6 Powerful Benefits of Work-Life Balance and What Companies Can Do About It
The impact of work-life balance is incredible, and its effect on your company can’t be understated. No matter where employees are in their careers, giving them the space to have a healthy work-life balance will pay dividends now and into the future.
Here are the 6 most impressive benefits of work-life balance and some steps your organization can take in response.
Benefit 1: Reduced Burnout
One Deloitte survey found that 77% of employees have experienced burnout at least once in their current jobs. Over half of 1,000 survey respondents stated they’d felt burnt out more than once.
Burnout is a real occurrence recognized by the World Health Organization as a workplace phenomenon resulting from inadequate management of enduring workplace stress.
The impacts of burnout, to name a few, include:
- Lessened attention span
- Lack of motivation
- Negative feelings towards work
- Inability to problem solve
One of the benefits of work-life balance is reduced burnout and increased productivity. When employees show up rested and excited to work, you’ll notice upticks in their output.
Benefit 2: Better Health Outcomes
One of the most essential benefits of work-life balance is better health outcomes for your employees. People can’t function at their best when their health is negatively impacted; healthier employees are more productive.
Sadly, over 25% of Americans cite their jobs as the #1 cause of their stress. Stress has a huge impact on mental health. More specifically, stress at work leads to:
- Loss of productivity (42% of respondents lose 15-30 minutes per day, while 34% lose an hour or more)
- Increased absenteeism (more on that soon)
- General decrease in overall performance and engagement
Additionally, the benefits of work-life balance include physical outcomes, as well. Reduced stress and turmoil at work improve physical metrics such as blood pressure, anger levels, physical pain (headaches, stomach issues), appetite, sleep, and risk of contracting illnesses.
Benefit 3: Reduced Absenteeism
When employees have a good work-life balance, their overall absenteeism decreases. Remember those stress statistics above? As a result of workplace stress, 54% of employees miss 1-2 days per year, 31% miss 3-6 days per year, and 15% lose over 6 days per year.
The CDC reports that US absenteeism costs companies $225.8 billion per year in productivity losses. Further, an SHRM international report found that planned absences cause a 22.6% productivity loss, and unplanned absences cause a 36.6% loss.
Reducing absenteeism is one of the many benefits of work-life balance. When employees are comfortable at work and have low stress levels, they’re more likely to show up.
Benefit 4: Better Perception of You, The Employer
The benefits of work-life balance include a better perception of the employer.
Positive work-life balances touch all aspects of an organization and lead to decreased conflicts, improved productivity, lower turnover rates, and many other benefits discussed in this article. When situations at work improve, employees have much higher job satisfaction.
Increased job satisfaction lends itself to a better perception of the company. Employees who view your company positively are more likely to stick around and recommend the workplace to others. They’ll also talk more positively about you online and amongst their peers.
Benefit 5: Lower Turnover
Thus, one of the benefits of work-life balance is lower turnover. When employees have personal time and boundaries between work and home life, they feel less need to search for employment elsewhere.
By prioritizing a good work-life balance at your company, you’ll gain access to a broader talent pool, too. 72% of employees say work-life balance is “very important” when it comes to choosing a new job; so, if you do need to replace a current employee, offering a strong work-life balance will help.
Benefit 6: Boosted Employee Engagement
The benefits of work-life balance include better employee engagement. Improving employee engagement brings with it its own set of perks. Gallup found that the differences between top- and bottom-quartile businesses for employee engagement include:
- 81% reduction in absenteeism
- 18% reduction in turnover for high-turnover companies, 43% reduction for lower-turnover ones
- 41% reduction in quality defects
- 23% increase in profitability
- 28% reduction in theft
- 18% increase in sales
Good work-life balance brings with it all of the benefits that result from increased employee engagement.
How Companies Can Improve Work-Life Balance
Now that you understand some of the critical benefits of work-life balance, here are a few ways to improve it at your organization.
- Flexible work. The Covid-19 pandemic taught us many things, one of which was that being in the office every day isn’t strictly necessary. Consider implementing flexible work and allowing employees to WFH some of the time. This can help tremendously with work-life balance.
- Unpaid career breaks. Sometimes, people need to hit pause. By creating the space for unpaid sabbaticals or work breaks, you give employees the chance to recharge fully.
- Funding volunteer time. Paid volunteer time is an excellent way to reduce burnout at work while giving back to the community.
- Company days off. Consider giving your entire company a spontaneous day off once every 4-6 months (or more if possible). An unexpected day off – especially on Friday or Monday – gives employees the chance to go out of town, catch up on other activities, or just enjoy a long weekend.
The benefits of work-life balance are vast, and prioritizing it at your company will benefit you as the employer. When you focus on work-life balance, your employees become happier, healthier, and more productive versions of themselves.
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