Work-Life balance – Healthy workplaces

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Work-Life balance – Healthy workplaces

coursedetailsBalance between work and life

The cumulative effects of increasing work hours are having a significant impact on the lifestyles of many people. This could be detrimental to their mental health. The Mental Health Foundation is concerned about a large number of people who are not taking steps to make their lives more resilient or resistant to mental health issues.

It is clear that there are many people who struggle with mental health issues in our workplaces, and our friends’ circles.

Unmanaged stress at work has far-reaching human consequences. To protect your mental health from the negative effects of work-related stress, it is important to have a healthy work/life balance.

istockphoto xA healthy workplace can improve work-life balance

Your workplace can help you achieve a better work-life balance. The following should be done by organisations:

  • Encourage employees to spread the message about work-life balance at work.
  • Policies should acknowledge the connection between work-related stress and mental illness. These policies should include information about the roles and responsibilities that employees have in promoting mental well-being, as well as mechanisms for supporting staff with mental health issues.
  • Encourage an open culture about work hours and time constraints. If they feel the demands are too much, employees must be able to speak out.
  • Managers should be given better training so they are able to spot stress and other negative effects on their employees. Managers should be trained in how to create better workplace safety systems.
  • As outlined above, promote a culture that ‘work smart, not slow’.
  • Ensure that employees’ jobs can be done within the contracted time frame

What are work-life balance initiatives?

Simply stated, “work-life balance” initiatives are any policies or benefits that promote a better balance between work and personal life.

How can a workplace implement work/life balance initiatives?

There is no one-size fits all approach to work-life balance. You need to take into account the diverse generations, their age, culture, and socioeconomic status.

Initiatives to promote work-life balance can be included in a comprehensive health and safety program and/or health promotion program at work. These initiatives can be included in an existing health and safety policy. Or, you can refer to specific guidelines in the overall company’s human resources policy or collective agreement.

Senior management must be committed to meeting the needs of employees and business overall. Every workplace should customise its work-life policies to meet their specific needs and corporate culture. Employees should be consulted frequently to find the ‘best fit’. Employers and employees have to take full responsibility for ensuring that work-life programs are successful. A feedback or evaluation system should also be part this process.

It is important to remember that many workers face many challenges every day trying to balance work and family. These issues need to be addressed. However, many people don’t know how to resolve them. For example, a program that addresses work-life issues might be included in a comprehensive safety and health program. It should not be used to detract attention or take away resources from other safety and health concerns that could exist in the workplace.

The benefits of work-life balance – healthy workplaces

Exercise Access
Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Every adult should get at least 30 minutes per day. Employees who exercise and eat well are less likely to get sick or miss work. This could negatively impact your company’s productivity.

Childcare Services
Parents have childcare responsibilities that don’t end when they leave home for work. Employers and employees alike have found that a family-friendly workplace is a benefit in many industries.

Consider offering onsite childcare services that have a staff of trusted professionals and take the hassle out of daycare and babysitting services. To reduce missed work and stress caused by caring for children, it may be possible to offer employees a discount on childcare services.

Company outings
Offering a company outing is a great way to increase employee morale and to help workers get to know one another in a relaxed environment. Depending on the culture and budget of your company, this type of outing may be either low-key or extravagant.

Summary

Positive work-life balance results in employees doing better work. It is a win-win situation for both the employee and the company. Employers who wish to encourage a healthy work/life balance can use this guide as a guide. Employees who feel more in control of their lives and have greater ownership can be more cooperative with managers and better able to deal with work-related issues at work. Employees who feel balanced are more productive and less stressed at work. This increases productivity and decreases conflicts between coworkers and managers.

Employers who are known for their work-life balance reputations will be more inclined to apply for jobs. This results in fewer training sessions, loyalty, and more in-house expertise.

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