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How to Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance Without Compromising Productivity

How to Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance Without Compromising Productivity

How to Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance Without Compromising Productivity

Striking the perfect balance between work and life is a perennial challenge for companies aiming to maintain productivity while fostering employee well-being. We’ve gathered insights from ten industry leaders, including Chief People Officers and CEOs, to bring you a spectrum of strategies. From implementing flexible work arrangements to recognizing the efficacy of a 40-hour workweek, discover how to encourage a healthy work-life balance among your team.

  • Implement Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Set Fixed Workday Schedules
  • Focus on Results, Not Hours
  • Respect Employee Boundaries Firmly
  • Avoid Bias Against Time Off
  • Encourage Flextime and Respect Off-Duty
  • Promote Transparency for Work-Life Balance
  • Trust Employees to Balance Schedules
  • Set Clear After-Work Boundaries
  • Recognize the 40-Hour Workweek Efficacy

Implement Flexible Work Arrangements

To encourage a healthy work-life balance without compromising productivity, companies can implement flexible work arrangements. This includes establishing core business hours while allowing individuals to work during their most productive times. By accommodating employees’ optimal work times, productivity can be enhanced.

Additionally, scheduling emails and posts within these core hours promotes work-life balance and minimizes distractions. Clear communication guidelines and channels should be established to ensure effective collaboration. By implementing these practices, companies can optimize performance, foster a harmonious work environment, and value work-life balance.

Heidi HauverHeidi Hauver
Chief People Officer

Set Fixed Workday Schedules

Encourage employees to set a fixed schedule for their workday (i.e., how many hours each day they want to spend working that feels in balance with their life outside of work). This sets a tangible deadline to work against. When there is a clear deadline for when work has to be done, employees will be more efficient and focused with their time, avoiding sloppy work that can lead to working long hours and burnout.

Kara TroesterKara Troester
Owner, She Boss Life

Focus on Results, Not Hours

One effective strategy for encouraging a healthy work-life balance among employees, without compromising productivity, is to implement flexible work schedules. This allows employees to have more control over their time and better balance their work commitments with personal obligations.

To ensure productivity, you have to focus on the outcomes. Shift the focus from hours worked to results achieved. Encourage employees to set clear goals and deadlines for their work, and evaluate performance based on outcomes rather than time spent.

Heather EasonHeather Eason
Founder, President & CEO, SELECT Power Systems

Respect Employee Boundaries Firmly

Being firm on employee boundaries is essential. Since companies started heavily relying on smartphones and the internet, the lines between work and being off-duty have become blurry. While it means accessibility and increased collaboration for most, it also fostered a culture of impossible expectations, with some people within the organization forgetting to respect the boundaries of their co-workers. People working strictly within their hours are viewed as lazy and unreasonable instead of efficient and productive.

We at Carepatron are a 100% remote team, and one of our significant practices is respecting people’s time, especially since we work in different time zones. This might not apply to traditional work setups, but if they are a regular 9 to 5, then work should be from 9 to 5. Working overtime should be on an occasional basis and not the norm. By respecting people’s time, it promotes productivity, loyalty, and even passion and love for what they do.

Jamie FrewJamie Frew
CEO, Carepatron

Avoid Bias Against Time Off

How management treats workers who take time off speaks volumes. Too many team leaders assume that if they aren’t outright bad mouthing employees on leave, the occasional snide remark or eye roll is fine.

Often, it’s meant in a joking manner.

And this bias isn’t always verbal. When it comes to a promotion, management might pass over workers who’ve taken time off or not put their names in for recognitions or awards.

All these microaggressions show employees they’ll lose respect if they put personal matters first.

Companies may think this pressure increases productivity, but they’re wrong. Workers end up feeling alienated and bitter.

At Pender & Howe, we go out of our way to treat all workers the same, whether they’re utilizing time off or not. The result is a workplace where everyone embraces the balance that suits them and is able to dedicate themselves to work when the time comes.

Travis HannTravis Hann
Partner, Pender & Howe

Encourage Flextime and Respect Off-Duty

Work-life balance is literally at the heart of my start-up business. During the most painful months we remember of the COVID crisis, our grandmother was in isolation for her well-being. My family desperately looked for ways to bring her joy: my mother stood outside her window in inches of snow, holding up photos, and my preschool boys mailed her their artwork! We hit on our video-playing book, and our company came to life, just as did her expressions of joy and appreciation.

Our company knows the value of a healthy work-life balance and conveys this to our team every reasonable chance we get. We welcome requests for flextime. We maintain a firm rule that when our staff is not seated in their office chair, they are almost never on the job. If a crisis requires otherwise, then their next paycheck will reflect this effort. When we follow this best practice, we receive their best effort.

Ashley KennyAshley Kenny
Co-Founder, Heirloom Video Books

Promote Transparency for Work-Life Balance

Employees who feel comfortable communicating openly with their managers are more likely to achieve a healthy work-life balance. This transparency allows for discussions about personal needs, like a challenging personal situation impacting focus. Understanding managers can offer solutions, such as flexible hours or adjusted deadlines, promoting well-being without compromising productivity.

For example, if an employee is struggling to concentrate due to a personal issue, open communication with a supportive manager can lead to adjustments like flexible hours. This not only fosters work-life balance but also builds trust and appreciation, ultimately leading to a more productive employee.

From my personal experience, I can vouch for this approach. At Codific, there is a great emphasis on achieving a healthy work-life balance. Open communication with my manager allows me to address any personal challenges that could affect my work. Their understanding and support led to solutions that benefited both my work-life balance and, in turn, motivated me to be productive and push for better results to show my appreciation.

Michaella MastersMichaella Masters
Growth Strategist, Codific

Trust Employees to Balance Schedules

One strategy I’d recommend is to implement and strongly encourage flexible working arrangements. In practice, this approach can take many forms: flexible hours, remote work options, or a four-day workweek.

By giving employees the opportunity to adapt their work schedules to fit their personal preferences, they can find the right balance between their professional and personal lives. This flexibility makes employees feel more engaged and focused because they now have control over their work environment and schedule.

Bayu PrihanditoBayu Prihandito
Founder, Psychology Consultant, Life Coach for Men, Life Architekture

Set Clear After-Work Boundaries

It’s all about setting clear boundaries. Encouraging employees to disconnect after work hours and not respond to emails or messages can help prevent burnout. Companies can even consider implementing policies like “no emails after 6 p.m.” to ensure everyone has time to recharge.

Another key strategy is promoting time management skills. Providing resources or training on effective time management techniques can help employees prioritize tasks, stay organized, and ultimately get more done in less time. When people feel in control of their workload, they’re less likely to feel overwhelmed and more able to enjoy their downtime.

Lastly, communication is key. Encouraging open and honest communication between managers and employees can help identify any issues or challenges related to work-life balance early on. Regular check-ins or surveys can provide valuable insights into how employees are feeling and what support they might need to achieve a healthier balance.

James CunninghamJames Cunningham
Senior Coach, Total Shape

Recognize the 40-Hour Workweek Efficacy

As it turns out, working a 40-hour workweek is more effective than an exhausting workweek of 50+ hours. Exhausted workers are less productive cognitively, according to the science.

Janice LitvinJanice Litvin
Burnout Speaker, Author, Janice Litvin Speaks

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