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10 Ways to Maintain Work-Life Balance in a Work from Home World

CoAdvantage-Work-life balance is much more important than many workplaces credit. In pursuit of perfect productivity, employers tend to demand more and more of their employees. Between the advent of smart devices and portable computers and a relentless pace to doing business, many employers would like their employees to respond to business needs anywhere, anytime. This has resulted in an increase of total hours spent working. According to a Gallup poll, half of all U.S. workers work more than 40 hours each week, and nearly 40% worked more than 50 hours – and that was before the pandemic.

But there’s a cost when work overtakes an employee’s personal life. According to a separate Gallup survey, employees who experience burnout are 63% more likely to take time off due to illness and more than twice as likely to search for other jobs. In other words, productivity suffers, and turnover increases.

So, how can employers better manage their employees’ work-life balance to reduce burnout and its attendant problems? Here are 10 ways.

1: Reduce your expectations for worker availability. Let employees unplug and log out of all work-related accounts and devices at defined times (e.g., evenings and weekends).

2: Enshrine boundaries in policy as appropriate. To make sure leaders, managers, and employees are all working on the same page, establish clear, enforceable policies that govern the boundaries between work duties and personal time.

3: Even when workers are expected to be available, loosen response time requirements. Let workers continue to focus on their current task without expecting an immediate response to messages or inquiries.

4: Do not require remote workers to work more hours just because they do not have a commute. In some circumstances, that could even backfire, creating a situation where the employer would have to compensate some employees for additional time worked.

5: Permit (or, better yet, encourage) employees to take short breaks throughout the day.

6: Give workers more autonomy, which studies have found to reduce stress.

7: For example, give employees more power over their own schedules. That increased flexibility lets employees work when they’re most effective and manage personal tasks without feeling overwhelmed or overloaded by the combination of work and personal obligations.

8: Offer wellness or stress management programs. Stress can erode productivity and increase the likelihood of burnout, so helping workers cope with stress can improve their overall well-being and their work output.

9: Lower your expectations overall. One of the main drivers of the erosion of work-life balance is employers constantly raising expectations and performance requirements without making some other concession to balance their new demands. If you can’t make those concessions, pull back on your expectations.

10: Change how you think about productivity. Focus on output rather than hours worked.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about CoAdvantage’s ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.