Are your domestic responsibilities being overshadowed by work at home, even when you are off the clock? Have you found your end of the workday suddenly getting pushed back from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., 7 p.m., or even 8 p.m.? While the shift to hybrid working has provided much-needed flexibility to employees, it has also resulted in employees working longer hours and having issues with disconnecting. Therefore, it is more important than ever to find a healthy work-life balance.
We have all experienced the difficulty of striking a work-life balance, but with the pandemic and working from home, the lines have become increasingly blurred. Research shows that because it is more difficult to detach, more than half (55%) of professionals work on weekends, and one-third (34%) of remote employees reported working more than eight hours a day. These drawbacks of working from home highlight the need for an office where employees can come in and break their routines. As a result, employers are under increasing pressure to consider work-life balance and how to make office spaces more comfortable and appealing. Businesses can embrace workspaces that mimic some of the key comforts of home to improve the employee experience.
Continue reading to learn about the importance of work-life balance, how COVID-19 has affected workers, and how having a purpose-built space that encourages your employees to return to the office can help your workforce achieve a better work-life balance.
What is work-life balance, and why is it important?
Work-life balance entails limiting work-related stress and developing a stable and sustainable way of working while supporting health and general happiness.
Work-life balance is about having the flexibility to get things done professionally while still having time and energy to enjoy your personal life. A typical employee spends one-third of their life at work. As a result, striking a balance between work and other aspects of your life is critical. Furthermore, when employees have a poor work-life balance, it can lead to irritability, negativity, and poor work quality. Helping your employees in achieving a work-life balance is critical for their long-term health and the company.
How COVID-19 affected the work-life balance
Work-life balance has been a hot topic for several decades, with an increasing number of employees prioritizing it over other benefits. Attitudes toward work-life balance have evolved over time, but the changes brought about by the pandemic have left an undeniable impression. COVID-19 normalized hybrid and remote working styles, which have brought some advantages. However, studies to date show that one of the key challenges of remote working is maintaining a work-life balance. While working from home allows people to spread work throughout the day, making some activities more convenient. Work also became a potentially 24/7 activity, leaving little time for personal needs. The more people work from home, the more your domestic and professional duties overlap, making work-life balance difficult. Moreover, the global spread of remote working associated with epidemiological restrictions contributes to the need to develop guidance on how to mitigate the negative effects of working from home.
How can having an office can help with employee’s work-life balance
Having a well-designed, purpose-built office is a place your employees want to come to work, thus getting them out of their homes where they are more likely to get distracted by things. A balanced workplace prioritizes the benefits of working from home and in the office so that individuals can meet the demands of their careers and personal life. Implementing strategies and designs that allow employees to intertwine the comforts of home and the office is a terrific way to boost productivity, morale, well-being, and overall health.
Contemporary office designs must focus on ensuring a balance between work and life. But how exactly can office design help with this issue? An office design that focuses on work-life balance helps employees achieve their best work performance by supplying an inspiring workspace and an energy source.
Design trends that help create a balanced office
Working from home has normalized employees working in unusual surroundings, such as working from the kitchen table or taking a phone call while sitting on the couch. People perform better when they are at ease. As a result, employees’ satisfaction increases as a result of supplying areas of comfort in the office because they are in a space where they want to spend time. Businesses can provide employees with areas of comfort where they can take a break from their desks or computer screens. Including comfortable lounge seating areas in your workspace is a wonderful way to supply employees with a more relaxed atmosphere for collaboration and social interaction.
Quiet areas for breaks and focused, individual work
Employees may find it difficult to concentrate in a loud office. A balanced office design can include a couple of quiet areas where employees can relax and get away from noise, interruptions, and stress. Employees are more likely to be recharged and ready to deal with tasks when they are encouraged to take short breaks away from the stress and rush of an open office. Furthermore, quiet rooms strategically placed throughout the office can ensure that your employees can focus on their work when necessary, allowing them to disconnect from distractions and work as if they were at home.
Wellness or gym area
Finding the right work-life balance in today’s fast-paced work environments can be difficult. People who commute to work have less time to devote to fitness or other self-improving activities. Given this, incorporating on-site wellness or gym areas can enable employees to change their surroundings throughout the workday and improve their physical and mental health without wasting time getting to the nearest gym. Stretching and fitness help the body by strengthening ergonomics, productivity, and oxygen flow, which leads to greater focus and creativity. Integrating a wellness or gym area where employees can stretch, release endorphins, and reduce stress is a fantastic way to improve workplace balance.
What this means for employers
Employers must recognize the importance of work-life balance not only for employees but also for the business. Employers should strive to improve their employees’ overall workplace experience while encouraging flexibility. You can create a more balanced workplace where employees can concentrate on their work without having a negative impact on their personal lives by including lounge areas, quiet workstations, wellness and fitness rooms, and other amenities. Furthermore, it’s critical to acknowledge and understand that while working from home has advantages, there are ways to bring them to the office and create productive work environments that feel just as comfortable.