Updated: 3 May 2022
Debbie Bullock, Aviva’s wellbeing lead, talks to us about the importance of work-life balance and how you can promote it in your workplace.
The move towards hybrid working has made the lines between work and home life increasingly blurred. Here’s 5 things you could do to improve mental wellbeing within your business.
Make sure everyone in your business is looking after themselves. Where an employee has had a significant workload for a while, try to give them back some time with leave or by working fewer hours. Whether you work from home or the workplace, creating a “book end” to the start and close of your working day is really important to switch from work to personal mode. The commute can do this, but if you’re working from home, find that opportunity – a walk, a shower and change of clothes, listening to some music, or a moment of mindfulness.
Look for any changes in the behaviours and working patterns in your employees, but also yourself, as this could be a sign of stress. Keep an eye on your workload or that of an employee to make sure they are manageable, and take note when employees ask for help with their work. This will help you identify trends, which could put you in a better position to address any underlying problems directly and quickly. There are six main areas that can lead to work-related stress if they are not managed properly – demands, control, support, relationships, role, and change.* For example, workers may say that they:
These stressors may not be a big deal if they happen every now and again, but over a long period of time they can impact work life balance, and even lead to burnout.
Have regular, open conversations with your employees. Create a culture of psychological safety where both leaders and employees feel they can talk about any number of topics (work or health related) with the knowledge that they will be heard with empathy and understanding, and without fear of reprisals. Sharing first person stories from colleagues will encourage others to be more open, allowing you to help individuals perform at their best.
Workplace culture is an important factor in encouraging good work-life balance. Unless leaders demonstrate the values they want to see from employees, there is a risk of driving unhealthy practices. There will be times where it’s appropriate for someone in a senior leadership position to work long hours outside of the normal working day. However, you should make it clear to employees what is expected of them. Good communication is key.
You could consider putting specific HR policies in place that help employees manage the demands on their time. This can help you keep on top of workloads, giving your employees enough time to recuperate and helping you feel more relaxed and organised. You can also give your line managers and employees the tools they need to identify the signs of stress, and signpost to any support that’s available through your benefits package.
*Work-related stress and how to manage it: causes of stress at work – HSE
Visit aviva.co.uk/business for more information, or to find out how they can help boost your benefits package with private medical insurance for up to 249 employees.
03/05/22: While we want to help as much as we can, the information found here is provided solely for informational purposes and should not be considered financial or legal advice. To the extent permitted by law, Funding Circle does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of, or reliance on, the information contained here. If you have any questions, please speak to your professional adviser or seek independent legal advice.