We have heard the word ‘adulting’ being thrown around by millennials too often whenever we encounter people who are dealing with all the responsibilities they have to fulfill.
At the center of all the mayhem of living the adult life is employment, which is easily considered the most important aspect of adulting since it not only pays the bills, so to speak, but also gives you a level of importance in society through your role in the workforce. And while it is crucial to be employed to keep the finances coming in, it should be noted that your life should not revolve around it.
Working more than you should can be detrimental to your health. If done on the extreme, it can be dangerous to the point where it can be fatal, like the 31-year-old Japanese political reporter who died from heart failure after logging 159 hours of overtime during the month leading to her death.
Unfortunately, this is part of the Japanese ‘salaryman’ culture, where office workers clock in a brutal 80-hour work week. In fact, working excessively has been a growing problem in the country, and there is even a word for dying due to this: karoshi.
While this can happen only in extreme cases, focusing solely on work is still not a good place to be in. Stress is normal, but too much of it will greatly affect both your physical and mental health. This is the reason employers should encourage a culture where their workers maintain a healthy work-life balance.
An environment like this not only makes them both physically and mentally healthy, but also improves their relationships and overall outlook in life while being more productive in the workplace. It is definitely a win-win for everybody involved.
Before going through the benefits of maintaining a healthy work-life balance, we first must understand what stress can do to both your mind and body. From a biochemical standpoint, stress is a normal reaction when you try to respond to stimuli that pose a challenge, be it physical, psychological, or both.
When this happens, the stress hormone cortisol is released, causing a number of issues detrimental to your health, like a weaker immune system and bone structure. Chronic stress eventually leads to depression and anxiety.
Employees suffering from chronic stress will never be beneficial to a company, which is why a recruitment firm should make it a point to offer company programs that could help to maintain a healthy work-life balance. It can attract the right personnel for the job and likely make them good at it by benefitting from a host of advantages.
It comes as no surprise that employees who are both physically and mentally healthy have a higher chance of performing better at their jobs.
While the occasional stress is quite normal for any job, being able to deal with it can avoid burnout, which is a state where you just can’t deal with anything related to your work anymore. This can lead to depression and lethargy that will surely resonate with your performance.
Working for a company that offers the right work-life balance deals a positive effect on its workforce by:
- Boosting productivity
- Increasing motivation
- Lowering absenteeism
- Giving employers a more positive perception
- Having less staff turnover
Less Physical and Mental Health Problems
With not too much cortisol messing your system up on a regular basis, you will feel great overall and perform better without putting in longer hours at work. This leaves you with more time to be involved in healthier activities or hobbies that promote an active lifestyle like playing sports or hitting the gym.
This can boost your endorphin levels and make you feel great overall. It isn’t called the happy hormone for nothing.
Better Social Life
Time away from work allows you to engage with other people and keep your relationships better. Quality time with friends, family and a significant other can make a huge difference in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Even forging new relationships with new friends and coworkers can contribute to a healthier social life.
Now that you know how important it is for companies to offer a job that comes with programs and policies to help their employees achieve the right work-life balance, what do they have to do to promote this kind of environment at the workplace?
Flexible Work Schedule
There is no doubt that coming to work on time is stressful and finding yourself in the middle of a heavy traffic situation while on your way to the office certainly does not help. And if you’re already neck-deep in tasks that need to be done, this only makes things worse.
A company that offers a flexible work schedule is an attractive perk that can convince an applicant to sign up. No more waking up early after a long night and you can avoid the hectic commute to work during rush hour, too.
A work-from-home option is also a great added benefit, particularly for jobs that are location independent. This eliminates the need to travel to the workplace and relieves employees of the stress involved in commuting.
Encourage Time Off
There is a pretty good reason both vacation and sick leaves are in place. They not only give employees a much-needed break, but also time to recover from any illness.
It should be noted that employers should not be too strict in enforcing a sick leave, and in the same regard, encourage employees to go on vacation to de-stress and recharge. This will surely increase productivity and boost their motivation.
Some companies get the idea and offer other paid leaves like an annual birthday leave, a few days for emergencies, and a longer time off for maternity leave.
Besides the pay, there is nothing more motivating to an employee than good food that is absolutely free. Companies should take a page from Google and offer free meals to their employees to boost their morale and make them more productive.
You don’t have to be a huge company to do this. Even a small company can offer free lunch at least once every month if finances are tight. This small gesture can have a huge impact to an employee’s productivity.
Sponsored Team Activities
Company outings and team building activities are surefire hits when it comes to maintaining a work-life balance. This fosters camaraderie and teamwork while forging new friendships at the workplace.
Tech companies like Google pull all the stops when they try to recruit the best talent and maintain high levels of employee satisfaction. Game rooms and an alcohol policy are in place to relieve stress and boost creativity among its employees.
Remember, no amount of money or benefits can be more valuable than both your mental and physical health, so never compromise. Make sure the amount of work and the benefits a company offers can still give you time to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This will keep stress to a minimum while helping you grow in all aspects of both your career and personal life.