Work-life balance is a popular term these days, and for good reason. When your employees have a positive work-life balance, it’s good for your company and it’s good for your employees. There are many ways you can help your employees achieve that balance; supporting them with employee health benefits is one of them.
What does an Ideal Work-Life Balance Look Like?
A good work-life balance means achieving harmony between loyalties to work and personal life. The idea is that your employees should be able to have successful, rewarding careers at work, while also enjoying full, fulfilling lives outside of work.
Having a good work-life balance means that your employees need to prioritize their physical and mental health – that’s a big component of the ‘life’ part of work-life balance. There are a number of ways you can support this.
It’s imperative to recognize that the right work-life balance is not the same for everyone. What works for one person may not be the right balance for another.
Work-Life Balance is Good for Business
Helping your employees find the right work-life balance is the right thing to do. The good news it, it’s also good for business. A positive work-life balance means your employees are more likely to exhibit:
- Less stress
- Lower rates of burnout
- A greater sense of wellbeing
- Better productivity
- Improved performance
- Greater loyalty to your company
Obstacles to a Good Work-Life Balance
In theory, of course your employees want to enjoy full, happy lives separate from work. Unfortunately, it can be far too easy to lose sight of the need to focus on a life that is separate from work.
For some employees, a desire to succeed professionally means they put aside their own wellbeing. There are also external factors that upset the balance including a corporate culture that expects employees to be available at all hours. Technology is a big factor here. If employees are checking and responding to e-mails after hours, it becomes the norm. The line between work and life becomes blurred. Pressure from management or colleagues to work longer or complete more projects means employees don’t get the break they need.
If it’s the norm at your company for employees to keep carrying vacation over to the next year, then employees who do use their vacation may feel pressure to shorten it or cancel it.
Helping Your Employees Find Work-Life Balance
Helping your employees find a positive work-life balance requires a deliberate effort. It may mean:
- Encouraging employees to prioritize mental and physical wellbeing
- Setting boundaries around after-hours work-related email and telephone calls
- Offering greater flexibility around hours and work location
- Setting a good example from the top
- Encouraging employees to take breaks and use their vacation time
- Educating employees on available support
Employee Health Benefits Can Support Work-Life Balance
A great way to support work-life balance is to sponsor an employee health benefits plan. Employee health benefits support the physical and mental wellbeing of your employees. This is a great way to ensure the “life” part of work-life balance is getting the attention that it needs. Some employee benefits that directly support a positive work-life balance include:
Virtual healthcare is a way for employees to connect with medical professionals using technology. Employees can access it 24/7 from anywhere in Canada. It saves employees time and money because they don’t have to travel to a doctor’s office or miss time from work or their family.
Many of the health concerns that usually trigger a person to visit a doctor’s office can be effectively addressed with virtual healthcare. Barriers to accessing medical support (such as time and travel) are removed, allowing employees to prioritize their health.
Extended health benefits are a very large category of benefits, and many of the individual benefits under that category support employees in prioritizing their health.
For example, prescription drug coverage may mean employees are more likely to have their prescriptions filled, which supports them in achieving better health. Giving employees access to prescription delivery service can add another layer of convenience, saving them from taking time to visit a pharmacy.
Providing coverage for paramedical services can also help promote a good work-life balance. Employees can prioritize their wellbeing by accessing massage therapy, physio or other services that help them feel good so they can make the most of their life outside of work.
Coverage for visits to a clinical counsellor or psychologist helps prioritize mental health, removing another obstacle to a fulfilling life outside of work.
Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)
Providing access to an employee and family assistance program helps employees improve their work-life balance by supporting them in addressing many of life’s challenges.
An employee and family assistance program gives employees easy access to counselling, so they can get help for issues like stress, anxiety, depression and more. It also provides many tools to help employees with common day-to-day issues such as navigating childcare/eldercare, finances, divorce, housing and more.
Providing access to an employee and family assistance program helps improve work-life balance by addressing challenges so that employees can live their best life outside of work.
Wellness benefits help employees prioritize their physical and mental wellbeing. Benefits such as subsidized gym memberships or personal training sessions give employees a great outlet to improve their physical health, which can have a big impact on quality of life. When finances are tight or there are other personal challenges, many employees consider fitness a ‘luxury’ and discontinue it. By providing benefits to promote this access, you’re helping employees take care of themselves.
Other wellness activities such as walking clubs or yoga breaks at work can give employees a much-needed break so they can do their best work.
Good Advice is Key
Does your company culture promote a positive work-life balance? Do you have the right employee benefits plan to support your employees in finding that balance? Explore your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone, or contact us for a comparison quote.
Whether you’re looking for extended health and dental coverage, disability coverage, or life and critical illness coverage, GroupHEALTH has affordable benefits packages that work as hard as you do.