The term work-life balance has been used so often in the last few years that it has become something of a cliche. Very few can actually explain it the right way, and for some, it has become just the latest buzz-phrase. That said, when it comes researching and developing motivation methods in the workplace, talk of work-life balance is never far away: studies have shown that people who have a more positive work-life balance simply do better at work.
So, what is a work-life balance, anyway?
If we were to define a positive work-life balance, we would say it’s a state where time spent on work, and time spent on other aspects of life are in a perfect ratio. Of course, work-life balance is very personal, and every person is going to have a specific ratio that suits them.
Work-life balance is not something you pick up one day and then stick to for the next ten years. It is an ongoing process, meaning that each new day brings a new balance formula. It’s simple – as a person’s schedule changes every day, so does the equation we’ve mentioned.
It’s not just about the balance between work and home life, though. What you do with your working hours is just as important. Employers should try their best to provide a pleasant, less stressful environment, focus on what really matters to the work itself and leave their employees some space for the other stuff such as the way they dress, or how they organize their day.
Time distribution while at work has to be balanced: people have to balance time when they roll up their sleeves and work, and when they enrich that time during breaks while they hang out and chat with their co-workers. So, what can we do to improve our balance? Some well-known ways to achieve balance are definitely flexible work-hours, unlimited vacation days, the option to work from home, company outings and facilitating an encouraging atmosphere for employees to constantly learn and develop. Moreover, having the freedom to pursue their own goals and perfect in the way they want may result in great things. In the end, that perception of freedom and opening to employees’ ideas led to the creation of Gmail, Twitter, Slack…
Do we need to achieve a work-life balance?
There’s a saying that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, and no one wants to work in an environment where the pep and excitement have evaporated.
Among all of the benefits for employees, surely the most important one is all-around improved health and well-being. People who achieve positive work-life balance are happier and overall more satisfied with what they do, which helps them be less stressed and find it easier to focus on work and be more productive. So, there’s no doubt that people will appreciate the company more if it is committed to providing them with the opportunity to harmonize these two aspects – work and private life.
How do we do it?
This is the magical equation at the very core of our culture, and we encourage everyone in the company to find their own balance.
- Vacation is important. We don’t put limits on days off or vacation days. Here at Content Insights, it’s completely ok that our employees have as many as they need, whenever they need them.
- Flexibility is something we believe in. Starting the workday at the time an employee prefers, because, for example, he or she needs to take kids to school or leave earlier is something we wholeheartedly approve of.
- Breaks at work help us avoid ‘decision fatigue’ They increase productivity, creativity and help us restore motivation. We don’t limit the time for a lunch break because we believe that breaks are something we need in order to make our people feel more free and satisfied.
- Communication at work is something we keep a keen eye on. Proper communication is often a key to success at work. Good communication is known to improve efficiency and morale as well.
- Getting together after work is important to build team spirit, rather than just having a group of people that work together. Gathering for bowling or participating in a race as a group lets us blow off some steam, and build our community.
Not everyone fits in
All this flexibility comes as a result of mutual trust between employees and employer. For us, it’s possible because people are responsible and committed to their work. That’s why we don’t feel like we have to keep track of their daily activities, and we can focus on getting the job done. It might sound a little bit odd, but not all people suits this flexibility and this type of company culture. There are people who are more used to strict rules and processes. Additionally, a lot of companies are way too big to be able to introduce this system and for some, it’s simply not effective. But, nurturing the environment which will help employees find the balance is at the heart of our company culture. We think that if the balance is achieved, everyone’s a winner. Our employees will be happy, motivated and ready to deliver perfection at work.