Table of Contents

Whether you operate out of North America, Europe, Asia, or have a remote work setting, encouraging a healthy work-life balance for your employees remains the same. “What matters is the trust companies build with their employees. High-trust workplaces listen to all their people, innovate, adapt, measure, and repeat,” according to Michael C Bush, the CEO of Great Places to Work.

Even at Fortune's Best Employers of 2023, workers reported fair pay, healthy work-life balance support, and a voice in decisions as driving factors for their impressive employee experience.

On the other hand, a poor work-life balance has dire physical and mental effects on your workforce, including burnout, anxiety, and depression—adding to both direct and indirect costs to your company. Research has also indicated how it can lead to a 40% drop in employee retention.

Work-life balance shapes employer branding as well as corporate identity. When companies actively engage with employees, it only strengthens these outcomes by fostering loyalty among staff members—key for successful long-term employee retention strategies.

This blog dives deeper into the concept of work-life balance and discusses how to implement policies that foster a positive employee experience. 

What is Work-Life Balance?

Work-life balance can be defined as the harmony between work and personal lives that allows workers to form a meaningful equilibrium. Studies suggest that work-life balance is a two-way street, where work disrupts personal life and personal life impacts work. The interaction between these two spheres leads to conflicts, or results in enrichment and mutual benefits.

The concept of work-life balance has evolved significantly over time. Historically, the Industrial Revolution set a precedent for long work hours before societal and economic changes gradually shifted this norm towards advocating for shorter work hours and improving the quality of life.

The advent of technology has been a double-edged sword for work-life balance. On one hand, it has facilitated remote work, offering unprecedented flexibility. On the other, it has blurred the lines between work and personal time.

A robust work-life balance is now being advocated legally as part of reevaluating well-being in the digital era. For instance, key legislation such as France's "Right to Disconnect" advocates for work-life balance by allowing employees to avoid work emails and communications outside of working hours.

This legislation acknowledges the impact of constant connectivity on personal time and mental health, encouraging a clearer separation between work and life, and setting a precedent for similar policies worldwide to support healthier work environments. Understanding and implementing these laws aids in compliance while also enhancing employee well-being and satisfaction.

The outcome is not just happier individuals, but also a higher number of engaged employees. This reinforces their connection to their roles at work, which is a key driver behind organizational growth.

Tips for Healthy Work-Life Balance for Your Employees

Tips for Healthy Work-Life Balance for Your Employees

With a focus on flexibility, well-being, and a supportive workplace culture, let's explore some practical tips to empower your team. These will help achieve the desired work-life balance that leads to sustained productivity and employee satisfaction.

Lead by Example

Set an example by showing that a balance between work and your life outside of it is both appreciated and possible at your company. As a business, shift away from glorifying overwork and instead encourage employees who attain a good work-life balance as exemplars of an ideal worker.

New Zealand's ex-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's tenure was marked by her progressive policies and empathetic leadership style by valuing balance and well-being alongside professional achievements. For instance, she made headlines for bringing her baby to a United Nations General Assembly meeting. It highlighted the importance of integrating family life with professional responsibilities and encouraged a cultural shift in workplace attitudes.

Setting examples of family-friendly policies can significantly improve many employees’ work-life balance, as advocated by the United Nations. Provisions for childcare and parental time off are ways companies can accommodate their employees’ responsibilities while encouraging holistic success in the workplace.

#2 - Encourage Flexibility

Remote work is now a staple in the modern workplace, especially in the wake of global shifts towards digital-first environments. Offering remote work options not only provides employees with a reprieve from daily commutes but also allows them to create work environments that they find most conducive to their productivity and well-being.

It also is an acknowledgment of the fact that the traditional 9-to-5 workday is evolving. By allowing flexible work hours, employers give their team members the autonomy to manage their time in a way that suits their personal commitments and peak productivity periods.

For example, the Australian-American software company, Atlassian has empowered its employees to choose where they work daily, leading to a highly distributed workforce that collaborates from over 10,000 locations, rather than being confined to traditional office settings. This flexibility has shown significant benefits, with 92% of Atlassians stating that the distributed work policy enables them to perform their best work, and 91% citing it as a key reason for their continued employment with the company.

Remote working for longer periods often leads to employees feeling isolated. This is why it’s crucial for employers to keep their remote staff engaged through fun company virtual events that help them feel more connected. Companies like Salesforce also acknowledge this within its policy of the Ohana Culture. They utilize virtual events, team meetings, and digital collaboration tools to maintain a cohesive workplace environment for remote workers. Additionally, they provide resources and support for mental well-being to ensure that remote employees feel included and valued within the company's community.

#3 - Meaningful Wellness Policies

Paid time off is no longer just a perk; it's a vital component of employee wellness strategies. Forward-thinking companies are not only offering ample vacation time but are actively encouraging their teams to take these breaks. Time away from work is essential for mental and emotional rejuvenation, which in turn fuels creativity and motivation.

Cisco stands out among the Best Companies to Work For list with its thoughtful approach to employee well-being, including the "a day for me" initiative. These are days throughout the year when Cisco closes to let employees recharge, in addition to a company-wide shutdown at year's end for holiday family time.

