Your work life balance can boost your career
There have been several initiatives promoted across the industry this year, from ‘National Work-Life Week’, to ‘Time to Change Day’ which have highlighted to employers the benefits of promoting a healthy work-life balance in order to keep employees engaged, motivated and productive. Further to this, recent research is suggesting that a poor work-life balance can actually drive employees away.
Recent insights from David Spencer, professor of economics and political economy, suggest that while working less is presented as a threat to our health and happiness, it should instead be seen as a means to improve it and have a better life. He goes on to argue that working long hours adds to the risk of having a stroke, coronary heart disease and developing type 2 diabetes. Not to mention it’s potential of triggering mental burnout.
All this attention on the issue presents an opportunity for both employers and employees to take a step back and consider ways in which careers can be boosted by simple changes, creating a better balance between personal and professional fulfilment.
We are continuously looking at ways in which organisations can help create fulfilling careers, not just fill jobs. Work-life balance plays a huge part in this.
1. Mind-set: more motivated
Motivation is what pushes employees to excel at work. But, when people are feeling stressed due to personal or professional reasons, they can quickly become de-motivated and disinterested in what the workplace has to offer them. This can have a profound impact on career progression, not to mention morale of close team-members, particularly if someone has line manager responsibilities.
We’ve found that employees who report a better work-life balance are more motivated to achieve both personal and organisational goals, and are markedly more resilient in the face of setbacks.
2. Relationships: more engaged
Ensuring employees remain engaged in the workplace is a massive task for employers. Managers throughout an organisation’s hierarchy need to be closely looking at the quality of work being presented by their teams. Examples of exceptional behaviour and illustrations of the company’s values, as well as more subtle indications that quality of work or attention is failing need to be caught quickly.
This task is nearly impossible when managers feel themselves burnt-out and unsupported in their role. Prioritising a work-life balance is one of the ways employers can make sure their teams are coming into the office refreshed and engaged: not just with their work – but with that of their colleagues. These skills don’t always come naturally, and organisations should make sure they have training and partnerships in place to support their managers. An engaged workplace is one where fewer details are missed, and stronger relationships are built between workers.
3. Performance: more productive
People who are more motivated and engaged at work will also be more productive. A study by economists at the University of Warwick earlier this year found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.
Work-life is tied very closely to happiness. Each employee is different, but managers should strive to have honest career conversations to determine how an employee can strike the balance that maximises happiness and productivity.