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10 Ways To Help Your Employees Have A Healthy Work-Life Balance

10 Ways To Help Your Employees Have A Healthy Work-Life Balance

At one time, employers thought that they had to push their employees to their limits and beyond in order to get the performance they expected. Today’s employers realize that the harder you push someone, the less likely they are going to be to perform. Employees who are overworked tend to be much less productive than those who are able to balance their personal and work lives. The employees who are overworked also tend to be absent more, make more mistakes, suffer from burnout, and end up quitting. So, employers need to find ways to help their employees have a better work-life balance. Not only will their businesses prosper, but they will be known as employers who actually care about their employees. Here are 10 things that you can start doing right now.

1. Set an Example

The first thing employers need to do is set an example for their employees. We realize that this can be difficult because business owners are likely work very hard to make sure their companies succeed. However, if they can’t show their employees that they can have a great work-life balance, how can they expect them to be able to do it themselves? Employees look up to their employers, so it is up to employers to show them how to create the perfect work-life balance — or as close to perfect as possible.

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2. Go Home

When you work after-hours, it can lead to a lot of stress and burnout, not to mention overall poor health. It is the same for both employers and employees. So, you need to clock out at quitting time and encourage your employees to do the same. Sure, there are going to be times when everyone has to stay late, such as inventory days if you work at a retail outlet, but as a general rule, it is best to leave at a reasonable hour — and to leave your work at work and not bring it home with you.

3. Know when Employees are Over-Worked

Employers and their managers should be able to easily recognize the signs of overwork in employees. These include fatigue, an abundance of mistakes, absenteeism, and not caring about their jobs. It is a good idea for employers to start talking to their employees personally to find out how their workload affects them, and what can be done to make their jobs easier. In many cases, employees are afraid to let their bosses know that they are having difficulties because they are afraid of losing their jobs. The workplace should be one where employees feel comfortable coming to employers or managers if they are having difficulties.

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4. Be Flexible with Schedules

Employers need to realize that it is no longer a 9-5 world, and schedule flexibility is more important than ever. When employees have flexible schedules, it is much easier for them to find a good work-life balance. They have the time they need to take care of their families and themselves. They don’t have to worry as much about who will be able to pick up their kids after school or who is going to be home to cook dinner. Employers should also recognize that if an employee works extra hours on one day, they should have the option to work less time the next week. A great way to track employee shifts and tasks is using online shift scheduling software like Zip Schedules.

5. Allow Telecommuting

More and more people are working from home, and they are getting a lot more done. It was once thought that there are far too many distractions in the home for people to be able to get much done. But, as telecommuting is becoming more popular, employers are realizing just how valuable a stay-at-home workforce can be. When employees can work from home, they are able to better balance their home and work lives.

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6. Take Vacations

When working for or owning a small business, people tend to take fewer vacations because they don’t think that anyone else can do their work and things will fall behind. Everyone needs a vacation once in a while, even if they are just going to spend it at home. When employers encourage their employees to take a vacation, they are encouraging rest, peace of mind, and better employee health. The workload can always be adjusted while employees are away, so everything will get done on time. Some employers are even forcing their employees to take vacations by adding policies that require employees to take vacation days or lose them.

7. Have A Family-Friendly Workplace

When companies are family-friendly, it makes for a much nicer work atmosphere. There are many ways that companies can be family-friendly. For starters, they can host regular events, such as company picnics, where all employees are encouraged to bring their families. Another great idea is to implement a bring-your-kids-to-work day. Not only do parents not have to worry about childcare on these days, but the kids get to learn about what their parents do at work.

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8. Create a Healthy Work Environment

A company that has a strong employee health policy is one that has employees who are happier, healthier, and less stressed. They are better able to balance their work and home lives and they get more work done. Employees and employers should take time to exercise at different times throughout the day. Walking meetings are a great idea because you get work done while exercising. Standing desks are another option that allow employees to move around. Don’t forget about providing healthy snacks as well.

9. Take Plenty of Breaks

You might be surprised to learn that when you take frequent breaks, you get more done. This is because the more work you do, the harder it can be to continue. You start to burn out and you can’t even see straight after a while. Getting up and moving away from the desk or work station for a few minutes is the perfect solution to the problem, and you will be much more productive.

10. Encourage Communication

It is important that employers and employees communicate with one another about how to improve their work-life balance. If an employee is having difficulties, they need to speak with management about what they can do in order to have healthy home lives and still do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Featured photo credit: KaboomPics via kaboompics.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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