In an unpredictable, fast-paced and always switched on-world, can we really completely separate our work life from our personal life? We are all constantly striving to achieve this balance or improve it, and the harder we try, often the more stress we endure for not fully attaining it.
In today’s age, there seems to be a blurry separation between our work and personal lives. Often the stress, anxieties and aspirations we have follow us wherever we go. Work stress is frequently taken home and not left at the office at 5:30pm and vice versa, family issues are brought into the workplace at 9am the next day. As we grow more connected through technology and social media, the more difficult it is for this separation to happen, as it has become commonplace to check emails at all hours, take calls during dinner time and quickly logging on during the weekends.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is not only important for your employees’ health and wellbeing, but it can also improve their productivity, morale and ultimately performance. There needs to be a mind shift to a holistic ‘happier you’ which will ultimately lead to a ‘healthier you’, which will transpire across both work and personal living. The happier one is, the more engaged and present one is, in all areas.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, more than 40% of employees are neglecting other aspects of their life because of work, which may increase their vulnerability to mental health problems. Their survey also found that when working long hours, more than a quarter of employees feel depressed and more than a third feel anxious. It appears the more hours spent working, the more hours outside of work employees are likely to spend thinking or worrying about it. In today’s more health conscious arena, businesses which encourage this balance and offer ways for employee wellbeing such as employee perks, mediation classes, on site yoga etc. are more sought after as a place to work. Employees, especially millennials, are looking at more satisfaction pointers than just a salary when looking for jobs, and a work/life balance is a major contributing factor. Employers need to account for the fact that retaining staff is cheaper and more valuable for the business than constantly recruiting new staff for shorter durations.
Indeed recently conducted a research piece on having the best work-life balance in the top-rated workplaces to work at within the UK. Transport for London, University of Leeds and Apple are leading the way, according to their employees. A TFL employee commented that TFL is “a great company to work for, very flexible with families and always accommodating.” Whereas a University of Leeds employee said “the pay and work ethic is always of a high and appropriate standard… both students and staff are excellent co-workers and there are always plenty of opportunities for shifts.”
Below are the top 15 players within the UK.
1. Transport for London 2. University of Leeds 3. Apple 4. Unilever 5. Kumon 6. University of Greenwich 7. John Lewis 8. Jobcentre Plus 9. GlaxoSmithKline 10. American Express 11. Thomson Reuters 12. University of Southampton 13. Lloyds Banking Group 14. BAE Systems 15. Rolls-Royce
One way of contributing to this work-life balance is to offer employees different employee perks, which they can use to unwind and spend time with their loved ones, be it discounted cinema or theatre tickets and experience days. An employee discount platform can offer everything from everyday savings at high street retailers, discounted gym memberships and travel and holiday packages. This way employees are incentivized and encouraged to take more time out and do things for themselves outside the workplace. With such great savings across a plethora of categories, there is truly something that can appeal to all employees, no matter their preference.
With Staff Treats, employers can treat their employees to over 3,000 discounts and offers, as well as access to ticketing and travel concierge services, from £4 a month.