National Work Life Week is taking place from 1st – 5th October this year, which is Working Families’ annual initiative that gives employers across the UK the chance to showcase how they provide a work life balance for their employees. Creating a better work life balance has long been a priority for employees who have children, but more and more people are putting this higher in their list of priorities for a new role which is why there has been an increase in flexible working / remote working / “gig” type roles in 2018.
Years ago, the idea of letting employees work a shorter week or occasionally work from home was pretty rare, but more employers are recognising the benefits of improving the work life balance for their employees, and with benefits like this there’s no wonder:
- Fewer health problems
A better work life balance can reduce stress, which can be a huge contributing factor to conditions from flu right up to strokes and respiratory problems. It also reduces the likeliness of work “burnouts” which occurs when employees feel overwhelmed with their workload.
- Better engagement (and productivity)
It has been noted that employees with a better work and home balance are more likely to be engaged in their job roles, and engaged employees are statistically more productive than their disengaged co-workers.
- Better retention & candidate attraction
Companies who adopt a genuine work life culture for their organisation are more likely to keep hold of their employees for longer and will be seen as more attractive to potential candidates compared to companies that do not offer the same perks.
For companies who want to try and improve the work-life balance of their employees but don’t know how to do it here are a couple of examples to get you on your way:
On Site Facilities
Picture from @Boots_Jobs Twitter
Giving employees the freedom to work from home isn’t always feasible, so one way to improve work life balance is to bring better facilities into your offices instead! This example from Boots shows how facilities such as botanical gardens and on-site gyms can help employees get back a little more of the “life” aspect whilst still being at the office!
A Shorter Work Week
The Traditional Monday to Friday 9-5 is not as common as it used to be, in fact it’s reported that as little as 6% of the UK’s population work the standard 9-5 day! Some organisations have started to opt for a 4 day work week with longer hours, meaning employees still carry out the same amount of work, but get a three day weekend or the ability to take a day off in the week instead!
Picture from @NHSHullCCG Twitter
Promoting wellness in the workplace is a fantastic way to encourage a healthier lifestyle and reduce stress for employees. It can be anything from offering office yoga, on site massage and meditation to organised fitness events. The above example from the NHS shows how they encourage staff to get away from their desks and take part in a lunch time walk, which is a really simple idea that any office could implement!
Working From Home / Flexible Working
This is probably the most obvious way you can improve work life balance for your employees, however full time working from home is unlikely to work for a lot of organisations. It may be that you are flexible to allow occasional working from home to help people with childcare or even just allow employees to pick and choose their own hours to avoid busy commuting times!
Picture from www.benjerry.com
An office dog might not be the most obvious way you can improve work life balance for your employees, but the benefits of having a dog in the office include:
- Reduced stress
- Brings the team together
- Encourages healthy living
- Increased productivity
- Less worry for employees who have to leave the dogs at home
Ben & Jerry’s are a great example of a company who have fully embraced the office dog culture, check out their office pooches here!
Pictures from @BrewDog Twitter and www.brewdog.com
So we’ve all heard of Maternity and Paternity leave, but some organisations believe that employees who adopt a new dog into their lives should also get similar benefits to help their furry friends settle into their new homes too! Pawternity is one of the employee perks offered at BrewDog, describing is as “like Parental Leave, but with more throwing of sticks”!
Check out all of the posts on Twitter for #WorkLifeWeek here!