The importance of employee work-life balance

Sarah Corcoran

Blog Writer

Work-life balance has always been an important part of employer conversations, long before it became a buzzword in 2020. It’s particularly important when your workplace offers a hybrid or remote working model, where the lines between work and home life can become blurred. Prioritising work-life balance both inside and outside of the workplace has positive impacts on both the productivity and happiness of employees and the output of the business. A healthy work-life balance allows everyone to excel at work and take care of their well-being outside of the office.

What is work-life balance?

Work-life balance is defined as the amount of time you spend doing your job versus the amount of time you spend with loved ones or pursuing personal interests and hobbies. When one takes more of your time, you are less able to focus on the other. Many people feel the better balance between their daily work and family needs to be improved. When you work from home, these defined lines are less clear, and work-life integration is a better term for this balance. The combination of our personal and professional responsibilities is a blending of both sides instead of putting them at odds with one another. While work-life integration might give you a more rounded perspective, work-life balance may offer a much-needed division for those who find work creeping into their personal lives.

Promotes Productivity

An employee who is well rested and has their social cup filled by family and friends is likely be feel less stressed within the workplace. They are better able to stay focused on the task at hand and can stay concentrated on their work for longer periods, leading to greater productivity. Burnout due to a lack of work-life balance allows employees to become fatigued, and lack of focus and concentration leads to poor output.

Reduces turnover

When an employee feels tired, underappreciated, and distracted by home life, they will likely remove one of the factors causing these feelings. They are not likely to choose to remove their home life, so their work life suffers. It may lead to a high turnover within companies, which costs more in time and money in the long run. Prioritising work-life balance for teams boosts morale and allows individuals to enjoy their work and thrive within the workplace.

Improves Employee Health

When employees are stressed and overworked in the workplace, it affects not only their mental but their physical health. Stress manifests in the body in dozens of ways from pain to lack of sleep. Team members who work longer hours have less time to unwind after work, meaning they take the stress from the day before into every new work day. They are likely to eat less healthily, have less time to exercise, and spend less time with the people they love. When there are defined lines, or a good integration between time spent I work and time spent doing things you love, individuals are more likely to have better mental and physical health which allows them to be healthy and happy in the workplace.

Encourages better engagement

When an employee feels trusted, valued, and in control of their work-life balance, they are more likely to want the company to succeed. Engagement and productivity will soar when people are passionate about what they do and have a genuine interest in ensuring they do their best for the good of the company. The best way to help employees get to this point is to offer better work-life integration and balance, allowing them to leave work at their desks and not take it into their personal lives.

Right to disconnect

‘The Right to Disconnect refers to an employee’s right to be able to disengage from work and refrain from engaging in work-related electronic communications, such as emails, telephone calls or other messages, outside normal working hours.’ This code outlined in the Workplace Relations Act 2015 protects an employee’s personal time, discouraging continued working outside of their contracted hours. Employers must;

• Provide detailed information to employees on their working time,
• Ensure that employees are informed of what their normal working hours are reasonably expected to be
• Ensure that employees take rest periods
• Not penalising an employee for acting in compliance with any relevant provision

Premier Business Centres is a workplace solutions provider in Dublin and Kildare that provides virtual office services, registered addresses, working hubs and excellent serviced office space to businesses big and small. Contact our team today to learn more about our services or how we can help you improve your work-life balance.

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