While it is critical to find both a satisfying and well-paying job, it is also vital to maintain a work-life balance — not only for yourself but also for any employees you might oversee. With 66% of full-time U.S. employees reporting a lack of work-life balance and 68% feeling the negative impact of this lack on their morale and motivation, this issue will be front and center for employers.
The Expanding Workday
As the modern workplace becomes more globally interconnected in a 24/7 environment, employees face increasing expectations of availability and flexibility. A time when the workday was done at 5:00 pm is becoming an urban legend; it is becoming more and more difficult to leave your work behind at the end of the day. So are employers actually gaining productivity by putting this extra pressure on their employees?
The Importance of Balance
As "our stress levels spike, our productivity plummets. Stress can zap our concentration, make us irritable or depressed, and harm our personal and professional relationships." The most common sign of this imbalance is burnout.
"Around half of the workforce feels it needs help with stress management and one-quarter of employees say they're approaching job burnout." Regardless of how we define ourselves through "work," important aspects of our identities depend upon our "lives, " — our friends, families and personal activities. We must nurture the latter in order to perform well at the former, and one of the major benefits of work-life balance is ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to fully participate in both sides of the equation.
MBA Programs for Fun and Profit
There are many ways to improve work-life balance, not least of which is studying management theories and techniques in an online MBA in Management program. Graduates of these programs are usually keenly aware of the delicate dance between fully engaged employees and well-engaged employees. You can stave off burnout in the office by offering flexible work schedules that allow your employees to work longer hours on some days in order to get extra days off each week or every other week.
You can also arrange telecommuting, which allows employees to work from home, thereby saving themselves the time they lose to commuting. You can restrict meetings to certain times of day, ensuring that your employees have ample time to work without interruption or distraction. "Research shows that employees who work flexible schedules are more productive and loyal to their employers."
Improving Life Through Work
One of the biggest employer benefits of work-life balance is improved workplace morale and staff retention. When your staff enjoy their work and find it rewarding (thereby improving the "life" side of the work-life balance), they are more inclined to work harder and more efficiently. They are also more eager to solve problems that would otherwise prevent the company from increasing its market share. These staff members are also more likely to remain in their positions, which reduces the need to train new employees and mitigates the loss of institutional knowledge that results from high turnover rates.
Managers who enroll in an MBA in Management program learn how to balance the demanding needs of the modern marketplace with the personal needs of their employees. Learning how to cultivate employee satisfaction can also attract new talent, which gives you a competitive edge in the marketplace. One of the most valuable resources in any business is its staff, but proper care of that staff often goes overlooked, and negligence in this regard is a surer cause for the failure than almost any other threat a company faces.
Clarity Means Efficiency
Another way to foster a work-life balance in the workplace is to provide clear direction. If the company's mission and vision are clear, then all staff can readily find their place in companywide efforts. Workloads and work processes end up fairly managed and distributed, and this ensures a work-life balance for every employee. Further, make sure your direct reports have the skills and resources they need to do their jobs well. All employees working efficiently prevents wasting time and enables improved work-life balance.Learn more about the Southeastern Oklahoma State University MBA with a Concentration in Management online program.
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