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    12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 17, 2008 7:05 PM by Ed O'Gee

    Work/Life balance for your employees

    teacup Wayfarer

      For business owners that have employees what are some things you do OR do not do to ensure that your employees have an appropriate work/life balance?
        • Re: Work/Life balance for your employees
          CorpCons08 Ranger
          "For business owners that have employees what are some things you do OR do not do to ensure that your employees have an appropriate work/life balance?"


          What a refreshing question to see on this bulletin board. One of the things that I do to make sure employees have an appropriate work/life balance is not allow for overtime. I find employees are dedicated and like to put in the extra time, but it takes away from their lives outside of work. I also have monthly events like a dinner or picnic for employees and their families. It seems to keep both of their lives balanced and strong and shows that the company cares about them.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Work/Life balance for your employees
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Teacup. Tell us more. Where are you going with this question??
            Are you in business NOW?? Do you have employees??
            If you tell me more, I could then write a book . Does the following help??

            Small businesses are helping to drive changes in the
            structure of work, offering employees more
            opportunities for workplace
            flexibility, while large employers are providing more benefits that
            have direct costs.
            Employers have
            largely maintained or increased the overall work life assistance they
            provide to employees, with
            cutbacks primarily requiring employees to
            pay a larger share of disability, health care or retirement benefit

            Hope this helps, LUCKIEST
            • Re: Work/Life balance for your employees
              batchblue Wayfarer
              We are pretty liberal when it comes to work/life balance (especially because in a company of seven people, five of us have newborns!) We're a virtual company, which in some ways makes it easier to balance, some ways harder. Working from home, you often feel like you never "unplug" - our designer says you are basically working 24 hours a day with extended breaks for eating and sleeping! To combat this, our employees have a certain number of days they are required to take off each quarter to prevent burn-out. Whether employees are in the office or not, they need to feel excited about their work and energized or they simply are not as productive.

              Also, as a company we are big fans of letting people work when they work best and not worrying about when that is. As long as the work gets done, our employees are free to schedule their work around childcare or eldercare needs, classes, hobbies and the like. We give daily status reports via email so that everyone knows what each other is working on, and we have an in-person staff meeting once a week to make sure we are all on track with the goals that need to be accomplished. Obviously, during crunch times when we need all hands on deck, everyone does tend to work at the same time but usually work schedules are set by employees and communicated to the team via a staff calendar.

              With today's available technology, there is really not a need for most business to strictly adhere to a 9-5 schedule (although I realize it's not possible for everyone.) A one-size-fits-all schedule does not work anymore and the younger workforce especially expects more flexiblity when it comes to balancing work and life.

              Hope this helps and thanks for asking the question!

              • Re: Work/Life balance for your employees
                LUCKIEST Guide
                teacup, Read Thursday Wall Street Journal, Personal Journal Section:
                Good News For Professionals Who Want to Work at Home.

                Again, LUCKIEST
                • Re: Work/Life balance for your employees
                  Lighthouse24 Ranger

                  I'd say the main thing I do is ensure that WORK and LIFE are not perceived by employees as "opposites" that somehow have to be balanced like children on a see-saw (my metaphor would be two children on the same merry-go-round where both can ride, both can push, or one can ride and one can push, depending on their goals and capabilities -- but they're in it together).

                  I passed your question to my employees whenit was posted, and these excerpts pretty much reflect the essence of what I got back: "You set a goal and make I know what you expect, and then . . . you let me decide how and when I do it." "Unlike other places I worked, you give me the flexibility to take care what I need to as long as the work gets done and is up to standard." "You treat us like adults and trust us." "You don't put up with or make us put up with anybody who doesn't care about this or doesn't do their part." (I think that last comment is one blessing I have compared to other businesses -- my employees share my sense of purpose, so this not just a job or a paycheck to any of them. They are genuinely committed to what we do.)


                  I have worked in many other countries, and American employees spend more time at work, with less time off, than almost any industrialized nation in the world. And yet, we're not all that productive by comparison. So clearly this is an issue for most large U.S. employers. Interesting to see if it is for smaller companies, as well. Thanks for posting the question, teacup!
                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Work/Life balance for your employees
                    teacup Wayfarer
                    All great feedback. Thank you.
                    • Re: Work/Life balance for your employees
                      CareerCoach Wayfarer

                      Here at Empowered Enterprises, we have created what we call the Balanced Living Timeline. We use this system to manage each area of life that is important to us, based on our goals. In a single tool, we have all of the results that we are out to produce in every area of life over the next ninety days, clearly delineated by our weekly goals, to ensure that we are producing the results we are committed to. The tool allows us to have clarity on the results we should be focusing on now, and ensures we don't drop out an important part of life. It also alllows us to powerfully prioritize our actions, based on what produces the most results in the most areas of life.

                      For more information, or to see additional career coaching & business growth solutions, tools and resources, visit our website at
                      • Re: Work/Life balance for your employees
                        CEO Space Scout
                        I am a strong believer in that you should get paid what you are worth and so in all my businesses, I tried to the best of my ability set up compensation based on results as much as I possibly could.

                        I would pay my employees a base pay better than the state average for that job and then would have a additional compensation based on results for the location in profits.

                        I think because of this I got better employees and people worked harder for me but not necessarily longer hours.

                        My top paid employee actually worked the least hours.

                        I had another employee who just didn't have the abilities of the top employee and so they compensated by wanting to work 12 hour days as much as possible. I very soon saw that their performance deteriorated even more and so did their personal life. So, I would not allow more than 8 hours overtime in any week.

                        Other than that, I didn't get involved with my employees personal life or how they balance it. I kept my attention on their performance and results.