Type “work-life” into your favorite search engine and you’ll get millions of hits – most of which will talk about how to balance “work” and “life,” as if these two categories are inevitably separate. But they’re not. We all “live” while “working” and much of what we do at work applies to our lives as well.
Improving work-life balance in the modern workplace isn’t about compartmentalizing “work” and “life.” Rather, it’s about working smarter with the time you have.
Here are some of the biggest issues in work-life balance today, and how to grasp the question in a meaningful way.
It’s not about “casual Fridays.”
While workplace events like monthly potlucks or “casual Fridays” can help your staff loosen up and think more creatively, they don’t solve the fundamental issue: many driven young professionals find the demands of their careers incompatible with the demands of raising a young family or maintaining their own health and well-being. Before implementing a fun event or “simple fix,” ask whether it’s really helping your staff reduce stress, think clearly or develop new ideas.
Work with staff to “design a life.”
Maintaining a work-life balance depends on the individual employee, but it can’t be done without the support of supervisors and workplace culture. Since you already talk with employees about their performance and goals, use this time to talk about how they are maintaining work-life balance as well. Ask about their goals outside work like family, volunteer projects or wellness, and ask how they’re achieving those goals. By helping them think about how they manage all their time, you help them manage their work time more efficiently.
Think across a longer time frame.
The reason “fun Friday” doesn’t address the work-life balance question is that it’s a single day in a week, or four days in a month. Balancing any one day can be difficult or impossible, but over time, employees can achieve better work-life balance and help one another find the time to take on important goals. For instance, when offering options like flextime or time off to take college classes, encourage the team to work together to plan the upcoming days and weeks.
Fill your team with the “right” talent.
An essential key to achieving work life balance is ensuring you have the right people on your team. When hiring, look for talent that embodies the work-life balance your company looks to have. Work with your recruiting partner to find someone that is a good fit for your company’s culture. Communicate with your recruiter the goals that you have for your team and your overall vision for the company’s culture and work life balance. This information can be invaluable to your recruiter as they search for the perfect candidate for your open position.
At TERRA Staffing Group, our recruiters can help you find the right personality and cultural “fit” with your new employees, improving work-life balance, productivity and drive.
Contact us today to learn more about our staffing services in Phoenix, Portland and Seattle.