Gina Blitstein Article

Gina Blitstein Article
Picture of Gina Blitstein Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts. That first-hand knowledge, matched with an insatiable curiosity to know more about just about anything, makes her a well-rounded writer with a sincere desire to engage and inform.

Work/Life Balance 2017: Continuing to Facilitate Employees' Needs

Work/Life Balance 2017: Continuing to Facilitate Employees' Needs

In bygone years, it was common for a person in the workforce to dedicate their all to the job. Business owners expected that the professional duties and responsibilities of their employees superseded anything of a personal nature. Whether the personal issue was a attending child’s dance recital, going to a doctor appointment or caring for a sick family member, work came first. There simply weren’t provisions made for life during work hours. Should an employee choose a personal responsibility over the professional, there were consequences. Many an employee’s paycheck has been docked for choosing to tend to a life event rather than to business.

Fortunately, in recent years. it has been recognized that people benefit from the opportunity to incorporate more of their life into their workaday world. The ability to do so was thought to foster happier, healthier, more satisfied workers. No longer separated from their life while at work, people would be free to give and get more from both, maximizing their overall contentment. So plans toward creating a less-structured workplace began to take shape.

Employees and employers alike wondered what the workplace would look like with this newfound emphasis on flexibility and freedom. Developing technology certainly influenced the trend, enabling employees to work remotely, making data mobile and streamlining communication. The implementation of such models as flextime, remote work and job sharing to accommodate workers’ needs gave rise to questions among employers, including: “Would work still get done in a timely fashion?” “What if employees take advantage of the freedom” and, “How would productivity be measured?” Among employees, the questions involved such issues as, “What are the things that will increase my sense of balance between work and life?” and, “How much time dare I spend attending to personal issues during a workday?” Indeed, paving the way for workers to find greater work/life balance has proved a learning experience for all concerned.

It’s been more than a decade now that people have sought the “holy grail” of life: finding and maintaining work/life balance. Where at first it was a rather revolutionary concept, the idea has become ingrained into businesses and has changed their nature on a fundamental level. Work/life balance in 2017 is no longer a “perk” but often an expectation. In most cases, it has turned out to be a boom to businesses by fostering higher job satisfaction among employees.

You’ve probably implemented changes to your procedures and equipment throughout the years to make it possible for employees to work remotely, share information, work flexible schedules, have access to affordable, convenient child care and the like. The question in 2017 is, “Have you kept up with your employees’ needs and desires when it comes to enabling them to attain their ideal work/life balance?” Remember, supporting your employees’ work/life balance is crucial to maintaining a content workforce.

It’s important to keep your hand on the pulse of your employees and their needs. Keep the lines of communication open to learn their struggles and priorities. On a yearly basis, check in with your employees to learn what actions you could take to make their work/life experience more satisfying.

Ways an employer can continue to facilitate employee work/life balance

  1. Discover a small tweak to their schedule, job description or work area that could ease a stressor.
  2. Take a workplace vote to discover a major obstacle or stumbling-block they’d like eliminated.
  3. Consult with your technical people to learn if there are upgrades, newer equipment or software that will benefit workers’ efficiency, effectiveness or productivity.
  4. Make life choices easily accessible from work by making available a workout room and a quiet room where they can experience a bit of solace as needed throughout the day.
  5. Arrange with local vendors to stop by to:
    1. pick up/deliver dry cleaning; or for auto repairs
    2. deliver healthy meals and snacks
    3. provide seated massages, haircuts or manicures

Work/life balance is an ever-evolving concept. Even though you’ve previously made arrangements to help employees achieve greater balance, it’s important to continue to meet their needs moving forward. Communication with your employees is the surest way to ensure you’re continuing to do all you can to help them achieve the greatest degree of balance in their lives. They will bring their resulting happiness to work every day.

What have you done to foster your employees’ work/life balance?

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