Everyone loves summer. Except for employers. Of course, they like taking summer vacations, but what about their business? What happens when all employees want to take vacations around the same time, and you have to balance things out so your business won’t suffer?
Did you know that some workplaces offered an unlimited vacation policy? The employees don’t have a limit on how many days off they can take throughout the year. As it turns out, this policy is more effective than expected. First of all, the policy of unlimited vacation days helps the company to recruit the best talent on the market. That’s not all. The productivity of the employees is also enhanced when they are working in such flexible environments.
How is that possible, you might ask? The answer is in work-life integration.
The Ideal of Work-Life Integration
This is the principle of balance. You’ll find it in all recommendations and teachings for better living. Don’t get it wrong; it’s not only a philosophy that makes believers feel firm and grounded. It’s a very practical way of living that every psychologist recommends.
- According to this principle, the work responsibilities should not consume the full time and energy of employees. The companies with this approach discourage the workaholic extreme and allow for more flexibility regarding vacation policies.
- These employers still give tasks and deadlines. However, they don’t have an attitude of “Don’t get distracted while in the office and don’t take free days!” They have a different mindset: “Just get the job done!” They don’t care when the employees will work and they don’t mind them taking free days in the meantime. The important thing is for them to give updates on the progress and meet the deadline with ultimate efficiency.
- This attitude teaches your employees to protect their time in the best way possible. When they get to work, they will use that time to be effective and productive. They can leave early if they get the tasks done with enhanced productivity, so you won’t see them wasting time on social media.
- Different people work best at different hours of the day. Each of us has a unique circadian rhythm. When you allow your employees to do the work whenever they feel like it as long as they meet a deadline, they will work in accordance with the rhythm that makes them most productive.
How to Enhance Your Employees’ Effectiveness through the Work-Life Integration Principle
“Balance is not something you expect your employees to find under any circumstances. It’s something you encourage within the company. If you think your employees are not ready for the unlimited vacation policy, you don’t have to go there. You should, however, encourage them to be more productive, so they will have more time for their families and themselves.” – explains Reina Hutchins, HR Director at Resumesplanet.
Let’s see what you can do to encourage work-life balance within your offices.
1. Define the policy. How will you call it? How will you incorporate it to your company’s core values? It’s important to have precise guidelines that won’t make some of your employees feel discriminated. Not everyone will get days off whenever they ask for them. This should stand as a rule: “as long as you complete the work, you’re able to take the rest of the time off.”
2. Blur the line of working hours. Letting them leave the office early if they are done with today’s tasks is the best thing you could do for your company. Allowing them to have an extra week for their summer vacation will make them way more productive before they leave. As long as your employees are getting the work done, you should have no problem giving them some time off.
3. You should never, ever give them extra task when you see they are done with their work sooner than expected. With that attitude, you’re making them less productive. They will spend time on Facebook and they will have long talks during working hours just to delay the completion of the tasks they are working on.
4. Technology gives you a huge advantage. If one of your employees wants to spend a month in Thailand and promises to send some work via email, you can allow them to do that. Of course, remote work is only possible with people you trust. Don’t give this chance to an employee who’s already known as a procrastinator. Why do you have such a member in your team, anyway?
With a flexible work-life integration policy, you won’t have to bother much about productivity training sessions. Your employees will already have the motif to be more productive. When they do their work better and sooner, they get more space for life in general. Some of them won’t want the days off. They might ask for extra work. Give them the incentive they need, and pay extra for the extra work.
As for the ones who decide to spend the time they earn on their own terms, it’s their choice. When the job isn’t consuming their whole life, they will form a lasting and loving relationship with it.
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