As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, one thing is undeniable: it is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile work and family life. Work, thanks to mobile devices and constant connection to the Internet, often crosses the office boundary. And even more so in times of pandemic where many jobs have been transformed to the remote work mode.
In this article, we are going to talk about work-life balance from the company’s perspective. What can be done to improve work-life balance from our side?
Integration is not the same as balance
A first feature to keep in mind is that it is probably already impossible to compartmentalize work and leisure time well. Especially in remote work environments. Moreover, in the techie sector, remote work environments often have an international dimension and time flows can cause a company to be producing non-stop 24 hours a day.
So the key is to be able to integrate well this constant and online dimension of work, with family life and leisure. Integrating is not the same as balancing. It is not a question of quantity, but of knowing how to combine each thing in the most harmonious way possible.
Here are a few key tips.
Reward your employees for overtime and weekend work
Remote working conditions make it possible to work flexible hours. This results in many workers deciding to dedicate a few hours of their weekend to keep their projects moving forward. Regardless of whether or not they meet the stipulated hours, it is worth rewarding their weekend work in some way.
An employee recognition program with defined milestones will be essential to maintain employee motivation, and to make them feel rewarded for their weekend overexertion, for example.
In addition to this recognition program, don’t forget that in day-to-day dealings it is important to congratulate the employee for his or her work and to publicly showcase his or her successes. With these procedures, it will be easier to retain talent that works overtime and off the clock.
Offer something in return for overwork
It is clear that without a recognition program that offers incentives, an employee may end up frustrated if they have to reach for their cell phone after hours or work on weekends for the good of the company. The new generations value very much the possibility of being recognized and, also, of being able to make a career in the place where they work, of being able to evolve.
So a good idea, in addition to the employee recognition program, would be to offer to pay for specific studies and training so that employees can improve in different areas. If the employee sees that the company also takes care of training him/her, he/she will feel much more affinity and will not find the “off-the-clock” work so burdensome.
Train your managers and leaders
Reaching a position of power within a company does not always mean that you know how to manage people. Many managers are there because of their talent and ability on the job, not because they are nicer or more empathetic. It is therefore important, from the company’s perspective, to offer training in psychology and human resources for the leaders of each department.
In this way, they will be able to improve in their dealings with employees and maintain a much better atmosphere. Encouraging their empathy and productive communication with the employee will drastically improve the employee’s willingness and goodwill.
Consider the employee out of context
So, if our employees work after hours or on weekends, it means that they are taking us into account outside of the work context. The logical thing is that, if that happens, as a company we also take them into account outside our context.
Incentives, prizes and rewards to benefit their well-being are key to making employees feel that they not only give, but also receive.