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2. Prioritize Productivity Over Hours
If you’re not already discouraging excessive work hours, now’s the time to do so. Instead, encourage your people to make the most of their workday by setting clear expectations and holding employees accountable. In 2024, productivity and quality will trump marathon work weeks every time.
3. Be Flexible about How and Where Work Gets Done
According to Forbes Advisor, a whopping 98% of employees want to work remotely at least part of the time, although less than 40% currently do so. Unless you have a definitive business reason not to offer a hybrid work model, give it serious consideration. This will not only help with retention but recruiting, too.
4. Set Communication Boundaries
Another way to help employees leave work behind at the end of the day is to limit interoffice communications to work hours. Make it a company policy to ban after-hours calls, emails and messages—a clear show of respect for your people’s personal time.
5. Require Employees to Use Their PTO
According to Pew Research, 46% of U.S. workers fail to use all of their allotted vacation time. Instead of allowing employees to carry over their PTO from year to year, consider requiring that employees take theirs during the calendar year. (Someday, they’ll thank you for it, because research shows that workers who take regular vacations live longer than those who don’t!)
6. Make Sure Workloads Are Reasonable
Employees who can’t get all their work done during standard work hours are perennially stressed (one reason employees don’t take all their vacation time is that they’re afraid of falling behind). Eventually, they may feel they must leave the company in order to “get their lives back.” For this reason, periodically audit workloads to make sure they’re fair and reasonable, and make adjustments when needed.
7. Accommodate “Splitters” and “Blenders”
According to some fascinating Gallup research, employees are evenly divided between two work-life balance styles. Half are “splitters”—they prefer keeping their business and personal activities strictly separate. The other half are “blenders”—they prefer toggling between their two worlds throughout the day.
Both are valid approaches. When you accommodate both work styles, everyone’s happier—and the work gets done.
In conclusion, at the end of the day, better work-life balance benefits both employers and employees. And that includes busy HR professionals, too.