In this blog series surrounding the General Surgeon’s Framework, we will be breaking down each of the five essentials for workplace mental-health & well-being and ways you can implement the recommendations into your workplace.
To read our recommendations on other essentials here:
- Essential 1: Protection from Harm
- Essential 2: Community and Connection
ESSENTIAL 3: WORK-LIFE HARMONY
The next well-being essential focuses on ensuring employees can be “human” in the workplace. We all have lives outside of work, and to maintain a balance between those lives and work, employees need space and assurance that leaders at all levels support this balance. This can show up in many ways depending on the organization’s makeup.
According to the Surgeon General’s report, there are four primary components to supporting this essential. These elements must be present in order for this balance and harmony to happen:
- Provide more autonomy over how work is done.
- Make schedules as flexible and predictable as possible.
- Increase access to paid leave.
- Respect boundaries between work and non-work time.
So, how do we begin to work towards or strengthen these elements in our workplaces? Let’s break it down.
Ways to Implement in Your Workplace – Essential 3 – Work-Life Harmony
The likelihood of your organization adapting to remote work, or at the very least, a hybrid work schedule is probably very high. However, a flexible work schedule does not always equal autonomy. Autonomy is having choices, your own options, and that must extend beyond just the location you are physically conducting work.
Dos and Don’ts to Consider:
- Don’t constantly follow up with your employees or colleagues. If they committed to something, give them an opportunity to come through. Fight the need for multiple status updates (however recognizing there are occasional exceptions).
- Do anticipate the need for ongoing communication, and put a system in place. Leverage any access you have to tools or communication channels that will work for your team (Teams, Slack, a shared intranet site, for example).
- Do provide options when possible. Give others the ability to think through multiple paths and perspectives, and then respect their decisions.
There are little things we all can do that will support one another’s work-life harmony, and the best part is that these efforts contribute to nurturing a culture of empathy and consideration. Caring about others’ time, energy, and ability to focus on what matters.
There will always be a critical meeting, task, or general “thing” that needs to be done at work. But if employees know they can walk away for a few minutes, shut down, unplug, and say “good evening/night” or “see you tomorrow”, it makes tackling those high-priority items considerably more manageable. That is the balance in action.
Moreover, for those in leadership roles or those who have the capacity to enhance benefits and policies, it’s worth reflecting on the profound impact this can have in creating a more harmonious work environment for your team. Evaluating potential improvements and adjustments demonstrates a commitment to the well-being of employees. The value in putting effort in this will be worth its weight in gold.
Ready to get started?
Contact our Strategy and Consulting Team below!