This article was originally published on Get Life Right: http://www.iselect.com.au/getliferight/offering-employees-life-admin-day-boost-productivity/
How many of you have a to-do list that only seems to grow – no matter how many items you check off? We know how you feel. Sometimes finding the time to complete certain life admin tasks can be next to impossible as a full-time worker.
Fortunately, many companies are starting to recognise the importance of encouraging a work-life balance and are offering employees an annual paid life admin day (or days) so they can recharge their batteries and organise their lives.
Here, we explore the benefits it can offer to not only employees, but businesses as well.
Life admin days alleviate stress
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that our stress levels climb when personal and professional burdens begin to clash. According to the Australian Psychological Society, too much stress can interfere with our ability to function in our normal lives. It also impacts our workplace performance and communication.
This is where a life admin day can break the stress cycle and provide the breathing room you need to tick some items off that ever-growing to-do list. Whether it’s organising your finances, paying bills, stocking up on food and supplies, or simply finding some ‘you’ time, a life admin day can make a world of difference to tension levels.
Boosting morale and therefore productivity
According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, a worker who’s given time for family, friends and personal interests will be more dedicated and focused when at work. This pays off for the employer, as it means morale stays high around the office. It also encourages fresh and innovative thinking, better employee engagement and an overall increase in productivity.
A life admin day demonstrates to employees that a business recognises their need for work-life balance by giving them the extra time they need to manage their personal lives. This is more likely to make employees want to give back to the company and show their loyalty through hard work and dedication.
Attracting and retaining top talent
When companies offer policies such as life admin days, it’s an act of goodwill. It not only emphasises that a company is flexible, but it also demonstrates they care about their staff’s health and wellbeing. This is the kind of company culture that attracts skilled workers and keeps them at the business.
Brilliant minds and hard workers are highly sought after in virtually every industry – meaning they have the luxury of choice when it comes to finding the company they want to work for. Demonstrate that your business values work-life balance by empowering workers to better manage their time and you’re more likely to attract top talent. If you don’t currently offer a life admin day to improve your company culture, you can bet some of your competitors already do.
From a financial point of view, a life admin day can actually improve your business’s bottom line. By lowering employee stress and keeping morale high, you might start to notice less unexplained absenteeism as staff actually want to come into work. You could also improve your business’s staff retention and avoid the expense of advertising job positions and taking the time to train new hires.
Pioneers of the life admin day
A number of companies in Australia have jumped aboard the life admin bandwagon – though the conditions for this type of leave vary from business to business:
- iSelect, for example, offers all employees ‘recharge days’ – three additional paid leave days per year to sort out life admin duties, rest, relax and recharge.
- Australian Catholic University gives employees one paid day off per year for moving house – a major life admin event.
- The CSIRO offers ‘miscellaneous leave’, a flexible leave policy that allows staff members to take as many as four extra paid days off per year to attend to personal and family obligations.
- Construction, property and infrastructure company Lendlease provides its employees with three ‘wellbeing days’. Staff can use this leave – rather than their allotted sick or recreational leave – for activities that focus specifically on their physical and mental health and wellbeing, such as a meditation course, yoga retreat or medical check-ups.
Healthy minds, healthy workers
If your employees return to work after a jam-packed weekend feeling more stressed than the week before, then your workplace might be in need of a life admin day.
Giving your employees the time they need to take care of time-consuming admin tasks means they have more time for leisure during their precious weekends. According to a report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, leisure time “gives people an opportunity to recover from the pressures of work and other commitments, to bond with family and community members, to pursue their interests and to reflect on their life direction and meaning”.
By encouraging staff to focus on a healthy work-life balance and giving them the extra time they need to organise their personal lives, you may just find yourself with a more productive and loyal team.