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Six reasons why work-life balance makes good business sense
‘Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.’ – Dolly Parton
When you think of ‘work-life balance’, most people imagine working shorter hours, but this isn’t the full picture.
Work-life balance is about doing the same work, but in a more flexible way. When we work flexibly, we are able to fit in other important things that happen in life better.
Work-life balance is an integral part of an organisational culture and has a direct impact on talent management, recruitment, productivity and development and business performance.
If you want to achieve long term success as an organisation – no matter how big or small your business may be – you need to focus on the many benefits of such policies instead of viewing it as an expense. This will allow you to retain the best talent, increase the level of employee commitment and provide superior services to your clients.
So how can work-life balance benefit your business?
- Increased productivity
Any effective and successful business understands the importance of productivity in the workplace. Being productive can help business’ increase and utilise the capacity of the human resources it has.
When our brains are fatigued and stressed, they get less done. Minds which are rested and energised achieve more in much less time. A report by the Corporate Executive Board, which represents 80% of the Fortune 500 companies, found that employees who feel they have good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t.
- Better mental and physical health
The pressure of an increasingly demanding work culture in the UK is perhaps the biggest and most pressing challenge to the mental and physical health of the general population. It is estimated that nearly three in every ten employees will experience a mental health problem in any one year.
People with good work-life balance are able to work in a more effective way – reducing stress, improving energy, increasing time management skills, improving morale and commitment, and making it easier to handle professional and personal responsibilities.
- Increased profits
A natural extension of more productive work is more profitable work. You deliver more when working more effectively. You also save money with fewer mistakes. This can lead to growth and higher satisfaction at every level of the organisation.
- Employee retention
The Fortune 500-dominated Corporate Executive Board ranks work-life balance as the second most important workplace attribute – only behind compensation – in importance to employees. A number of surveys, including one from Accenture, say work-life balance even tops money and recognition.
It’s much easier and cheaper to keep good people who know how to get the job done than having to find replacements. Replacing workers is expensive, from 16% of salary for lower income workers up to 215% of salary for executives.
- Increased engagement
Gallup Organisation research reveals that the longer an employee stays with a company, the less engaged he or she becomes. And that drop costs businesses big in lost profit and sales, and in lower customer satisfaction. The Conference Board reports that the most engaged workers are 28% more productive. Did you know that highly engaged employees are:
- 5 times more likely to stay at work late if something needs to be done after the normal workday ends
- more than twice as likely to help someone at work even if they don’t ask for help
- more than three times as likely to do something good for the company that is not expected of them
- more than five times as likely to recommend that a friend or relative apply for a job at their company
- Reduced absenteeism
People with poor work-life balance feel stressed, which can lead to short and long-term absence. They may also resort to calling in sick when they need time to tend to important issues outside of the workplace. More flexible working allows them to be honest with employers and work out a solution that is better for everyone.
Work-life balance is about achieving the right mix of business and personal life that’s suitable for each individual. We are all unique. The term ‘personal life’ means something different to everyone. Support, encourage and be flexible with your employees and you will reap what you sow.
‘Work, love, and play are the great balance wheels of man’s being.’ – Orison Swett Marden