The Importance of Work-Life Balance
“Going to work.” It’s part of life for most of us, but unfortunately for many people “going to work” is merely the chunk of our lives we must endure so we have the money to do what we all inherently really want – to have fun.
Neither work nor the workplace are typically considered fun, which is why workers (aka employees) spend as little time there as they can get away with. They max out their sick days and take every minute of their lunch hours. They may, by necessity, put in their full expected number of minutes on the clock, but they rarely come in early or stay late unless they absolutely must. Why? Because most workplaces are not fun. The unfortunate thing about this is that fun and productivity need not offset one another.
A workplace that understands and appreciates the importance of work-life balance is a workplace that workers don’t mind spending time in. Smart employers realize that employees who are laughing, smiling, and enjoying themselves are not slacking on the job. What they are doing is not hating being at work. Establishing a workplace that values and provides opportunities for fun is making a huge investment in employee retention. It’s also simply the right thing to do!
By one estimate, the average person will devote one-third of their life to working. That is a long time to be miserable! Forward-thinking companies understand the importance of work-life balance. Google’s corporate campus is outfitted with ping pong tables climbing walls and bowling alleys. You may not have the space or resources to offer that degree of enjoyment to your employees, but surely you can afford to bend the rules so they can volunteer for a day or a week. Or create a cozy relaxation and social space within the office. Or hold impromptu employee happy hours or field trips. Employees appreciate employers who understand that there is more to life than returning phone calls, answering emails, attending meetings, drafting reports, etc. Giving employees time to achieve balance makes sense from a business and human perspective.