Embracing a People-First Work Culture

7 Feb 2023 | Blogs
Embracing a People-First Work Culture

Did you know that during the past year, over half of the employees in the MENA region considered leaving their current job due to poor work-life balance?

Furthermore, in the US, over four million workers quit their job every month in 2022 due to burnout.

In our new digital era and today’s fast-paced world, finding a healthy work-life balance is more challenging than ever, so understanding the latest trends on this topic and how to embrace a people-first work culture is crucial.

What is work-life balance?

Work-life balance can be defined as the balance between an individual’s personal and professional activities, and the level to which they work from home. This has been a hot topic of debate over the last few years, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic forced many workers into lockdown. The experience of working through the lockdown highlighted how hard it was to maintain a healthy balance as boundaries between work and home life blurred.

A key issue in the debate over work-life balance is where the responsibility lies for ensuring employees have a healthy balance between their work and personal lives. In general, employers should be responsible for the health of their employees; apart from the moral obligation, stressed-out workers are less productive and more likely to make mistakes.

Burnout is on the Rise

According to a recent Slack survey, burnout is on the rise globally, most significantly in the US, where 43% of middle managers reported burnout – this is more than any other worker group.

But what is burnout exactly? The World Health Organisation defines burnout as a syndrome that results from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterised by three dimensions:

• feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
• increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
• reduced professional efficacy

Burnout also equals stress and anxiety and is a leading reason why people search for new job opportunities. According to Indeed UK, 88% of people believe stress at work can significantly decrease their quality of life.

It’s Time to Prioritise Employee Health and Wellbeing

A better work-life balance means more than just taking extra time off work. It means engagement at work and having enough time for personal and family life. According to Microsoft, the pandemic caused people to rethink their approach to work. As a result, more workers are reviewing how their jobs affect their health and well-being when considering whether their job is worth it. According to this research, 53% of employees (across 31 countries) are more likely to prioritise health and well-being over work than before the pandemic.

So, employers need to consider what they offer to keep employees thriving. Are there initiatives in place that impact employee wellbeing? If so, are these initiatives working? Regularly checking in with employees for feedback will help employers better understand their workforce. Furthermore, having a better understanding of what employees value will help identify areas of improvement and opportunity, as well as celebrate the efforts that are going well.

Build a Happier Workforce

It’s no secret that happy employees create happy customers for your business. A study by Future Forum revealed that work-life balance and job flexibility had become one of the top factors influencing employee attraction and retention. Almost 93% of workers want a flexible schedule, while 76% want more flexibility where they work.

According to CompareCamp, approximately 82% of American companies already offer flexible work schedules to improve employee work-life balance. These include fully remote working, hybrid working, staggered working hours and flexitime. Other initiatives include making the office worth the commute, e.g., creating an office space employees want to work from.

Those companies creating flexible arrangements are already seeing positive results. Forbes reported that flexible employees showed better productivity, connection, and company culture scores. Companies also see lower healthcare expenditures, decreased employee turnover, and employees are significantly happier.

Consistent communication is the key to flexible work, and employers should model and encourage their teams to set firm boundaries. Employees mimic management, so modelling work-life balance will have much more impact. A lack of boundaries can contribute to miscommunication, conflict, and decreased employee loyalty, so now is the time to start setting them. Implementing processes such as offering flexible work options, encouraging employees to use their vacation time, and contacting employees after hours only for emergencies is a good place to start. The result? A happy, healthy, loyal, and productive workforce.

Embrace the Shift

An increasing number of employees now recognise the importance of work-life balance, so it’s time for employers to acknowledge and embrace this trend. The traditional belief that more time spent at work means higher productivity and revenue is invalid. When workers face intense workloads, their productivity and quality of work suffer. Fortunately, work-life balance initiatives are becoming increasingly popular throughout the world. Not only are employees much healthier when they have flexible working hours, but employers also reap the benefits because happy employees are motivated and more productive, even when working fewer hours. This means more revenue for companies because they can maintain high-quality performance and output.

Your employees should be your most important asset, and at SVN Capital, we are proud to embrace a people-first culture in our company. By implementing a hybrid working structure with a strong focus on work-life balance, our employee’s mental and physical health is looked after. We encourage regular communication when working remotely and have a relaxed dress code (when not meeting clients) when they come into the office. We want our employees to feel comfortable and confident in everything they do.

Embracing a people-first work culture can only bring positive results to your business. If your employees are healthy, fulfilled, motivated and happy, they will remain loyal to your company and perform their best because they genuinely feel looked after and appreciated.

If you want to find out more about SVN Capital, or are interested in joining a passionate and motivated team, get in touch.