Work Life Balance Benefits Employees, Companies, and Clients

These days it can seem normal to get work related calls, texts, or emails on nights and weekends.  Being tethered to your work 24/7 and always being available is just good customer service and client management, right?  Actually, The Boston Consulting Group was one of those companies where employees were always “on” until they saw the results of their test run of requiring employees to take some time off.  Past Harvard Business School professor Leslie A. Perlow surveyed 1600 managers and found that pressure is high to be available all the time.  This shouldn’t come as a big surprise in our always connected, instant gratification society.  How many times have you gotten an email and before you have a chance to respond it’s shortly followed up with a phone call from the sender, “Did you get my email?”  Of those 1600 managers surveyed, Perlow found out that only 2% of them turned their mobile devices off while on vacation.  We work hard for free time and spend a lot of money on vacations, so we all deserve a little time off.  The benefits of taking time off are surprising, here’s why:  When The Boston Group forced their employees to take a night off they found that employees were more collaborative and efficient than when they were always “on”.  Because of this, client requests didn’t fall through the cracks like employees thought would happen, rather clients benefited; employees, clients, and organizations as a whole benefit when there is predictable time off. 

Here are some first steps in establishing a more controlled work/life balance:

  • Establish a team goal
  • Encourage open dialogue about achieving that goal
  • Talk about how team members are doing
  • Make sure team leaders are supportive

Sometimes it can be difficult to turn off and disconnect at the end of the day.  Part of employee attraction and retention is about work/life balance; prospective talent wants to know that they are allowed to take the vacation days earned by them and current employees will stay more engaged if they feel like they can shut down and have some personal time.  You can find Serenity Staffing on Facebook and LinkedIn.  Be sure to follow me to continue to receive great insight on that delicate balancing act between work and life!