Work and Wellbeing · 1 December 2017

How to promote a healthy work/life balance

Employers should encourage a healthy work/life balance
Employers should encourage a healthy work/life balance
Everybody needs some down time it is not conducive to mental health (or business) when someone overworks themselves. Here’s how to perform the work/life balancing act.

Striking the right work/life balance is crucial to maintaining good mental health, yet a report from YouGov earlier this year found that one in five (21 per cent) of 25-34s are unhappy with their work/life balance.

This is compared to around one in six (15 per cent) of 18-24 year-olds, 14 per cent of 35-44 year-olds, 17 per cent of 45-54 year-olds, and only 11 per cent of over 55s.

The study found that 41 per cent of 25-34s believed their boss sometimes expected them to work outside their normal house, with 26 per cent claiming that there is pressure to work outside their regular work day.

For example, these employees feel a major pressure to respond to communications such as emails outside of office hours, with 38 per cent claiming to make or receive work-related calls even while on holiday.

The importance of a healthy work/life balance should not be overlooked, as any employees feeling under too much pressure will be a lot more stressed, and a lot less motivated and that isnt good for anyone.

Of course, nobody wants their employees to feel stressed and over-worked but what’s the business case for promoting a healthy work/life balance?

Top performers tend to work for bursts of 52 minutes, followed by 17 minute breaks, according to Desk Time and productivity output drops significantly once the 50-hour work week threshold is breached, according to Stanford University.

Clearly, people work better when they have time to take a break and re-charge. Keep driving them, and you risk burnout.

So, how can employers encourage a health work/life balance?

There are many things businesses can do to encourage employees to maintain a healthy work/life balance, such as including perks and benefits in the employee package such as gym memberships, cycle schemes and day care.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Business Advice. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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