In the wake of COVID and the Great Resignation, both employers and employees are exploring ways to battle burnout, retain top talent, and help people find their ideal work-life balance. One of these three strategies could help you or your company keep morale running high and improve the whole team’s Return on Life.
A four-day workweek.
According to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Americans log more hours than workers in most other affluent countries, particularly Europeans. And though it’s doubtful a French-style, 35-hour workweek would ever catch on in the U.S. some companies have been experimenting with a four-day workweek. 4 Day Week Global, a nonprofit, ran a pilot program that found companies who shorten the workweek have an easier time attracting and retaining top talent, and that 78% of employees are happier and less stressed.
It might not sound surprising that one less day of work made employees happier. But tease out the implications of having 8-10 less hours to complete tasks during the week. In order to keep hitting their targets, companies have to streamline their operations, fix inefficiencies, and maximize how they use their employee’s time. That could mean less time spent in an endless loop of meetings and more time focused on using top skills to get things done.
A hybrid work model.
A less drastic way for employers to provide flexibility is to continue the hybrid work models that gained popularity during the pandemic. The combination of WFH employees and traditional in-office teams gives employees more ownership over how they complete their work and how they live their personal lives. Remote work also widens the hiring net for both jobseekers and employers.
However, as WFH shifts from pandemic necessity to a norm, we’re learning more about some downsides to turning your kitchen table into your office. A study published by Statista in 2022 found that 51.4% of workers felt more stressed working from home. WFH employees need to be very intentional about maintaining a schedule so that they don’t feel like they’re always on call. And employers need to maintain a strong communication rhythm that keeps all employees connected to the company’s culture.
Taking a sabbatical.
Offering sabbatical benefits gives employees some extra space to recharge, reassess, and return to an organization with a renewed sense of purpose. The company’s best and brightest might even dream up an innovation that could transform the business.
And if a sabbatical leads that employee to a new career path … Well, he probably wasn’t all that invested in the company to begin with. Better that he finds a job that’s going to develop his ROL and the employer finds a top performer who is all-in on achieving the company’s goals.
Sabbaticals also give employers an opportunity to stress test their companies, especially in the absence of a key player. Who steps up and takes on a more active leadership role? Are your systems efficient enough to keep functioning, regardless of who’s pulling the levers? Is your missing team member actually doing so much work that she’s only devoting some of her time to her top talents and responsibilities? Or is that employee so vital that you need to reassess her comp package and provide her with a clear path to promotion?
Whether you’re learning how to be a better boss or planning for the next stage of your career, our Life-Centered Planning tools can help you connect your highest goals to a financial plan that will support every step of your progress. Call us up to learn more about what work-life balance means to you and how you see your career progressing in the year ahead.
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