In a demanding world that appears to look for perfection and 100% commitment, stress is at an all-time high. Pair that with a pandemic that we are trying to recover from and a war overseas that is affecting the economy, and it is easy to see why employers are putting so much on their employee's shoulders. However, employers must keep in mind that for their business and operations to keep running smoothly, the health and attitude of their employees are also important things to maintain. This article will explain what work-life balance is and why it should be a priority for employers.
What is Work-Life Balance?
When someone mentions work-life balance, they refer to a situation in which a person's time is spent in equal parts of their work and personal life. Likewise, an imbalance in work-life is when one of the two takes most of a person's time. Whether a job is taking too much time from family, or hobbies are interfering with performance on the job, both can be harmful.
Work could be a day-to-day job or studies at school. And life is not just at home, but it includes family, friends, hobbies, and physical activity, to name a few. A balance between these things can seem like a pipe dream; however, we must find a way to create this state of balance to be happy.
Employers cannot control what happens when an employee is off the clock. How they choose to balance their "life" is their choice alone. An employer can make it impossible for an employee to have a life if they force them to work absurd amounts of hours in a week or assign them impossible tasks. They can make that even worse with the threat of termination looming over their employee’s head if the expectations are not met. Unreasonable expectations are the leading cause of work-related imbalances in a person's life.
Employers may not realize it, but they can be the most significant factor in their employee's work-life balance and how happy their lives are. They are directly in charge of how much they demand from their employees and the expectations for success in each position.
An imbalance in work-life can lead to what is known as burnout. This is a state of such mental or physical exhaustion that one feels a lesser sense of accomplishment from their work. Burnout is a leading cause of employee termination or resignation. A few signs to look for in a burnt-out employee are mental and physical exhaustion, disengagement, increased tardiness or absences, isolation, mood swings, and decreased productivity. An employer should be on the lookout for these signs and then be willing to reassess their expectations to fit the employee better.
How Could Work-Life Imbalances Affect Your Company?
As with anything in life, if there is any form of disinterest or resentment associated with a task or job, that job will not get done.
When an employer prioritizes helping to create proper work-life balances for their workers, they are helping make their employees happier. This will lead to higher satisfaction rates among the staff and increased productivity and quality in their operations.
This will also help your employees have more commitment to you and your company. A committed employee is less likely to take a new job from your competitors. Employee retention is one of the key factors to growing a business. If your company has a reputation for not putting your workers' time as a priority, it will also be hard for you to find top talent or keep them.
The benefits to employers creating proper balance for their employees go beyond your company. Poor work-life balance can lead to burnout, which can have many adverse effects on a person's life. Stress can also lead to mental health issues and physical health problems. This leads to excessive absences or tardiness.
Mental exhaustion brought on by poor work-life balances can lead to a less mindful or alert employee. This can lead to more accidents in the workplace that could destroy a company's reputation or even its bottom dollar. These accidents could result in higher costs for the employer as they pay some of their employee's health insurance expenses. Worse, it could lead to legal actions filed by the employee.
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