Beyond 9 to 5: Redefining Work-Life Balance in the Modern Workplace

It is important to recognize the importance of balance in the workplace. Having a balance between personal lives and work lives has benefits beyond the health and wellbeing of the employee, it also increases productivity and enthusiasm in the workplace.

A poor work life balance significantly impacts our lives. According to Hubstaff  40% of people say a poor work-life balance “ruins” the time they spend with friends and family. Not only does it impact the employee’s personal life, but it also impacts the establishment. Companies that don’t support their employees’ work life balance are less likely to hold on to employees with burned out employees being 2.6 times more likely to be actively seeking a different job.

Since the 2020 pandemic, the conversation surrounding work-life balance has become prevalent, emphasizing the value of maintaining a healthy relationship between work and home. The importance of encouraging a positive work life balance is crucial in the modern workplace. Here is how your workplace can encourage balance:

Be Flexible

At the end of the day, we are all people who have chaotic lives! Being flexible with employees schedules can be a collaborative effort to ensure they are satisfied with their hours and days they work. With remote work on the rise, if applicable, offering remote or hybrid work can give employees the choice. It empowers the worker to know they can be trusted to get the job done, therefore encouraging better work. Flexibility is a requirement to many people on the job search, so ensuring your company can find a way to be flexible with their employees can benefit the long-term success of the company. Flexibility reduces the possibility for burnout and according to Forbes, an Atlassian study claims that with flexibility, 83% have a positive outlook on their organization’s culture compared with 47% of those without flexibility.

Encourage Time Off

Encourage employees to take their vacation days and provide additional paid time off for personal reasons. There is a difference between just allowing time off and encouraging it. Meeting with employees to tell them to take a vacation because they deserve it increases job satisfaction and prevents burnout. Don’t create an environment where they can’t talk about their fun, not work related vacation plans; celebrate and praise them for taking the time they deserve for all of their hard work.

Breaks are Good

Allow employees to take breaks when they need to. Going on a quick walk or just taking a break from work is healthy. Companies are even encouraged to provide comfortable break rooms for their employees. According to Michigan State University,  breaks increase productivity, improve mental health, empower employees, increase job satisfaction, and more.

Support Leave and Caregiver Care

Many families want to start families or already have children. Having children requires flexibility and understanding in the workplace because of the possibility for school delays or closings, appointments, and more. A workplace that is supportive of one’s choice to have a family is a work place of trust and respect.

Often new parents are faced with the challenges of raising a newborn, which is a full time and expensive job. Companies are getting better at providing the right resources for new parents and providing a realistic leave. This alone increases job satisfaction, employee retention rates, and overall happiness in the workplace. Kent State University has recognized the importance of this time off and implemented their current policy last year,

Six weeks of parental leave is paid at 100% of the employee’s regular base rate of compensation at the time leave is taken, and an additional six weeks may be used from the employee’s accumulated sick leave or from leave donated by others in accordance with university policy. “ 

This example of a leave policy should be looked at as the standard for companies to create a positive work life balance environment.

Check In on Employees Regularly

Many employees may not express their stress or hardships in the workplace, so making a welcoming environment encourages employees to be honest. Scheduling regular employee check ins to attest their workload, their work life balance, and mental and physical health, is going to show employees that they are cared about.


77% of employees agree that a strong connection to company culture enhances their productivity and efficiency.  Eagle Hill Consulting organized culture into five critical elements as foundation for workplace culture.

  1. Core values
  2. Leadership
  3. Relationships
  4. Authenticity
  5. Satisfaction

Lacking a positive and welcoming culture in the workplace is a major disadvantage to companies. To have a high retention rate as well as a positive employee work experience, culture is key.

Overall, prioritizing work-life balance not only benefits individual employees but also fosters a healthier, more productive, and more resilient workplace.

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