We all tend to throw the term “heartbroken” around with regularity. We use it to describe the end of a relationship when we lose a loved one, and even when we’re sad about our favorite team losing. However, you don’t often hear someone say they’re heartbroken over their work/life balance.—but it turns a lot of people actually are.
Basically, bosses that serve as a source of stress are literally breaking the hearts of their employees. An international study conducted by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute found a connection between leadership behavior and the prevalence of heart disease. So, as a leader, what can you do to make sure your employees are happy and productive? Here are a few quick ways to ensure your employees enjoy a healthy work/life balance and a positive company culture.
Vacation is more than just a benefit
Employees who are tired and stressed simply don’t perform as well as those who feel refreshed and recharged. There are a couple of ways to ensure that doesn’t happen. Encouraging small breaks throughout the day can give employees a chance to catch their breath, get some fresh air, or go for a short walk to clear their heads.
In small companies (or even big companies) where each employee wears many hats, the likelihood of burnout is high. In order to combat that fatigue, make it clear that vacation is more than just another employee benefit, its a necessity, especially when it comes to having a work/life balance. Research studies have proven that time away can play a significant role in reducing the amount of stress we carry Yet, in some places, the stigma remains that taking a vacation is a sign of weakness. Some people call it bravado, others say it’s being a workaholic, but the best way to describe it is unhealthy.
Focus on flexibility
Since 2005, the number of American workers who telecommute for work has grown by 159%. It makes sense, right? By working from home, employees can avoid frustrating traffic jams, packed subways, and inclement weather. It’s an attractive premise and one that employees are looking for. Maybe consider adding it as an option for your staff. There is an assumption from naysayers that telecommuters can become distracted by the allures of home. But those same people fail to recognize just how distracting a workplace can be. There are side conversations, ringing phones, footsteps, printers, and a million other things contributing to a chorus of noise. Employees at home are happier and more likely to hunker down and get to work than they are to flip on the TV.
Depending on the type of business you have, you may not be able to provide this type of opportunity for your employees. Although there are plenty of other ways you can remain flexible- such as alternate schedules, split shifts for parents, and being firm on when the office will shut down for the night- are a few examples of perks that go a long way with staff.
No one says your employees all have to be best friends. It’s hard to build bonds and develop relationships when its all about work. Take the time to encourage social activities, either before, during, or after traditional business hours. A donut breakfast, a potluck lunch, or inviting the team to an evening ballgame are great ways to get to know employees. Away from the office—and vice versa.
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Performance follows culture
There’s no doubt that a good culture can lead to increased productivity and steady performance. WHERK may also be able to enhance your team’s productivity with our home service software. If you’re interested in learning more about what we do request a demo with one of our experts today.