We always hear our colleagues and friends speak about the importance of a work-life balance – some struggle with setting boundaries, some have a great balance, and others don’t have any semblance of a balance at all. So what is a work-life balance? 

In reality, this is as simple as it sounds – it’s the act of balancing your professional life whilst not having to compromise on aspects of your personal life. A healthy work-life balance allows employees to excel in their role whilst prioritising life outside the office at the same time. While this may sound like it should be a norm, in today’s environment of competition, increased responsibilities, and corporate lifestyles – this is sadly not always a given. 

Pre-Covid-19, emphasis on a balance, particularly in the Middle East, was scarce. Working everyday in an office was a standard and working past office hours was expected. Post pandemic, when a lot of corporate employees realised the same job could be done from the comfort of their homes, with the help of a company laptop, priorities shifted. Now, when searching for new jobs, potential employees look for hybrid work from home schemes, half days, and work-life balance policies as much as they look at salaries. Now, employees are more aware of professional boundaries and are firm about not willing to compromise on their mental and physical health. 

So, why has a healthy work life balance become so important? This new strategy of balancing the pillars of work and life has been proven to improve individual employee productivity, loyalty and overall team morale. When people get to focus on their careers as a passion rather than just a means to an end, their output reflects this too! Businesses that are prioritising this balance are likely to be more attractive to talent in the market, whilst having the ability to retain current employees better too. 

Toxic work environments lead to lower rates of retention and a bad reputation, harming the overall hiring process of your company. By the time you learn to train a new recruit, as well as the investment that goes into each individual within your business, replacing talent poses a hefty problem. 

If you’re looking to establish a healthy environment and a good work-life-balance within your company, here are a few markers to help boost that balance! 

Encourage Flexibility 

Work flexibility comes in many forms – it can be remote working/work from home policies, taking some time out of your workspace for a change of scenery or adjusting your working hours depending on the additional hours put in. Of course, with increased flexibility comes increased trust in your employees, so this is always a give and take, and dependent on individual companies. At Coffee Communications, we have also implemented a 4.5 day work-week to really give our team extra time to unwind before another busy week.

Breaks are Key

Always encourage your employees to take their lunch-break, this is a given right and necessity. Take that little bit during your day to get a break from your workspace and recalibrate before coming back. Moreover, encourage your teammates to take their full annual leave – committed employees often forget or feel guilt about redeeming their holiday. Without proper time allocated away from the office, and giving your team a chance to ‘switch off’, people are likely to be more prone to mistakes, health issues, and discontentment.

Management: Lead By Example

For those who are team leaders, if you’re not setting an example and helping your team build healthy boundaries, you cannot expect them to be able to enjoy a stable balance. Sending emails, messaging or even responding to clients late into the night (unless of course, it’s an emergency) clearly shows you don’t have a balance. By setting a strong example, you are being a good leader, creating a healthy boundary with clients and encouraging downtime after a busy day at work. 

By implementing a balanced strategy, any company will see progressive results straight away. There will be more engagement and growth with your employees who will come to trust and appreciate you more, fewer health problems, less burnout, and more importantly; a higher sense of responsibility as your team will learn how to better balance their workload in order to achieve a great work-life parity.