If you find yourself spending more time in the office than you would like or feel “burned out,” you probably don’t maintain a healthy work / life balance. If you are employed by a small business, you may be able to negotiate a more appropriate work schedule with the owner. Small business owners can also benefit from having a happier , more productive employee.
Telecommuting allows employees who have a long drive to the office or young children to spend more time at home. Depending on the nature of the job, you may be able to use your own equipment, such as your home computer, telephone and fax machine, and have your company reimburse you for any costs. If working away from your office on a full-time basis is not practical, your company may be willing to allow you to switch over one or two days a week.
Utilize Flexible Scheduling
The days of a strict 9-5 working day are over and one of the most successful work-life balance strategies is to allow flexible schedules. Many companies are implementing this strategy by creating a window of time where the office is open, and then allowing employees to decide when they want to go to work and when they want to leave. As long as they work a full day in that time window, employees are free to come and go as they please. Typically, this time window is between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. This type of policy allows employees to feel a sense of control over their time, and also allows them to work when they are most productive. In addition, by allowing a later start and a later finish time, employees can better coordinate when they can drop off their children for school, take part in a morning exercise class, or check in with an elderly relative.
Create a family-friendly work environment
“Family-friendly” can mean a lot of different things depending on your line of work. You probably don’t want to have a “bring-your-child-to-work” day at the factory. However, looking for ways to become more family-friendly is another great work-life balance initiative. Some organizations may offer on-site or sponsored childcare services. Others may be offering after-school programs. Others may just have occasional outings where families are welcome to join. Payed or even unpaid family leave is also an option for employees who may need to take time off to take care of a family member.
If you can afford to, consider cutting back to a part-time work schedule. If your employer values your contribution, or you would be difficult to replace, you should be willing to work out a part-time arrangement to keep you in place. If you are unable to maintain marginal benefits, such as health insurance, see if you can be added to the coverage of your spouse. You ‘re probably going to have to make some financial sacrifices, but it’s worth the extra time at home.
Promote Opportunities for Health and Wellness
When employees are overworked, their physical and mental health can often be affected. This is not only bad for the individual, but it can have an impact on productivity, absenteeism and long-term turnover. Successful work-life balance programs should include ways for employees to stay fit and healthy so that they do not experience burnout.
Encourage Employees to Take Vacation
Employees of small and growing enterprises often hesitate to take a vacation-especially if they feel that there is no one else who can do their job. That being said, encourage employees to take vacation and help make it possible by providing work back-up and/or adjusting the workload to accommodate the absence. You can also implement a policy of using-it-or-losing-it holidays to encourage employees to take advantage of their well-deserved time off.
If your current position is very time-and energy-intensive, explore the possibility of assuming a less taxing role. For example, if you’re a boss, you could switch to a non-supervisory position with fewer responsibilities. If you’re traveling frequently, look for a role that keeps you in the office and closer to home. In addition to having more time at home, you may also enjoy more of your free time due to a reduction in stress.