Do you agree that the concept of work–life balance is now obsolete?
The idea behind work–life balance is great, and for a long time, this concept has been the core of employee engagement strategies. It assumes a separation between work and life and proposes that people should have them in equal proportions.
But with the current landscape, it seems that this doesn’t work anymore.
We live in an era wherein all our life aspects are impossible to separate from one another. Thanks to technology, our career, social, and personal lives are all integrated, and it’s becoming hard to separate them. But with technology bringing us closer to work even when we’re on vacation, and vice versa, how can companies promote people’s well-being?
Work–life blend, instead of balance, may be a better solution. Instead of creating individual zones for the activities we do, this concept focuses on mixing together the different facets of our lives.
Here are tips on how managers can promote work–life blend.
1. Let people access social media
Social media, together with other channels like email and SMS, have become an integral part of our daily lives. In fact, it was found that an average person lurks in these websites for about 1 hour and 40 minutes each day. It’s no wonder that without access to these platforms, people may feel isolated.
The problem is, most managers think social media use in the office can cause procrastination. Indeed, employees may end up scrolling through Facebook endlessly and thus lag behind their workload. But you don’t have to worry as much if you implement some flexible rules around this. Also, make sure that your people know what’s expected of them so they can manage their time well.
2. Provide flexibility
There are many ways to provide flexibility to your employees: offering work-from-home options, fully flexible shifts, and offsets in schedule. These kinds of perks give workers more control over their time, thus boosting not only employee satisfaction but also productivity.
Note, however, that such setups may not work for everyone, so it’s better to offer them to employees only as an option. If some still prefer the traditional 9-to-5 shift, let them stick to that schedule. The idea is to allow people to make decisions that fit their lifestyle and preferences.
3. Focus more on output quality
Unless your organization carries out mainly mechanical tasks, you should stop focusing on getting more things done. Rather, look at performance quality.
When managing a project, remember that different people have different work styles and habits. Some spend so much time working on one project but still hand in poor outputs because they didn’t use the best methods. On the other hand, some can work quickly without sacrificing quality. This way, they’ll get more free time for the things that matter to them.
Thus, you should try not to insist that employees complete a full eight-hour shift if they’re really done for the day. After all, the only thing that matters is how well they’re able to do their jobs.
4. Create workplace communities
This isn’t an entirely new idea, but it’s never been more relevant than it is today. Companies that really want to increase employee engagement aim to bring in more fun to the workplace. Often, they do this by keeping people close to the things they love. It may be video games, sports, music, arts, and other forms of hobbies.
Not only does this lessen work-related stress, it also gives people a chance to meet other co-workers with the same interests. This creates opportunities for socialization and meeting new people.
5. Talk to your employees.
When it comes to increasing employee satisfaction, nothing can beat a strategy derived from your employees’ insights. This is the key to delivering an employee experience that effectively boosts people’s productivity and motivation. Make it a point to regularly ask your staff how they feel about the work they do and how you can make their environment a better one.
Alistair Roque is a content writer for Open Access BPO, a Makati-based outsourcing firm. He spends most of his time exploring and writing about the newest trends in customer experience, employee engagement, HR management, call center management, and digital marketing practices.
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