Work-life balance means different things to different people. For some, it means traveling the world while working full time. For others, it means working from home a couple days a week. The bottom line, however, is the same: Work-life balance means getting all one’s work done while running errands, staying healthy, and having time for family and leisure.
Regardless of how employees envision it for themselves, work-life balance is taking on increasing importance. In fact, for many, it’s more important than salary. As companies strive to attract and retain top talent, demonstrating that they respect employees’ personal time is critical.
According to a study by Fidelity Investments, when evaluating a job offer, 58% of Millennials and 53% of Gen-Xers cite improved quality of work life as more important than financial benefits. That comes as no surprise when you consider other workplace and lifestyle trends that employees have to contend with.
As a society, Americans are busier than ever. It’s a challenge to complete a full day’s work in eight hours, never mind raise a family (in the case of Gen-Xers) and manage a side project (as Millennials are apt to do). Meanwhile, employees are increasingly aware of the fate that has befallen boomers who pledged their loyalty and best working years to their employers, only to discover that retirement is further off than they expected. As a result, Millennials seek careers that speak to their sense of purpose and allow them to integrate work with their lifelong pursuits.
Flexible work schedules and work-from-home policies can help employees achieve the work-life balance they crave, but they don’t work for everyone or every company. Employees who work well at home often have a tendency to overwork and risk burn out, while others are more productive when working alongside colleagues in the office. And, of course, some companies simply need their employees on-site. What’s more, these policies don’t eliminate the need to take care of mundane tasks that eat away at personal time, like getting the oil changed in the car or dropping off the dry cleaning.
An alternative way to demonstrate respect for employees’ personal time—and help them achieve work-life balance—is to provide those services onsite. Instead of allowing employees to leave work early to go to the mechanic’s, for example, some companies are bringing the mechanic to them. The same goes for notary or passport services. Employees are able to take care of these necessary but low-value tasks with greater convenience and efficiency.
Providing onsite services benefits both employees and employers. Employees have more “down” time that would otherwise be spent on errands. Now they can use that time for activities that improve their quality of life so that they return to work truly recharged. Employers, on the other hand, can benefit from employees’ increased productivity. Time that would be spent traveling to and from these services is now spent working onsite.
Onsite services are also a validation of your company’s commitment to work-life balance. Flexible work schedules and work-from-home policies can be difficult to validate. Individual managers may have different attitudes about the policies and permit them to a greater or lesser extent. Onsite services, however, can be accessible to everyone in the company and encourage employees to be onsite as well. Both parties benefit, and at little cost to the company.
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