Work-Life Balance … We hear about it a lot, there are articles and books devoted to the topic, TED Talks discussing it and the reason is there’s no silver bullet, no smoking gun or algorithm for success.
Before even discussing the tips we should establish why encouraging a good work life balance is important. For me there are two main outcomes; individuals are more satisfied and less likely to move on and the team as a whole is more effective and happy. These are the things we want to achieve.
At TempTribe our motto is Work + Play = 🙂 but really they shouldn’t be separate. There’s that old cliché that if you love your job then you never have to work again, although cheesy it really holds up.
This post is aimed at anyone designing a work-life balance plan for fellow employees but even if you’re just interested in the topic you’ll get something out of it.
There is no wonder solution
I touched on this already so I won’t bore you with too much more just remember that there is no ‘checklist’ to follow. It’s variable and affected by a large number of factors for example team size and location, age range, personal lives etc. It’s important to consider these factors when creating your plan.
Ask People what they want
Sometimes the best thing to do is ask the people that work in your company what they want. Unfortunately they won’t always get what they want (no beer fountain for me!) and it’s important not to promise anything upfront but you will get the best view on what is important to your colleagues.
More isn’t always better
Flexi-working, working from home, extra holidays, 10% time, hot-desking, autonomous working; there are so many options and in this part of life as with many others ‘more isn’t always better’. At TempTribe we are a very heavily operational team, we all have to chip in on occasion and we need to have a good presence in the office to answer phones. We found that many of the options didn’t work for us, for example we hold interviews regularly during our busy times and that means that the recruitment team have to be in the office every day. Not being able to take advantage of a benefit is more frustrating than never having had that benefit.
Everyone gets the same benefits
This is probably the most important thing on this list! At TempTribe our team is our family, we want everyone to feel welcome; like they can share their lives and work with us. A quick fire way to destroy any team feeling is to allocate benefits arbitrarily. Obviously you want to create a reason for people to stay with your company and benefits and improved work-life balance are a great way to encourage that but it’s important to set a clear and transparent structure for receiving these perks and it must apply equally to everyone.
For example, at TempTribe everyone gets their birthday off. From Managing Director to Office Manager it applies universally. Another example is that when you reach 5 years with us you get stock options. This is something that is earned through loyalty and longevity but it is available to anyone that reaches that point. There are no arbitrary barriers.
Make the workplace a fun place to be
The best investment you will ever make is on activities for the team. It’s difficult to measure the return on investment for money spent on activities with the team but trust me putting on a few events a month will seriously improve everyone’s team spirit and work-life satisfaction. Just remember to do a variety of activities and NEVER force anyone to attend, that breeds resentment.
It’s a difficult balance to get right but it can be done. Ask people what they want, think about the limitations of your way of operating, the same standard for everyone, don’t give a benefit and then back out and invest money in some activities. Although I can’t give you a magic formula, if you follow these steps you will be well on the way to having a more satisfied and effective team!
TempTribe is a #4 employer in the world offering the best work-life balance according to a new study by Glassdoor. Check out some other reasons to join TempTribe on our website.