Improving an Individual’s Work-Life Balance Leads to More Productive Employees
New studies show that if an employee has a good work-life balance, they are less likely to quit their jobs and more likely to be happy with their jobs. Interestingly, both men and women crave a balance between being at work and being at home. The statistics are striking. If employees are happy with their work-life balance, they work at least 21% harder and are a third more likely to stay with the company than those who are unhappy with their balance.
The problem is that most companies do not recognize the importance of a work-life balance. The current ‘wisdom’ is to get as much out of each employee as possible, squeezing them dry and not allowing them a good balance in their lives.
So what do employees crave when it comes to this balance?
Almost 2/3rds of the work force would like an appropriate workload. In these difficult economic times, it has become increasingly hard to find a job that doesn’t require a worker to take on an inordinate amount of work. Companies are trying to save money and want workers who will take on additional workloads at little to no extra pay. This type of philosophy takes a huge toll on the physical, mental and emotional well-being of employees and does not engender loyalty toward the company. Instead, employees feel used and feel as if they are not recognized as being human. But employees also feel ‘stuck’. They feel that there are few jobs and many who need them. If they have a job, they should feel lucky! They feel like they have no room to negotiate a workload balance for themselves.
Almost 2/3rds of the workforce also desire a flexible working schedule with the option of telecommuting and/or flexible working hours. With both parents working, childcare becomes an issue. On-site child care is another requested work-life benefit that can help employees feel like ‘part of the family’ and feel well taken care of. Flexible working hours allow parents to juggle their time with family, kids and each other. Telecommuting allows them to work at home during times when family members are sick or when they cannot get into work for other reasons. It is an idea that makes sense in this age of technology and connectivity and yet many employers frown upon ‘working from home’.
Closing the Gap
It is in a company’s best interest to ‘Close the Gap’ between productivity and work-life balance for employees. If employees are happy and feel as if the workplace is a family-friendly environment, they will be much more effective and efficient at work. In addition, turnover rates will be much lower. This means the company needs to invest less in training and time ‘learning the ropes’. All of these suggestions have been shown to not only increase a company’s profitability, but to also increase the ability for employees to be innovative and creative. A company may be initially hesitant to ‘ease up’ on their employees, but if they do, they will find that they have taken steps toward being a more successful business.