Quick Summary: There are plenty of reasons that stress has spiked. But stressed employees can lack focus and energy, causing absenteeism to rise and productivity to fall. Although you can’t change the situation, you can offer suggestions on how workers can learn to strike a better work-life balance.
First, look at the benefits and programs your organization offers that may have an effect on work-life balance. Do you offer flex time or telecommuting? Does your employee assistance program provide stress management and counseling? Do you make referrals to child and elder care services? What about wellness activities or time management seminars? Make a list of every related option available and “package” the information in an article or brochure. Employees might not realize how much assistance is available.
You also can share these tips to help employees find the balance that’s best for them:
Understand that balance is a work in progress. There’s constant readjustment that must be made as your situation changes. And everyone’s balance differs. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Track your activities. Write down everything you do for one week, both at and away from work. You may be surprised to find out how you really spend your time and how much can be changed.
Organize. Group like things together, such as running multiple errands at one time. Make and use lists and calendars. Organizing saves time and helps reduce stress.
Avoid technology traps. Cell phones and computers can make it difficult to separate work and personal life. Make a decision to turn off the devices during personal or family time.
Make time for what you enjoy. Whether it’s family activities, exercise or hobbies, schedule personal time on your calendar. It will help you get into the habit of carving out time for yourself.
Think creatively about how your company’s existing programs and services can be used to promote work-life balance.
Encourage employees to resist feeling guilty. Guilt is a major source of stress.
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