The best managers recognise that employees have personal lives that include families, friends and hobbies.
While it is normal for supervisors to expect team members to come in to work on time, work efficiently, show initiative, and work overtime when needed, it is also important to remember that sometimes, personal life can interfere with work. The happiest employees tend to be those that have the best balance between their personal and professional lives, and their managers are directly responsible for that because they are the ones that set the expectations and the tone for the corporate environment at work.
Tips to Promote a Work-Life Balance
Time Off – Legally, employees in the UK are allowed to take off four weeks a year, however, management approval is necessary. Some supervisors only approve vacation or days off when it’s convenient for the company, but that strategy does not always work with employees’ personal lives.
If your underling needs to take a holiday around their children’s school year, or time-off due to a family reunion, try and allow them to take this time. If a serious situation occurs, such as a family member becoming gravely ill, or a death in the family happens, time-off must always be allowed, even if it disturbs activities at work.
Not allowing people to take days for personal events will simply cause them distress. Usually, they will end up working poorly anyway because they will worry and think about their personal lives.
Flexible Schedule – This strategy will not work for all organisations, but some can offer employees a flexible schedule versus the strict 9-5 workday that is typical in the UK.
If employees have the chance to come in later and be able to take their children to school, or leave for an hour to pick them up and take them home, they will be grateful for this opportunity, and, likely, more committed to working at their company.
As long as team members get their work done, consider allowing them to create their own schedules, work permitting.
Telecommuting – Telecommuting is one of the most effective ways to promote the work-life balance. Once again, not all organisations can accommodate this, but some can.
Allowing individuals to work from home provides them with additional time to spend with family members. They would be responsible for setting up an efficient work schedule, yet they would have the flexibility to take care of their personal business, as well.
Managers need to be aware that employees have personal lives outside the office. Keeping that in mind, and promoting a good work-life balance will lead to happier and more satisfied employees.
Senior Trainer & Consultant