HR Glossary  >   Work-life Balance

Work-life Balance

What is Work-life Balance?

Work-life balance is the practice of maintaining good employee well-being by creating a harmonious balance between an employee’s personal and professional life. In simple terms, giving importance to both private life and life at work leads to an overall healthy lifestyle.

When work-life balance is poor, the most common reason is stress, wherein the employee can neither concentrate on work nor on personal life. This generally happens when the employee works more than his power in a shorter amount of time. But there are steps an employer can implement to curb mental health issues.

In the after-covid era, when companies are adapting to work from home, homes are becoming offices, and there is no other separate location for the workplace. This is why the line between personal and professional life is very blur for defining modern professional-personal balance.

For instance, one of the employees of a team goes on an unsaid holiday. But his work was highly essential to get done, so it was assigned to another employee, which led to an unsatisfactory increase in the workload. Due to a tight timeline, he has to work overtime and complete the tasks. As a result, he was unable to focus on his personal and family life, causing increased stress and work-life imbalance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should employers prioritize work-life balance in HRM?

A proper work-life balance helps employees to live stable, healthy, and purposeful lives both at work and personally. This improves employee engagement, work motivation, and critical thinking capability.

Moreover, as the modern workplace evolves, employers need to maintain the proper balance for their remote workforce in terms of work. This allows them to improve employees’ work from home productivity and reduce mental stress. Apart from this, as today’s workforce gives importance to jobs that focus on employee well-being, establishing proper balance will also enhance the company’s talent acquisition, efficiency, and employee retention.

What are the reasons behind a poor professional-personal balance?

Professional-personal balance can be disturbed for a lot of reasons that are sometimes in the control of the employee and sometimes not. Following are the reasons causing an imbalance in personal and professional life.

  • Insufficient salary
  • Increased work responsibilities
  • Increased family responsibilities
  • Working for prolonged hours
  • Sudden increase in work expectation

What are the consequences of a terrible work-life balance?

If employees have a consistent poor professional-personal balance, there can be many consequences. Impacts on personal and social life are:

  • Increased stress or mental illness
  • Reduced satisfaction in life
  • Rise in violence

Impacts on the organization are:

  • Rise in absenteeism
  • Increased turnover
  • Reduced employee efficiency
  • Lowered employee loyalty and engagement
  • Decreased job satisfaction

How to attain a proper work-life balance?

Mentioned below are the workplace practices that employers can implement to foster a culture of proper work-life balance.

  • Provide remote or flexible working.
  • Acknowledge efficiency more than hours.
  • Promote breaks between long working hours.
  • Constantly analyze employee workloads.
  • Ensure employees, managers, and leaders are happy and satisfied.
  • Encourage genuine paid time-offs.
  • Increase benefits and perks.
  • Take and consider the workforce’s feedback. (Very important!)
  • Support and recognize creativity and out-of-the-box suggestions.

What strategies can employees use to maintain a work-life balance?

Balance in work and personal life is giving importance to everything that enriches, satisfies, and develops a human being. It includes work, career, family, relations, health, hobbies, interests, refreshment, social activities, spirituality, and learning. Following are the strategies an employee can utilize to reach that level.

  • Determine priorities and goals both at work and home.
  • Monitor your time spent on activities.
  • Develop schedules/boundaries for each task.
  • Prioritize your health and take breaks/vacations whenever needed.
  • Give time to family and other relationships.
  • Stop thinking about work in personal space and vice versa.
  • Work smarter, not harder, and use technologies.
  • And most importantly, make time for yourself.

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