I Am Protective

Businesses benefit when employees feel happy and satisfied at their jobs. From higher productivity to stronger employee retention, there’s a lot to be said for creating a balanced workplace, especially when it comes to recruiting millennials.

A recent Deloitte study found that millennials put work-life balance at the top of their wish list, followed by flexible working arrangements and programs that support professional development.

There are many ways to create work-life balance for your employees. While generous vacation time and telecommuting are popular options, by getting creative and choosing programs and perks that align with your organization’s culture, you’ll reinforce your top values. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

1. Telecommuting
Who doesn’t love working from home? Telecommuting, for many employees, can be just as effective as a day in the office, but with the added benefit of being able to work in the comfort of their own homes (maybe in pajamas). Plus, some studies have found that letting employees work from home can actually help boost to productivity and lower overhead costs. This is helpful to all companies, but especially startups, where everydollar really counts.

2. Time off
While one study found nearly half of Americans don’t take their vacation days, they should. Encouraging employees to take vacation time or offering a half-day Friday once a month may improve productivity.

Some companies don’t give their employees the option to roll over their vacation time to the next year, meaning that employees have to use it or lose it. This can be a helpful strategy in getting people to take time off.

3. Monthly bonding sessions
Social activities that encourage team-building and bring people together can be beneficial to work-life balance. They help minimize stress and keep people feeling connected to one another, which can boost employee retention. When it comes to ideas, the sky’s the limit. Give bowling or volunteer work a try, or any activity that aligns with your company’s values.

4. No logging in on weekends
It’s important that employees have time to recharge and try to avoid regularly working late into the night or on weekends for their own mental wellness. Having restorative time is crucial to cultivating well-being, studies show.

5. Flexible scheduling
Many workplaces are doing away with the standard 9-to-5 model. Some people are fresher in the morning, while others like to burn the midnight oil. By giving employees the flexibility to work when they perform at their best, you’re keeping them happy while running a more effective business operation.

6. Healthy perks
A 20-minute massage. Granola bars. Yoga at lunchtime. When you give employees what they need to be healthy at work, it’s hard for them turn those options down. Remember, being physically healthy can translate to fewer sick days.

7. Canine therapy
If there’s no one allergic to canines in your office, consider allowing dogs one or two days per month. Studies show that they’re excellent stress-busters, and it’s great for employees’ cardiovascular health if they can walk them during lunch breaks.

8. On-site services
Childcare and home-cleaning assistance are excellent perks that all employees will appreciate, especially busy parents. By coming up with services that give your staff more time, they won’t feel rushed to leave the office.

9. Sabbaticals
Boost retention by offering employees time off after they’ve worked a certain number of years. Some companies give their staff a paid month off when they have worked for 10 years.

10. Generous sick time
By offering designated sick days, employees won’t feel pressured to use up their vacation time if they’re stuck at home with the flu. Flexible working arrangements, such as allowing people to work from home when they’re sick, can go a long way in keeping people from spreading germs around the office.
When creating programs and perks that cultivate work-life balance, consider surveying your employees to find out what’s most important to them. And remember, balance isn’t just good for employees, it’s good for companies, too. Rest assured that when employees are happier, they won’t be able to stop talking about how great it is to be a part of your team.


Amy Wright is a freelance writer based in Birmingham, Alabama. She’s a graduate of the University of the South at Sewanee, and has more than 20 years of marketing, advertising, and editorial writing experience. If you bank, use a cell phone, go to a hospital, attend a university, drink coffee, or eat snack cakes in the Southeastern United States, you’ve probably read something she’s written. But her greatest experience, by far, has been the intensely rewarding and truly humbling seventeen years of raising her special needs children with her beloved husband.

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