balance their work and their personal lives a lot better.
At the end of the day, it will pay off as we all know: increased productivity leads to an increase in the efficiency and quality of services rendered to the customers. And a happy customer rewards the company with better profits.