National Work Life Week is upon us, and it is an opportunity for both employers and employees to focus on wellbeing at work and work-life balance.
While this balance is undoubtedly something that should be focused on across the working calendar, many companies use this time to research where they can better their offering to employees.
This is all the more poignant as the “Great Resignation” sees employees leave roles because of a lack of benefits and balance. On the back of this trend, there have been labor shortages across numerous industries.
In fact, Totaljobs surveyed 4,500 British job seekers and found that 57% of job seekers cite a work-life balance as the key motivation for a career move. This reason appears more frequently than the desire for a higher salary (52%) of wanting to learn new skills (38%).
To mark National Work Life Week, employee benefits provider Sodexo Engage has provided three ways employers can embrace benefits to support a healthy work-life balance.
1. Prioritize physical and mental wellbeing
Sodexo Engage notes that exercise is often ignored as people work remotely. This can lead to an inability to switch off and enjoy downtime. To combat this, exercise should be encouraged.
Exercise is an important factor in creating a sense of personal accomplishment as well as a good way to create a barrier between work and life.
With this in mind, cycle-to-work schemes could be an effective way to improve the physical wellbeing of employees as they return to work. Sodexo Engage writes “employees can not only save on the cost of the commute but can also embody a healthier lifestyle” by cycling to work.
Additionally, the benefits platform recommends gym discounts to help keep employees mentally and physically healthy.
2. Encourage time off
Employee burnout became a prominent topic during the pandemic, and it is a continued concern. As hybrid working becomes the norm, there are concerns that the stresses of childcare, commuting, and work may make it difficult for employees to switch off.
As a result, “employees should be encouraged to take their annual leave, whether that entails traveling or spending time with friends and family. Employee benefits like discounts off days out, or holidays, can provide some financial support and encouragement to take a proper break.”
Sodexo Engage also advises that employees take proper time off and stop checking emails, no matter how hard that may be.
3. Watching out for burnout
Finally, it is recommended that the right benefits and communication is provided for staff.
Monitoring staff can be difficult when work is remote, but surveys and communication applications can help. The likes of Benefex enable leaders to communicate with staff while adjusting their benefits. Additionally, Culture Amp allows companies to survey their staff and recognize problem areas.
Sodexo Engage recommends: “An Employee Assistance Programme, that helps employees manage stress in both professional and personal situations through face-to-face counseling and confidential mental health support.”
On the back of these tips, Jamie Mackenzie, Director at Sodexo Engage, comments:
“With hybrid and remote working here to stay, employers need to listen to their employees when helping them strike a healthy work-life balance. The pressure of being constantly available may seriously impact employees’ wellbeing, which will only add to the stress of adapting to the post-pandemic world of work.
“There are plenty of ways for employers to foster a happy, productive, and engaged workplace, be it virtual or in person. The long-term benefits of a healthy work-life balance cannot be underestimated, with employees often feeling more positive, engaged, and productive in the workplace. This National Work Life Week presents a valuable opportunity for employers to get their efforts towards this off the ground.”
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