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Promoting Work-Life Balance in the Workplace

Promoting Work-Life Balance in the Workplace

Work-life balance in the digital era can be extremely difficult to achieve. With smart phones and constant access to email, it can be a real struggle for team members to unplug from work mode, so it's critical in this day and age for companies to foster a culture that promotes a healthy balance. 

The overall morale of a workplace gets a significant boost when employees can bring energy and focus to the office – but they’re not going to bring those things to the table while working 24-7 or otherwise feeling overloaded. That’s just a one-way ticket to burnout. 

Below are some ways that apartment companies can promote a strong work-life balance and keep their team members energized and productive.

Gather employee feedback. This is so simple but so helpful: make a point of communicating regularly with employees to gather feedback about the workplace issues that may be causing undue work or stress. Whether it’s through in-person, one-on-one meetings or sending out surveys, it is extremely beneficial to check in and see how employees are feeling with regards to hours and schedules. Most importantly: take their comments seriously and make any appropriate changes when necessary.

• Encourage physical activity and activities outside the workplace. Exercise is a great way for employees to manage and combat the often-debilitating effects of stress. Urge employees to regularly engage in restorative physical activity by – for example – providing discounts for local gym memberships, holding friendly interoffice competitions to see who can exercise the most within a given month or quarter, and encouraging exercise breaks during the workday. Show your team members that you're interested in their physical well-being and provide a framework for them to achieve that well-being.

Companies should also consider providing things like employee discounts to certain restaurants, tuition reimbursement programs and flexible schedules when appropriate. Services like this enhance employees’ lives outside of work, so they can come back to the office refreshed and energized.

• Provide education on work-life balance and stress management. Encourage employees to complete webinars and on-site training related to stress management. Offer an Employee Assistance Program for team members to reach out to coaches to learn stress-management techniques.

Encourage time out of the office. Offer your employees a good amount of paid time off and strongly encourage them to use every last bit of it. Office cultures in which employees are made to feel guilty about taking their well-earned time off will quickly prove toxic to team members. 

Discourage the 24/7 mentality. Keeping work duties within work hours is absolutely essential to employee well-being. Work is only a slice of the pie for many people who also juggle other responsibilities, such as caring for a family or pursuing some type of college degree.

Team members need to know they don't have to monitor their emails at all hours of the day and respond to work-related messages immediately. Having to do so can be immensely draining. Of course, some onsite employees will need to watch their work emails during off hours for various reasons, but when this is not necessary, team members should know they are free to totally unplug when they're not at the office.

Practice what you preach. Many companies pay lip service to work-life balance, only to let their actions speak far louder than their words. Managers who send out emails at all hours and stay chained to their desks deep into the night send a signal to employees that such behaviors are expected of them, too. It's critical that a company's leadership set the right example. Take your vacation days and make a point of telling people you won't be responding to emails while you're out (and then don't respond). Leave at 5 as often as you can, and discourage co-workers from trying to reach you after the office is closed. Such behaviors show employees that it truly is OK for them to practice what you preach.

As the digital revolution continues to mold businesses across the world, it’s becoming easier than ever for employees to feel chained to work duties. It’s critical to remember the importance of maintaining balance between work life and personal life; this will benefit all team members and the organization as a whole.

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