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Why Is Work Life Balance Important?

Wednesday April 24, 2024

Employee at a desk working from home and typing on their computer

Employees have a lot on their plates: work, family, friends, hobbies, commitments, volunteer work, and more. They have relationships to maintain, children to care for, and a job to do every day.

This can add up quickly and lead to burnout.

Employers need to ensure that they’re providing effective work-life support for their employees.

Why is work-life balance important? And how are employers helping their employees achieve a healthy balance? We’ll walk you through why work-life balance matters and the best ways you can help your employees.

What Is Work-Life Balance?

Work-life balance is often associated with vacation time. Although vacation time is part of work-life balance, it’s only one facet—work-life balance is a lot more.

Work-life balance is the ability to effectively prioritize both work and personal life. In today’s increasingly remote work environment, this concept is often modified to terms like “work-life integration” or “work-life harmony.” Ultimately, the common denominator in these terms is maintaining work efficacy without sacrificing one’s personal life.


Work-life balance can look different to many people. For many, a healthy work-life balance includes

  • Being able to put work away at the end of the day
  • Spending the workday focusing on the tasks at hand
  • Getting time away from work to recharge

For others, work-life balance means the freedom to take breaks throughout the day to complete various household tasks, provided it doesn’t interfere with productivity.

Why Is Work-Life Balance Important?

Work-life balance is important for both employees and employers.

A healthy balance can lead to many great benefits, including:

  • Fewer health problems: Stress wreaks havoc on the body and can lead to health problems. A healthy balance can help employees stay healthier and feel better.
  • Reduced burnout: Burnout is a mental exhaustion that makes even simple tasks feel mentally draining. A healthy work-life balance can reduce burnout and help employees feel happier and healthier.
  • Fewer missed work days: When employees are sick or burned out, they tend to miss more work days—or they come to work but don’t achieve much while there. A healthy work-life balance ensures days employees take off are valuable.
  • Less overtime: Overtime pay can be a big expense. A good work-life balance can help reduce overtime.
  • More engagement and productivity: Happy and healthy employees work better. They’re focused on their work during the workday, so they’re engaged with their work and productive.

These benefits impact employees and the organization’s bottom line.

How to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Since work-life balance matters so much, how do you achieve it?

Unfortunately, work-life balance doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it’s a cyclical process of adapting, trying new things, and staying focused on the overall goal.

While employees need to set boundaries and take advantage of available resources, employers play a crucial role in cultivating a healthy work-life balance.

Below are six tips for employers and managers to help improve work-life balance for their teams or company.

1. Provide Flexibility

Although working from home can blur the lines between work and personal life, most employees say it helps them balance the two more effectively.

Research from the Pew Research Center shows that 71% of workers who work from home say it benefits their ability to balance work and personal life. That’s because

Allowing employees to work from home and providing flexible hours is an excellent way to demonstrate support for their personal lives.

2. Encourage Time Off

Time off and work breaks can be very important to de-stressing and avoiding burnout.

Employees need breaks to disconnect and relax. It’ll make them more productive and better employees than working them constantly.

Most employers offer time off for this purpose. But sometimes offering time off isn’t enough; some employees need additional encouragement. Research from the Pew Research Center shows that 46% of employees don’t use all their vacation time.

One great way to encourage time off is to implement a “use it or lose it” system. When employees can carry over vacation time or are financially rewarded for not using it, they’re going to avoid using vacation time. But if they lose the days if they don’t use them, they’re more likely to use them.

You can also encourage time off by:

  • Encouraging employees to discuss their vacations
  • Providing fun ideas for how to use time off
  • Regularly encouraging employees to use their time off

Ultimately, it’s important to be intentional about supporting your employees while they take time off.

The same Pew Research report shows that some of the top reasons employees don’t take time off is that they’re worried about falling behind or coworkers taking on additional work.

Help employees effectively plan for their time off, and come up with a strategy in advance. This will not only make them feel more comfortable taking time off, but also allow them to enjoy it more.

3. Create Short Breaks

Breaks are important and should be encouraged.

If employees work in-office, these breaks can help them recharge and avoid burnout so they’re not exhausted when they get home. If they work remotely, taking small breaks allows them to spend time with family or complete tasks around the house if they want.

According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), micro-breaks can help employees manage their energy and combat microstresses.

Employers can help by implementing some type of formal break location or system to help ensure employees are taking breaks and reducing their stress.

4. Lead By Example

People typically do what they see other people do. Managers who are working overtime can send a signal that if employees want to advance their careers, they need to follow suit.

However, a team with a manager who models a healthy balance is more likely to work on cultivating their own.

Essentially, if you’re going to spend time encouraging a healthy work-life balance, you, as the manager or employer, should also be working toward cultivating that balance in your own life. Doing so helps employees see how to do it, and it makes your own encouragement feel more genuine.

5. Utilize Fun Programs and Events

Community is important to have a healthy work-life balance, so employers can often work toward creating community as a way to help their employees find balance.

One way to do so is to utilize programs and events that encourage de-stressing and socialization.

Creating exercise programs, holding educational evenings or breaks, holding quiz nights, or creating a “Secret Santa” program can all be great ways to help employees create connections—and ultimately lower their stress levels and help them have more balance in their lives.

Teamraderie’s experiences are perfect in this regard. These live, virtual workshops are expert-led and backed by thorough research. They’re a great way to foster connection and community.

6. Talk With Employees

Ultimately, employees may have ideas about how you can help cultivate a workplace with a healthy balance. They’ll already know where they’re struggling and where they could use extra support.

Talking with your employees and asking them about how you can provide support to cultivate a healthy balance is a great way to get started.

You could ask employees during regular one-on-one interviews, send out a survey, or create a panel to lead out.

Requesting and acting on feedback signals to employees that you value their input.

Work-Life Balance: The Bottom Line

Work-life balance is important to keeping employees happy and healthy and creating the right kind of work environment.

Here at Teamraderie, we want to give you the resources to help your company cultivate a healthy work-life balance.

If you want to help improve connection and trust in your team, click here to check out Teamraderie’s extensive list of experiences.

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