Achieving an optimal work/life balance isn’t impossible, but it often feels that way for several employees. Most employees want to spend more time with their families and hobbies. However, employers are often worried that flexibility or remote work will tank productivity and efficiency.

In reality, the opposite is true. Remote workers can increase total productivity up to 77%, even when they only work from home a few days a month. However, working from home isn’t the only way to capitalize on a better work-life balance. You also need to focus on the “work” part.

work life balance

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7 Ways HR Can Support a Better Work-Life balance

For many employees, work finishes at the end of the working day. For others, it continues well into the weekend. Here are a few things employers can do to limit work-based stressors.

1. Provide a Few Perks

There are several policies that tell employees they aren’t trusted—for example, penalizing cellphone use. Simply giving your employees access to their own personal devices will make them feel happier to work for you. After all, why hire your employees if you don’t trust them?

Your employees would love to receive perks from you, like subsidized gym memberships, massages, or discounts at the dry cleaners. When HR offers perks, it leads to a happier team.

2. Offer Remote Work or Flexibility

A flexible work environment is very important for modern employees because they want to be trusted to manage where, when, and how they work. In the end, workers value employers who empower them to manage their own time rather than those that micromanage or accuse.

3. Create an Outstanding Time-Off Request Policy

Wanting to take a bit of time off doesn’t mean you’re lazy. In fact, employees that take more frequent vacations are more satisfied with their jobs. Leisure time is an important predictor of our well-being, including work engagement, creativity, and marital satisfaction. 

This time off request policy guide will help you with your own. Your team has the right to take time off, even at the last minute, so formulate a policy that puts your employee’s needs first.

4. Encourage Mandatory Breaks

Besides vacations, HR should use software to ensure everyone takes at least two 15-minute breaks a day and a lunch. Not only that, but they should encourage employees to go for a way or work in a different part of the office, as a change in pace can lead to more productivity.

5. Increase Support for Parents

It’s common for companies to lose great talent because they can’t cater to their childcare needs. Both moms and dads want to spend more time with their children, but that isn’t always easy to do when they’re forced to stay for overtime. It’s essential to be flexible when it comes to parents.

Although not all companies can provide company crèches, you can offer equal maternity and paternity leave benefits, which will encourage all parents to balance their working lives.

6. Foster Inclusion

Let’s face it. If employees see other employees, managers, and HR teams burning the midnight oil, they will feel pressured to do the same regardless of policy. Management in the organization should lead by example by not emailing workers on off-hours and by taking breaks.

7. Give Time for Volunteering

Millennials are more motivated by social action than the simple act of getting paid. Since your workforce is filled with Millennials (ranging from their mid-20s to early 40s), set up a volunteer day, at least once a month, where your employees get paid-time-off specifically for giving back. 

When your employees are given the freedom to choose their charity, they’ll feel more in control. Plus, they’ll generally feel good about their workplace, themselves, and the world around them.