Now that the pandemic is nearing its end, many businesses started to tackle the idea of inviting or even forcing their employees to return to the office full-time thinking that things will go back to “normal.” They seem to ignore the fact that the perception of the workplace has changed forever, ushering in remote and hybrid work environments that offer the flexibility and autonomy most employees crave.
While there is ample proof that employees weren’t less productive during the Covid era. Quite the opposite, numerous research showed that remote workers were more productive than their office-based counterparts two years ago.
This said, more and more leaders recognize the importance of enhanced work/life balance because this may make your employees more productive, lower your turnover and absenteeism rates, and benefit employees’ physical and mental health.
If you’re still on the fence about helping your employees to achieve and maintain work/life balance, here you’ll find out how your business may benefit from taking this step.
A study including over 800 US companies shows that companies that devised and implemented policies that support employee well-being by offering family leaves, flexible schedules, and help with childcare have experienced an increase in the number of female managers coming from minority groups.
Flexible Work Can Boost Gender Equality and Diversity in Your Workplace
You may wonder why women from minority groups benefit the most from employee well-being policies. Because they face significant issues when it comes to balancing out work and private life obligations. Women, especially from minority groups tend to be single parents more than white male workers are.
Single working mothers need to take care of 41% of African-American families, 25% of Hispanic families, 13% of white families, and 11% of Asian-American families. These numbers are significantly lower when it comes to single working fathers.
Secondly, employees coming from minority groups are poorly paid compared to white workers. Before the pandemic, African-American or Hispanic households of 3 earned about 61% of what the same-sized white household did. And this statistic has barely changed since the 1970s.
Finally, minority workers don’t have the same opportunities for child care. They can hardly get reliable yet affordable childcare options. At the same time, they often feel pressured to work harder than others to prove they are highly skilled top performers. All these issues prevent them from advancing on the company ladder.
This is why it’s critical for your company to develop a comprehensive work/life balance support program. Here you’ll find several steps you can take to make this happen and boost equity and diversity in your workplace.
Make Your Flexible Work Policy Official
Make sure to provide the same support to all employees in your company, from interns to C-suite executives. And be official and transparent about it. This means that you need to devise a clear and effective policy and put it in writing. Then ensure every employee gets a copy of this policy and becomes familiar with it.
Otherwise, your employees may not take your intentions to support work flexibility seriously and they may never use the benefits.
Use Tech Solutions to Coordinate Your Teams
The pandemic period has forced businesses to face and overcome numerous challenges while creating functional remote workplaces. Luckily advanced solutions like Slack, Zoom and remote employee management have stepped up to these challenges to provide seamless cooperation and communication between employees while tracking their attendance and performance.
Your HR and IT teams should join efforts to offer employees training, collaboration tools, and communication channels to make sure employees work together while staying highly productive.
Track Employees’ Results Rather Than Their Work Hours
Tracking employees and hours spent at work is a common practice. But the time spent at work doesn’t necessarily indicate that they’re productive and committed to working on their tasks. But if you deploy employee tracking software into the workflow you’ll get a detailed insight into how your employees use their work hours making the difference between productive, unproductive, and idle time. This will give you a better understanding of your employee’s performance. Once you start comparing results delivered with the time spent at work, you’ll be able to identify and reward top performers.
By showing them that you value quality outcomes more than time spent at work, you’ll allow your workers to organize their work hours better, improving their work/time balance and overall well-being.
Let Leaders Set an Example
If you want your employees to use the benefits of this work/life support program your company offers your managers need to set an example. First, they need to instill this flexibility into the company culture by talking about it as one of the employees’ rights. If you encourage working from home with occasional visits to the office, let your employees choose the days when they want to work from the office without imposing strict schedules.
Also, once the managers start using their parental leaves and stop working after hours, their team members will gladly follow their lead.