Often, work takes precedence over everything in our lives. This desire to succeed professionally often forces us to set aside our well-being. However, creating a harmonious work-life balance is critical to our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It is also equally important for our professional careers.
Work-life balance is defined as a state of equilibrium between one’s career and one’s personal life. An imbalance between the two is often a result of increased responsibilities in the office or home and extended work hours. This imbalance generally has catastrophic effects on our lives. On the other hand, a good work-life balance has numerous positive effects, including less stress, lower risk of burnout, and a greater sense of well-being. This not only benefits employees but employers too. Work-life balance starts at the top level.
Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, is nominated as the happiest workplace by its employees. This company encourages every employee to bring their whole self to work, even if it means wearing flip flops or pajamas in the office. They firmly believe in work-life integration.
Here are 7 methods used by Zappos to boost a healthier work-life balance:
Relaxed dress code
Permitting a relaxed dress code allows employees to be more comfortable in the office. Examples of a few companies that have a casual dress code yet are incredibly successful include Apple and Facebook. It’s clear that a “casual corporate” won’t hold companies back. Rather, a relaxed dress code may help employees feel empowered to work.
Enabling employees to know each other with offsite activities and occasional happy hours is crucial to productivity and for collaborations. According to an international survey conducted by over 2,300 professionals by the OC Tanner Institute, 72% of employees who have a best friend at work are satisfied with their jobs. Additionally, 75% of employees with best friends at work feel able to take anything on compared to those without internal friendship.
An office library isn’t necessarily a quiet room where employees read. It can also be a collection of books in a public area such as the dining room where employees can borrow or trade books with the company. The collection can consist of business books, reference books, or books on different skills that benefit both the company and employees.
Discounted Food and drinks
Office vending machines are great, but snacks at a discounted price are even better. This small gesture allows the employees to feel appreciated. At Zappos, a chef and talented kitchen staff are hired to make gourmet meals for employees at a low cost. This tip on providing great food or snacks at a discount can undoubtedly boost morale and trust within a company.
Relaxation or Nap Rooms
A short nap improves alertness, memory retention, and performance. Let’s admit it. Since the industrial age, employees are now putting increased hours, work performances normally deteriorate throughout the day. At Zappos’ headquarters, there are designated places for employees to nap during breaks to improve employee’s health, happiness, and performance.
A Place to be Themselves
Many people struggle to find a balance between work and happiness. That is why allowing employees to make their desk a home away from home can ease anxiety and increase ingenuity. Designing a personalized workspace for the employees is a key element in the balance between work and life.
Work-life balance means different things to different people. Creating a flexible and creative work environment pays off both employers and employees in the long run. With a little added effort in the office, there will be a more positive company culture with happier employees and a side of work-life balance.