Not enough hours in the day? If you're finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you're not alone.
That’s why more attention is being focused on the quest to attain work-life balance not as an achievement, but a lifelong process that requires consistent, intentional effort, time management skills and support.
Work-life balance is the effective management of an individual’s work and social/family life and the ability of that individual to achieve satisfaction in both areas, equally.
Maintaining a work-life balance is critical to reducing employee stress and burnout while ensuring a fully engaged and productive workforce.
Many Canadians have worked remotely since the pandemic and a recent survey suggests that a fraction of those may never return to the office. A survey conducted by the Business Development Bank of Canada earlier this year revealed that 74 percent of businesses will let their employees work from home post pandemic. This will undoubtedly create a shift, for better of for worse, depending on how adept employees are at balancing all the aspects of their lives.
Implementing a work-life balance program at your workplace can help ensure the shift is a positive one.
A work-life balance program can help attract new employees, help retain current staff, build social skills, improve morale and reduce absenteeism while encouraging teamwork and building stronger relationships, whether in person or virtually.
Aside from the pandemic, there are numerous other situations that are making it more difficult to maintain a work-life balance. Technology has forced many jobs to become sedentary, with workers even spending their breaks at their desks, eating and scrolling through social media. If you haven’t heard, sitting is the new smoking, a lifestyle leading to heart disease and diabetes. Research has highlighted the importance of scheduling breaks, movement and stretching sessions to minimize the negative physical impact of such a lifestyle.
Employers must consider their workforce’s life outside of the office. For example, there is the dilemma of the so-called sandwich generation, the people who are tending to both their children and parents’ emotional, physical and financial needs. How should employers support this group of people?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to workplace wellness programs. At Med-I-Well, we work in collaboration with management and employees to design a plan based on workplace demographics and needs. Work-life balance program initiatives could deal with a range of issues like sedentary behaviour, elder care support, on-site seminars and workshops and one-on-one wellness support. That plan could be part of an overall wellness program or the beginning of one.
One suggestion that will benefit both businesses and employees is establishing good time management skills. Choosing to manage your time effectively is a good starting point to navigating through the lifelong process of work-life balance, a skill that will ultimately improve your quality of life.
Need help creating a work-life balance program in your workplace? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.