#WorkLifeBalance: What does a healthy work-life balance look like?

When it comes to seeking out a job, and deciding to stay in a role, more of us are taking work-life balance into account. Having work eat into free time is no longer accepted as part of the deal, and employees want a clearly defined split – a split that lets them put their personal lives first outside of office hours.

With recent research showing that 52% of employees admit that they regularly leave late or take their work home with them, it’s no surprise to us at ART that some 6.5 million workers are unhappy.

A huge 88% of UK employees have reported experiencing burnout in the last two years alone, so it’s no surprise that a 2021 study showed 65% of job seekers prioritising work-life balance over traditional draws like higher salary and other traditional benefits. In fact, a study by Forbes Advisor showed that over half (54%) of workers in Britain would take a lower-paid job if it led to a better work-life balance.

There’s a strong suggestion that a poor work-life balance leads to absenteeism and lower productivity levels, with morale and mental health suffering as a result. The four-day week is one of the main countermeasures that employers are embracing to improve things, and it’s already showing benefits such as:

  • A 45% increase in employee work-life balance.
  • A 27% decrease in work stress levels.
  • A 20% increase in productivity.

 

So how do you improve work-life balance for your employees during working days? A lot of the most positive approaches involve simply not taking them for granted. That means taking away the burden of completion at any cost (i.e., making staff stay late or finish work at home), empowering them to say no without fear of disproportionate reprimand, ensuring lunch breaks are taken and that mental health is placed at the forefront of the HR approach. Setting boundaries between work and life and sticking to them for the benefit of the individual and workforce as a whole. A truly impactful workplace wellbeing strategy isn’t afraid to employee health first.

Prioritising work-life balance is not just the responsibility of employers though, it should also be a municipal and national concern. Take a look at Copenhagen, the city that is ranked highest for work-life balance. A shift toward work-life balance as a priority has seen been boosted by a strong emphasis on sustainability, with infrastructure, public transport, and increased use of green spaces all doing their part to make employees happier in their time away from work and more productive while they are there.

 

How do you keep a consistent work-life balance? Let us know in the comments.
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