The average person spends a third of their life at work. A good employer, therefore, must create an environment that does not only meet the needs of the business but those of their employees as well. In the current age of millennials, cubicles and poor fluorescent lighting are a thing of the past. The workplace is no longer just a space, it is a place where ideas come to life and people engage with work they are inspired by. So, as a business owner or manager there are some changes you can implement to ensure that your employees can develop a passion for their work.
A recent study measuring work-life balance factors of over 40 cities in the US and internationally came up with several scores that business owners and office managers can use to gauge the level of stress in various environments .
The study found that many of the “happiest” cities to work in were a result of, not just environmental factors, but also actionable support given by employers. Beyond salary and vacation days, the study accounted for more specific daily stresses, such as arrival time to work, wellness and health initiatives within the office, and city livability. We’ve taken some of the major insights from the study and boiled them down into a list of internal changes that could be the gateway to better work-life balance for employees.
Make your employees feel that the company cares about their whole being and not just the profit margins.
If you have a spare room or floor then you might as well as convert it into a gym where your employees can engage in fitness activities or even just a quiet space for meditation or yoga. Healthy employees who are active statistically get sick less often, which means less sick days taken. If you do not have the space for such a facility then see if you have the budget and proper partnership in place to offer a membership discount at a nearby gym.
Never underestimate the value of child care and the fact that most parents will appreciate being able to keep an eye on their kids while at the same time earning a living. Why not take this burden off their shoulders by having a childcare space in your company? If you do not have the space or the finances to make this possible, then you can have a flexible work schedule that allows your employees to be able to pick up or drop their kids on time without having to worry about repercussions at work.
One of the best ways to boost employee morale is through company outings. This is where they get to engage with each other beyond the office and form deeper relationships. Whether it’s an exotic destination or just a local event, team events can help put your employees at ease and release some stress from the average workday.
Clear all the clutter and broken equipment. Ensure that the working space is designed to help your employees be productive and comfortable at the same time. Fix any flickering lights or air conditioning issues. Invest in new office furniture, equipment and perhaps a coffee machine and tea kettle. Small amenities like these do make a difference and set a culture of support and encouragement in the office.
Transparency at the workplace is a major component work culture that constantly needs tending. The best way of ensuring this is by having an open door policy where no one feels out of the loop. Oftentimes office politics, bureaucracy and too much interdepartmental secrecy are the biggest complaints top employees have when they leave a job. When managers and office administrators are inaccessible, or when performance reviews are nonexistent, it makes it hard for employees to know where they stand in the company, which in turn affects their productivity and motivation to grow with the business. Regular communication from management and encouragement for feedback and collaboration will let employees know that their voices are being heard.
A ping pong or pool table, a dart board or just a place where employees can blow off some steam. Such places are great for building cohesion.
Allow your staff to come dressed in casual on Fridays or let them bring their children to work. Find something that brings them together.
You can also make life easier for your employees by providing flexible work hours, consider the city you are located in whenever coming up with policies, be respectful towards their age, gender and religion among other things. These are some of the things that make up a healthy work life balance.
Small changes have a big impact. You should therefore ensure that the office considers all the factors that bring about a healthy work life balance. If such a balance is missing in the office then you can be sure of increased costs of healthcare, insurance and even decreased productivity.