Employee well-being: the case for work-life balance and how to foster it

employees outdoorsMore companies are beginning to realize the business benefits of allowing employees more flexibility as a means of achieving work-life balance. Workplace flexibility impacts recruitment, retention, engagement, and productivity. In fact, more than half of employees surveyed by the Society of Human Resource Management cited flexibility to balance work-life issues as a “very important” aspect of job satisfaction.1


The 9-to-5 schedule doesn’t conform to many people’s lives – or their workflows. The share of households with two working parents has risen nearly 50% since 1970, according to a Pew survey from last year, yet workplace structure hasn’t changed much to adapt to the new norm.2 As more millennials join the workforce, there’s been an even greater outcry among employees for increased work-life balance.


Smart managers can use any or all of the following tactics to help both their teams and themselves reach a delicate but successful work-life balance.

1. Lead by example.

Seeing their manager working 80 hours a week establishes the impression among employees that they should, too. Leaders, as much as any individual team member, need time off to recharge and enjoy personal time.

2. Don’t reward workaholics.

Positively affirming team members who constantly stay late, take work home and work through the weekends is not a good move. These actions will eventually become the norm and work-life balance will suffer for everyone.

3. Encourage vacation time.

It’s important for employees to enjoy ample time away from their jobs in order to relax, pursue outside interests, and connect with family and friends. Managers should also respect employees on vacation and avoid contacting them except in the most dire of emergencies.

4. Adopt time-saving technology.

While technology – computers, tablets and smartphones – has increased employee connectivity, it can also allow teams to be more productive while still respecting personal time. Implement applications and software solutions that help workers more efficiently complete projects.

5. Offer workplace flexibility.

Team members are less likely to feel burdened and burned out by working an occasional night or a few hours over the weekend if they know they can take off early on Friday for a doctor’s appointment or a child’s recital. Employers are in a position to make a real difference within an organization by offering programs such as:

  • Flex time where employees work varied schedules.
  • Flexible time off with some or unlimited paid or unpaid leave.
  • Donating leave time.
  • Telecommuting.
  • The use of collaborative technologies.


Savvy leaders recognize they will reap much greater productivity out of happy, engaged employees. Achieving a healthy work-life balance is a crucial part of creating a work atmosphere that is positive and productive.


MHN can help

It can be hard for employees to find enough hours in the day to tackle work and life’s daily challenges. As part of its Employee Assistance Program (EAP), MHN offers Work and Life Services to save members time, money and hassle.


MHN’s specialists offer phone consultations and referrals for financial and legal matters, identity theft recovery, and for issues related to daily living, childcare or eldercare. MHN’s member website includes a full library of educational articles, along with searchable directories for childcare and eldercare, legal tools and forms, financial calculators, and interactive e-learning programs.


And through the EAP’s Client Services, managers can reach out to MHN’s management consultants for guidance on creating a healthier workplace environment.


To learn more, please visit www.mhn.com, call 1-800-327-7526 or email productinfo@mhn.com.



This article is for informational and self-help purposes only. It should not be treated as a substitute for financial, medical, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice, or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified professional.


Managed Health Network, Inc. (MHN) is a subsidiary of Health Net, Inc. The MHN family of companies includes Managed Health Network, MHN Services and MHN Government Services. Health Net and Managed Health Network are registered service marks of Health Net, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved.




1Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement: Revitalizing a Changing Workforce, Society for Human Resource Management, June 2016.

2Raising Kids and Running a Household: How Working Parents Share the Load, Pew Research Center, November 4, 2015.




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Susan Peters