"The best part is that I was able to wind down without having to rush back to anything. That’s because one of the biggest benefits of the Day for Me is that everyone at Cisco enjoys the same day off each quarter. So, no one returns to an inbox full of unanswered emails or Webex messages to catch up on. We all start the week fresh and refreshed together," said one of their employees about this policy.

Google is also known for its comprehensive approach to employee wellness, offering various programs including gym memberships, on-site wellness and healthcare services, and mental health support. These initiatives aim to enhance both physical and mental well-being, contributing to a positive work-life balance and overall job satisfaction among employees.

#4 - Employee Engagement In Decision Making

Involving employees in decisions that affect them fosters a sense of ownership and respect, contributing to a positive work-life balance. When employees have a say in decisions, they're more likely to feel valued and understood, reducing stress and enhancing job satisfaction. This approach encourages a supportive work environment where employees can better balance their professional and personal, leading to improved employee productivity and well-being.

For example, Hilton's My Voice Matters initiative, particularly effective in Central and Latin America, engaged over 5,000 team members in an eight-week employee feedback loop with the leadership. This approach led to a notable 84% of Hilton employees feeling included in decisions impacting them. This practice not only boosts employee satisfaction but also contributes to Hilton's recognition as 2023's best workplace.

#5 - Create Fair Workplaces

McKinsey research has highlighted that “companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.” Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list corroborates this by underlining that businesses with diverse employee groups outperform the stock market by a factor of 3.36.

Gender inclusivity has also been vital to the success of multinational employers like Estée Lauder Companies (ELC). The company's Executive Vice President, Jane Lauder recently got candid about the vision of her grandmother, Estée Lauder, who founded the company over 75 years ago, to support and scale "possibilities for women in our business and around the world." In comparison to only 29.2% of women comprising STEM workers globally, women form more than 60% of ELC’s scientists, engineers, and technical professionals, according to Forbes.

Having an engaged workforce and fair managers is also essential to cultivating a positive work-life balance for employees. Fairness ensures that workloads and opportunities are distributed equitably, preventing burnout and fostering trust. This, in turn, enhances employees' satisfaction and their ability to manage work alongside personal commitments effectively.

Cadence, which is among the top 10 workplaces in the world, ensures managers do not "play favorites," with 86% of Cadence employees affirming this. To create such an inclusive environment, Cadence has engaged 90% of its global managers in unconscious bias and allyship training. Through these programs, they empower female employees to “have a serious voice on policies, development, mentorship, and things that are business critical.” 

#6 - Meaningful Work

Connecting employees to meaningful work enhances their employee experience by aligning their roles with their values and the company's goals. This connection fosters a sense of purpose and fulfillment, making the job more rewarding than merely a means for making money.

DHL Express sees 90% of its employees viewing their roles beyond just being jobs. This is largely due to the company's commitment to community support, allocating 1% of its net profit to various initiatives, including aiding refugees and reducing its environmental impact.

DHL ensures all their employees connect with its mission of “connecting people. Improving lives” by promoting dialogue for individual and collective purposes. 

#7 - Facilitate & Reward Growth

Offering learning and development programs helps employees attain higher job satisfaction and loyalty to your organization. Simultaneously, recognizing and rewarding their achievements also boosts morale, motivation, and a sense of belonging.

The pharmaceutical company AbbVie is a top employer that emphasizes self-directed growth through programs like 'Learn. Develop. Perform. (LDP)', which includes a week-long event where employees choose learning sessions based on personal interests and career paths.

Al Dabbagh Group is also among the world's best workplaces for its commitment to employee development and recognition. It follows a fair system to celebrate employees' achievements, using awards, bonuses, and public acknowledgment to honor their contributions. At AI Dabbagh Group, 85% of employees report that promotions go to those who best deserve them.

Promote Balance to Drive Growth

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is crucial for the well-being of employees and the success of your business. It’s not merely about dividing hours between work and personal activities, but about fostering a state of fulfillment in both professional and personal lives.

Employers play a pivotal role in promoting this balance. Through effective leadership, family-friendly policies, efficient communication, encouraging real breaks, flexibility in work arrangements, and promoting paid time off, employers significantly enhance work-life balance.

In the end, a well-balanced work-life environment enhances employee satisfaction and productivity while also positively contributing to the company's reputation and overall business performance.

Employer of Record (EOR) Services

Utilizing Employer of Record (EOR) services like Borderless AI is a pivotal step towards achieving a healthy work-life balance for your employees, especially within teams that span across different countries and cultures. An EOR acts as the legal employer of your global team, allowing you to hire, manage, and pay employees in over 170 countries worldwide without the need for entity establishment.

This support enables businesses to:

  • Prioritize their employee experience strategy

  • Improve employee performance and wellness

  • Comply with all applicable labor regulations

  • Offer localized benefits and compensation arrangements

  • Focus on customer satisfaction

With an EOR addressing time-consuming administrative tasks linked to workforce management across borders, employers can focus on driving their business growth and employee engagement.

Speak with one of our experts at Borderless AI today to understand how we can assist you with our AI-powered solutions for global employment compliance and enhance your employee experience.

Back to Blog