The Importance of Work-Life Balance for Your Business

Finding a balance between work and our personal lives has always been a consideration when evaluating our work circumstances, but that doesn’t mean it’s always been top of the agenda. However, with so many businesses operating remotely since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, more people are realising the importance of striking this balance and finding ways to do so. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of work-life balance for your business, what affects work life balance and how you can ensure both you and your employees find a happy medium. 

RELATED: Get more balance with our virtual office plans

What is work-life balance?

Work-life balance can be defined as the level of prioritisation between personal and professional activities in a person’s life. It refers to the time spent on these activities, where they take place and how important they are. It’s therefore difficult to say exactly what the perfect work-life balance is because everyone will define it differently. 

The importance of work-life balance, however, is clear. When looking to establish a healthy work environment, finding and maintaining this balance is imperative. It’s not just the responsibility of employees to ensure they strike a balance either; with 38% of people saying their organisation never or rarely makes it possible for them to have a healthy balance between work and life, employers need to take responsibility. 

Work-life balance has gained even more traction as millennials have entered the workforce, expecting flexibility and challenging companies to offer improved benefits, better quality of work-life and new ways of working. More than 80% of millennials say they seriously consider how a position will affect their work-life balance. Therefore, if you’re not prioritising work-life balance, you could be missing out on top millennial talent. 

What affects work-life balance?

As we’ve mentioned, work-life balance means something different to each person on your payroll. However, some factors can have an impact on the work-life balance of everyone. 

Working hours

The hours a person works can have a significant impact on their work-life balance. It’s not all about finding a 50/50 balance, but offering flexibility can go a long way. Allowing your employees to finish early and make up their time another day enables them to enjoy personal activities that they wouldn’t normally be able to.

RELATED: Is flexible work the way of the future?

Offering flexibility can also help employees to stay motivated and feel valued. Business owners who care about staff having a good work-life balance often attract and retain talent better than their competitors who don’t. A Quantum Workplace study found that employees with ample flexibility were four times less likely to become a retention risk

Work location

With the pandemic showing the possibilities and benefits of a remote workforce, it’s no surprise that a person’s working location can have an impact on work-life balance. Most businesses can offer remote working, or at least hybrid working, for those who want it. 

Removing lengthy commutes, expensive parking charges and traffic jams by offering home working enables employees to spend more time on their personal life. Like flexible working hours, flexible working arrangements can help with employee attraction and retention. According to the EY 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey, 54% of global employees would consider leaving their job post-COVID-19 if they are not afforded some form of flexibility in where and when they work.

Employers need to ensure remote workers have separation between work and home. Helping them to create a dedicated workspace, ensuring they take regular breaks and enabling them to ‘switch off’ at the end of their working day can all help to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Structure and positive habits

While working from home has had many benefits over the last two years, it has also impacted the hours that people work. The 9–5 has, in some cases, become the 9–9 as people struggle to switch off after the working day has ended. A Hays survey of professionals and employers found that 52% reported working longer hours when working remotely than before COVID. 

Whether this is down to managers expecting more for the ‘privilege’ of working remotely, or workers simply over-performing, it’s clearly not sustainable. Enforcing positive habits and creating an inclusive environment for employees working both remotely and in the office can help to ensure a work-life balance is achieved.

RELATED: Creating a culture in the (remote) workplace

What are the benefits of work-life balance?

Creating a work-life balance has numerous benefits, both for the employee and the employer. For workers, maintaining a work-life balance is important for health and relationships, helping them to improve general wellbeing and mood. For business owners, this can result in improved productivity and performance at work. 

We all know that our mental wellbeing can affect our behaviour – poor mental health can directly impact how a person acts at work. On the other hand, better mental health derived from maintaining a healthy work-life balance can have the opposite effect, reaping several benefits:

  • Enhanced productivity and efficiency
  • Improved motivation across the workforce 
  • Decreased levels of absence, sickness and work-related stress
  • Better customer service
  • Less chance of burnout
  • Increased number of applicants for new roles
  • Higher staff retention levels

What are the challenges in work-life balance?

Just like there are benefits for maintaining a work-life balance, there can be challenges too. Most challenges stem from the fact that everyone’s idea of a perfect work-life balance is different to the next person’s. 

As an employer, this makes it difficult to implement processes and structures that work for everyone. While one person views flexible working hours as a way to maintain a balance, another person might find an unlimited holiday allowance helps them to create a better balance.

Another challenge of balancing a person’s work and personal life is ensuring the two remain completely separate. This is especially important for home workers who don’t have a natural environmental separation as they would when working in a traditional office setting. As an employer, you must find a way to ensure your workers truly clock off when they finish for the day.  

How to achieve a work-life balance

Ensuring both you and your staff have a healthy work-life balance can be extremely beneficial for all parties, but achieving it can be tricky, especially if you have lots of employees and several different ways of working. However, there are a few things you can do to help. Here are our top tips:

  • Review company culture to ensure you promote honesty and openness, allowing employees to speak up if they feel stressed
  • Offer flexible working hours and the ability to work remotely where possible
  • Ensure line managers have the knowledge and skills to spot poor work-life balance in their team members
  • Regularly review workload to ensure they are manageable
  • Offer additional support for parents and carers where needed
  • Encourage participation in activities that help to reduce stress and promote relaxation 
  • Ensure employees are clocking off when they finish for the day and not checking emails late at night
  • Speak to your employees and ask them how their work-life balance could be improved
  • For employers, outsourcing tasks is a great way to free up time and enable you to strike a balance in your own life. Fiverr is a great resource for finding freelancers to support your business functions

Achieving a work-life balance often seems like an unattainable goal, but following our tips can help you make a good start. Finding out how to keep your employees happy, whether in the office or remotely, is a key step in achieving a healthy work-life balance. But remember, everyone is different and one size will never fit every employee.

Create more balance by ditching your physical office for a virtual one. View our virtual office plans here.

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Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.

Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.