Balance in our lives is what helps to keep us level-headed; at some point we’ve probably all felt when that balance has shifted too far to one extreme. For instance, when you find yourself investing more time and emotion in your worklife, the toll on your emotional wellbeing has likely been felt. We begin to feel anxious, tired, and even depressed.
The work/life balance is one of the most impactful equilibriums in our lives. We spend a majority of our time at work or at home, so it goes without saying that shifts in this balance especially can have large ripple effects on our wellbeing. For HR, it’s more than just a matter of your employees needing to establish their balance; the cost of an ‘unbalanced’ workforce can impact your bottom line too.
An employee who knows how to find their equilibrium is likely one that will be quickly headhunted by the competition. These employees tend to be more resilient and focused than their counterparts; at the same time, they also tend to call in sick much less often. Extensive research into Work / Life Balance programs shows that they provide a positive return on investment, and lead to increased staff performance and productivity.
Specific benefits include:
- Decreased staff absenteeism and sick leave
- Focused and engaged employees and teams
- Become an employer of choice – attract and retain quality staff
- Enhanced reputation for your organisation
- Increased productivity, job satisfaction and morale
Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway have examined the associations between workaholism (which is truly just an offset equilibrium in work/life balance) and psychiatric disorders among 16,426 working adults.
“Workaholics scored higher on all the psychiatric symptoms than non-workaholics,” says researcher and Clinical Psychologist Specialist Cecilie Schou Andreassen. The findings clearly highlight the importance of further investigating neurobiological deviations related to workaholic behaviour, but our takeaway is this: without work/life balance, the stakes are high, and both the company and the employee suffers.
As part of management, it is important to know about these issues impacting work/life balance as there may be things that can be done to improve perceptions of fairness at work. For example, making sure people feel their views are considered, they are consulted about changes and that decisions are made in an unbiased way.
People who feel fairly treated are not only more likely to be motivated at work and go the extra mile for their organisation, but they are also more likely to be healthy, have an active lifestyle and feel positive. HSG provides a holistic framework of work / life balance tips and strategies to align your company’s goals with each individual’s health and wellbeing. We offer Work/Life Balance Workshops as part of our Lunch and Learn Sessions.