Creating a flexible work environment is one of the best ways to satisfy the work-life balance needs of most employees – no matter which generation they belong to. In the modern workplace, it’s increasingly difficult to switch off, and striking a good work-life balance is a common struggle. As the term implies, work-life balance is a state of being where your professional matters do not interfere with your personal relationships and vice versa. What can your business do to support a better work-life balance? Over the years, the knowledge and approach of work-life balance has been constantly evolving, and it might be helpful for employers to identify the difference in opinions among the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. The biggest problem is that most people think they have no choice. Many people think that maintaining a work-life balance is primarily based around cutting out activities from one's schedule. I believe the journey towards a healthy lifestyle is one everybody can take. Instead, they are more interested in finding a career path that will support their “lifestyle”, which in this context means their life outside of work. This will give the information they need to make better choices about balancing their energies across their work and life. When choosing where to work, factors prior generations focused on (e.g., pay, job location, the potential for growth) are the ones Millennials focus on as well. I have been working in the corporate wellness space for over 20 years. For a broad definition, think of work-life balance as a superior state of mind you reach when you’ve accomplished everything that you’ve ever wanted both in your career and personal life. Employers should prioritize competitive compensation, comfortable office conditions, opportunities for professional growth and opportunities for social connections. In response to the Management of many successful organizations, they have become increasingly concerned with maintaining a work-life balance and offer a range of initiatives designed to facilitate their integration of work and nonworking domains. With the millennial generation of workers projected to take up 75% of the workforce by 2025, many leaders think it’s time to redefine what work-life balance looks like. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. “Work Life Effectiveness” is a term that some in the Work-Life field have lobbied to use instead of Work-Life Balance. One of the most striking arguments for maintaining an equal amount of free time in reference to your working hours is actually quite simple: “If you don’t balance work with the rest of your life, you’ll miss it.” But that is just the essence of the whole pro-argumentation. Work-life initiatives offer a win-win situation to both employees and employers and affect business progress and performance in many ways as improving work-life balance practices increase productivity, employee well-being, reduces costs, lead to improve retention and recruitment and better motivation and morale for employees. Put another way we can observe when someone has lost their balance, and we know that in given circumstances some people have better balance than others and may perceive that they have better balance. It also depends on the right measure: anyone seeking to achieve a good work-life balance more than to live, is missing the entire work-life balance definition. Instead, employers should create guidelines for helping their employees maintain a healthy work/life balance. It has, however, taken on a new meaning with the recent technological changes that have made it possible for workers to stay in … Which involves more than sick leave or a day off from the office encouraging leaving all work communication cellphone and e-mail at the office. 12 ways to support a better work-life balance for your employees 1. Ways to Encourage Balance in the Office Maintain Structural Consistency. Work-life balance is important because it impacts the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Understand work-life balance. are still the major differentiating factors to the largest working generation in the U.S. Encourage "productivity phases." You may opt-out by. Besides promoting flexibility, employers should also strive to improve the overall workplace experience for their employees. Lunch is important. Many Gen Xers were exposed to the effect such a relationship with work had on the family unit. Chronic stress can also negatively impact mental health because it’s linked to a higher risk of depression, anxiety and insomnia. But whether you call it work life effectiveness, life work effectiveness, or work life balance, being overly concerned with terminology is a mistake. This is partially due to the dominating presence of millennials in the workforce. Various theories have revealed that work-life balance policies try … So, how can employers help staff achieve this and boost overall workplace well-being? Provide resources. I am the founder and president of TotalWellness, a national corporate health and wellness services. A happy, relaxed team becomes more a positive and productive team. Stress is undoubtedly one of the biggest problems faced by the modern workforce. Work-life balance is still important, but job security is too. In response to the organization strategic goal. The way we look at work-life balance is changing. With this generation growing to over a quarter of the U.S. population and in their prime-working years, figuring out what attracts millennials remains one of the biggest HR decisions at any major company. Who Will Find The Insurrectionists First: Law Enforcement Or HR? However, balance also has a physical and psychological meaning as “stability of body or mind” so that suicide is sometimes officially recorded as taking one’s life “while the balance of the mind was disturbed”. Encourage managers to focus on productivity, rather than hours Because of this, Gen Xers tend to think of work-life balance as a necessary prerequisite to a company of employment. Another simple approach is offering employees training and development on key life skills. Prioritizing a healthy culture and cultivating a happy workplace environment promotes work-life balance. Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the cost implications associated with over-worked such as: operating and productivity costs, absenteeism, punctuality, commitment, and performance. Employees who work tons of overtime hours are at a high risk of burnout. If so, you’re not alone — in a recent survey on workplace stress levels, 76% of respondents said stress at work has had a negative impact on their personal relationships, while 66% have lost sleep due to work stress. Encourage real holidays. I’ve extended my passion for wellness into the fitness field as a Certified Race Director and Coach with USA Triathlon, and as the founder of Race Omaha, a nonprofit triathlon series in Omaha, Nebraska. Indeed, setting priorities, simplifying your schedule, and learning time management techniques are all a significant part of work-life balance, in that these steps may be required to minimize the "work" portion enough to allow the "life" component to have a balanced role. Hire an expert to speak to your managers and or enroll them in inappropriate training. While employers can look to studies about what work-life balance means to millennials to gain some insight, it’s important to remember that work-life balance will always mean something a little different to everyone. And the benefits do not hinge on employees actually participating … Offer flexible and remote working Work-life balance is generally defined as the relationship and proper prioritisation between your career and your lifestyle, as well as the impact the two have on one another. Train managers who listen and use their best judgment to work with co-design arrangements that foster better work-life