More and more professionals are seeking a greater degree of balance between life and work. Nurturing personal relationships is a large part of achieving this. Research has shown that employees with strong and effective relationships live longer, have less stress and higher levels of passion for their work.
Having quality relationships is one of the most important things individuals can do to enrich their lives. A balanced and happy personal life translates into a more engaged and productive professional life—a win-win for employers and employees alike.According to a recent Gallup article, strong friendships in the workplace lead to higher productivity, better performance and lower attrition. To a degree, the workplace is inevitably a social place where employees are more likely to excel if they can feel connected to other people on a professional and personal level.
Providing employees with the option of meeting new people at work or getting to know people better goes a long way. Coordinating after-hours social gatherings or company events is an easy and effective way to do this in a non-work capacity.
Employees should also be motivated to recharge outside of the office and take time for things they enjoy, whether hobbies, sports or volunteering. If employees are allowed to share those endeavors with peers, whether via company intranet or social groups within the workplace, they will foster those all-important work friendships.
Helping Employees Maintain a Work-Life Balance
When employees feel that companies value work-life balance, they feel a stronger sense of commitment. This can be anything from allowing a flexible schedule to providing family-oriented events and programs.
The option of working from home on occasion is a perk many employees appreciate.It also sends the message that the company trusts the employee to get work done, no matter their location. Companies that offer this option often see an increase in employee engagement.
Working from home creates a performance-focused culture instead of a face-time culture while having a positive impact on personal relationships.If done effectively, allowing employees to work from home delivers equally beneficial results to the company and the employee. Take, for example, the simple ability to cut commute time. While this allows employees more time with family, it also usually encourages employees to get more work done faster and earlier based on the time they are saving.
As talented and committed as some employees may be, it’s no secret that life events and other things outside of everyone’s control impact an employee’s ability to do business as usual. Instead of the obvious option to resign or separate from a company, a lot of employees would be open to working at a reduced or part-time schedule in order to take care of their situations while remaining on board. This option demonstrates to the employee that the company values them as a person and not just a worker.
Sharing Responsibility for Balance
The most effective managers lead by example. If employees are shown that managers truly attain and value balance in their own lives, they will be more inclined to do the same. On the other hand, if the manager is overworked, employees may have the impression that the same is expected from them.
While it is the organization’s responsibility to encourage a healthy work-life balance, each individual is responsible for maintaining a truly balanced life. In a world where employees can be constantly connected to work, employees need to make sure they are managing their time effectively. Employees should be taking care of all their needs as well as having an ongoing conversation with their employer if they are struggling or overworked.
People who struggle with maintaining that balance can use career coaching services in the form of tools, strategies, and seminars to help with prioritization. In today’s hyper-connected world, taking a proactive approach to balance can have a positive impact on employees’ well being and even their commitment to the organization.