Why a work life balance is the key for a happy business

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Discover how creating a healthy workplace and promoting good work-life balance will reap dividends for your business.

You need only look at the proliferation of juice bars, yoga centres and health food vendors in your local area to realise that the wellness phenomenon is no longer the domain of hippies and fitness fanatics. Healthy lifestyles are being touted across generations, as people begin to opt for balance rather than burnout.

While businesses in the sector are already reaping the rewards, recent studies show any small business that promotes a healthy workplace and good work-life balance is also booming.

work balance is an issue for everyone

According to research conducted by The Hays Group, the benefits of getting the work-life balance right has a real impact on a company’s efficiency and its ability to maintain staff.

The study found workplaces that looked beyond standard responses, providing broader workplace dynamics, better support and more equitable workloads, ranked higher in employee satisfaction than those that failed to address workers’ needs.

Work-life balance wasn’t just an issue for employees; top executives also stressed its importance.

In the Hays Group’s survey of senior executives from top ranking companies in Fortune magazine’s annual World’s Most Admired Companies list, 49 percent of respondents from organisations ranked in the top three in their industries, reported that addressing work-life balance issues is a “top priority”.

These same companies also reported the highest level of employee satisfaction.

So what does this mean for you as a small business owner? Avoiding burnout is particularly important for an SMB who may not have the same resources to fall back on as that of a large corporation. When you’re an owner operator who loves what they do, it can be difficult to take a step back. Knowing your stressors can be key to helping you prioritise what’s important and what to keep on the backburner.

Don’t be afraid to outsource. You don’t need to be an expert at all things. Opting to outsource some of your workload can reap dividends. Streamline your processes and think about setting up elements of your business on the cloud to allow for easier collaboration and more flexibility for you and your employees. Opt for cloud accounting services such as Xero, or QuickBooks and you can easily invoice customers and keep track of inventory. Maybe your building a website or needing to design new collateral for your business? You can opt to use a full service printer that can deliver all elements of the process. The limit of what you outsource is only limited by your budget constraints or your imagination.

healthy workplaces are more productive

You schedule meetings – so why not schedule downtown? Leading small business mental health organisation, Heads Up, suggests anyone feeling as though they may be teetering on the brink of burnout should consider implementing this solution. Even an incremental amount of time away from work, such as a 30-minute walk, can have a positive impact.

Sole traders are particularly susceptible to burnout, making self-care even more important. Creating a network outside work that you can discuss challenges and celebrate successes will help manage stress and deliver mental and emotional support.

If your small business employs staff, keeping communication lines open is one easy way to ensure a happy workplace. While statistics suggest healthy workplaces are more productive and their employees are more engaged. According to the Australian Government’s Healthy Workplace website, something as simple as providing free fruit to employees, implementing a lunchtime fitness program or encouraging workers to take more breaks can all have a significant impact.

A workplace that encourages a good work-life balance and checks in on the health and wellbeing of its workers results in employees with greater job satisfaction and higher levels of motivation… and who wouldn’t want that!

who wants happier & healthier employees?

In fact, the government is so serious about promoting a healthier work-life balance they have even created a quality framework for the Healthy Workers Initiative. You can find the Principles for a Healthy Workplace here. If you’re keen to see how your business might rank in terms of delivering a healthy work environment, your first stop should be the Workplace Health Program Checklist. While all businesses are different, the list provides some key areas to focus on to help you set your business on the road to wellness.

8 benefits of a healthy workplace for employers

Benefit 1: Improved work performance and productivity
Benefit 2: Reduced absenteeism and sick leave
Benefit 3: Decreased incidence of attending work when sick (presenteeism)
Benefit 4: Decreased frequency and cost of workers’ compensation
Benefit 5: Improved staff morale, satisfaction and motivation
Benefit 6: Improved corporate image and attraction/retention of employees
Benefit 7: Increased return on training and development investment
Benefit 8: Improved employee engagement and employee relationships

For more ideas on how to make your life in the office more comfortable, enjoyable and productive head to Snap.

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Cec is a media professional with over fifteen years experience as an editor on titles as diverse as SX, Better Pictures, Total Rock, fasterlouder, mynikonlife and Fantastic Living. She has spent the past four years working as a news journalist covering all the issues that matter in the political, health and LGBTIQ arena. She is the Senior Writer at Pinstripe Media and a recent convert to the world of small business.

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