integration use the actual job requirements and employee needs to design a better work-life integration plan. Encourage everyone to regularly take at least 30 to 60 minutes for lunch away from the workstation. They are just the easiest for any organization to employ. Work-life integration has emerged as the term du jour for describing the holistic employee experience that today's organizations seek to provide. It can lead to physical consequences such as hypertension, digestive troubles, chronic aches and pains and heart problems. Breaking the Glass Ceiling This essay was written by Frank Hamilton, a guest blogger. They look for perks such as telecommuting, extended maternity/paternity time and adequate vacation time. Work-life balance is an important aspect of a healthy work environment. When employees are balanced, everything the organization is balanced! Train your managers to look for problems such as burnout and overwork. An entire industry has popped up surrounding making workspaces more “millennial-friendly.” WeWork, one of the most well-known of this new breed of property managers, recently made headlines by leasing an entire Manhattan office to IBM, an over 100-year old company that houses multiple generations of employees. Therefore, the work-life balance does not simply mean striking a balance between professional and personal life, but also regularly reflecting on it and questioning it. I cover corporate wellness, employee well-being and health trends. Research indicates that Millennials seek well-paying, secure jobs that support their lives outside of work. Additionally, a quarter of Americans identify their jobs as their #1 source of stress. Find assertive ways to communicate your needs and set boundaries. As a noun, a balance is a set of scales, a weighing apparatus; it is also the regulating gear in clocks. This is bad news for employers because according to Harvard Business Review, the psychological and physical problems of burned-out employees cost an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion a year in healthcare spending in the United States. Workplace flexibility and leave policies are by no means the only measures which can be used to improve employee’s work-life balance. Unfortunately for millennials, the 2017 Workplace Benefits Report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that 59% of millennials report feeling worried about finding a career path that will support the lifestyle they’ve envisioned for themselves. Use the material in this article to begin designing your seminar. Democrats Win The Senate. Meditation, Van Horn points out is "the perfect vehicle to refresh physical and mental functioning and to enhance the emotional intelligence, which is a prerequisite for business building and developing entrepreneurial skills.". Managers often have porous work-life boundaries, but that can send a confusing message to their teams. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Today’s workers have many competing responsibilities such as work, children, housework, volunteering, spouse and elderly parent care and this places stress on individuals, families and the communities in which they reside. Train managers who listen and use their best judgment to work with their co-design arrangements that foster better work-life integration use the actual job requirements and employee needs to design a better work-life integration plan. As a result, 80% of Baby Boomers report moderate to high levels of stress. As the children of the Baby Boomers, Gen Xers (typically born around the years of 1961 and 1980) grew up witnessing the long hours and poor work-life balance of their parents. Lunch is important. The time a person spends working should be balanced by time spent with friends and family, keeping fit, traveling, and doing other fulfilling hobbies. Chronic stress is one of the most common health issues in the workplace. How can a company promote a healthy lifestyle, both physically and emotionally, without sacrificing employee productivity? Advisors, Coaches, & Mentors 81% of 3,500 employees we polled recently placed importance and value on flexible... 2. Many of these employees prioritize spending time with their family and are more likely to utilize their PTO than the Baby Boomers. Defining Work-Life Balance The UK government recognizes the imbalance between work and family that a section on work-life balance was included in the Employment Act of 2002. To satisfy the assumed desires of millennial employees, many employers overcompensate by adding game rooms and beanbags to spruce up the work environment. These practices help strengthen the body and lower stress. What’s different now, experts say, is that today’s young workers are increasingly focused on the “life” part of “work-life balance.” A 2015 study from the Center for … For an employer, promoting work-life balance can seem a daunting challenge. Attitudes on work-life balance will continue to evolve with cultural, generational and economic changes. The work-life conflict has been associated with numerous physical and mental health implications. When employees are happy in their roles, work will feel more like a second home, and less like working for a paycheck. Ways to instill Work-life balance effectively. This will give the information they need to make better choices about balancing their energies across their work and life. Going Past Generations – Creating a Flexible and Happy Work Environment for All. It is also becoming an increasingly worrying problem for employers. Employers are not responsible for providing work balance for their employees, but they can assist the employees in seeking and maintaining their work balance. Improving the balance for employees can improve their overall health and general well-being. A happy, relaxed you equals more positive and productive times around the people you care about. Work-Life Balance and Stress One of the essential factors in successfully managing work–life balance is the ability to reduce and control stress. But implementing best practices for work-life balance is crucial to getting the best out of employees. Making a decent living was no small task, and in turn, this generation craved stability in the workplace and valued the opportunity for employment. I am the founder and president of TotalWellness, a national corporate health and wellness services provider. Offer traineeships, office lunches and online seminars about stress and overburden, work-life balance and individual energy management. Throughout my years at TotalWellness, I’ve developed a true passion for and expertise in all things health related. Furthermore, the type of work-life balance sought by many may not imply equal weight on both sides. A flexible work environment has been shown to decrease stress, boost levels of job satisfaction and help employees maintain healthier habits. 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It is more than possible to find a work-life balance that allows you to set boundaries in the workplace while still advancing your career. As a result, this generation put more emphasis on creating work-life balance in their own lives. Burnout can cause fatigue, mood swings, irritability and a decrease in work performance. It is important to maintain a sense of consistency and organization in your company... Increase Transparency, Foster a Trusting Environment. Employers should offer flexible work hours, the ability to work from home and unlimited PTO to create a more flexible work environment that appeals across generations of workers. Make sure everyone is aligned on who’s who and who does what. Just because an employee fits into a specific generation, this doesn’t always mean that they will want the same things as another employee of the same generation. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. 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