Work-Life Balance has been a much-debated conversation for years. As employees have become more connected to each other with the use of technology, social media and mobile devices, it has become increasingly difficult for many people to separate work from their personal lives. Checking email in bed, tweeting throughout dinner, and taking work calls on the weekend and during PTO time have become common practices - often diminishing time to spend with family or to decompress. In turn, this can be detrimental to our overall productivity, as research has found that the less time there is between work and bedtime, the less time there is to unwind and recharge in preparation for the next day.

While it's probably not realistic to eliminate all after hours emails or many other habits that prevent employees from truly shutting down, there are ways that employers can support their staff and create an environment that supports a true work-life balance. Healthy KC’s Workplace Wellness Action Team has collected a number of resources that can help improve your workplace’s policies around work-life integration.

Some of the following ideas and resources can help implement this pillar in an organization:

Designate a Work-Life Integration Champion

Implement a workplace policy that addresses mindfulness and the “whole person”

Implement policies supporting flexible work hours and schedules

Implement a policy that provides both women and men paid parental leave

Create a dedicated onsite private space for mothers who wish to breastfeed or pump

Encourage and/or allow for employees to participate in philanthropic/community organization events during company time

Be a trauma-informed workplace

Allow untracked/unlimited paid time off

Provide free educational resources to support employees’ wellbeing

Provide free educational resources, coaching and/or counseling services and support to employee’s dependents

Provide access to behavioral health resources for building resilience and dealing with personal crisis when needed

Offer mental health first aid training to employees

Use a survey tool to determine employee job satisfaction/engagement

Use a survey tool to assess wellbeing or health risks of employees