Implementing A Work-Life Balance In The Office

A healthy work-life balance is something most of us crave. Getting the balance right between the time we spend at work and home is a big part of our overall health and well-being and will be different for everyone. However, the statistics show that many of us are doing unpaid overtime which suggests that we still have a long way to go before we get the balance right.

This blog post looks at how to encourage a good work-life balance through your office design, and why it’s so important for your team’s health.


Why Is A Work-Life Balance Important?

Happy employees are good for business. Not only does a healthy work-life balance help to improve people’s physical and mental well-being, but a positive workplace culture with a better balance between business and play is good for business.

Here are some of the main reasons why a good work-life balance is so important:


Enhanced productivity and creativity

A happier workforce is more productive and less likely to take time off.  Clear boundaries between work and home and personal life has a positive impact on an employee’s ability to concentrate and remain focused on their work which in turn increases productivity. A well-rested employee can also stay productive for longer.

Improved mental and physical health

Having a good work-life balance can help to reduce mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression. A good balance can also help to improve physical health as employees have time to spend on their fitness and exercise.

Greater employee satisfaction and retention
If your employees feel valued and that their employment gives them a good work-life balance, they are going to be happier in their work. This helps to boost morale and encourages employees to stay and do their best for your business.

How To Implement A Work-Life Balance In The Office

Creating a good work-life balance for your workforce doesn’t just mean the number of work hours versus the amount of time they spend in their home life. It also means creating a healthy work environment that, for example, enables employees to relax while taking breaks during business hours. Some of the ways this can be done include:

  • flexible working hours
  • wellness programmes
  • comfortable breakout areas

Flexible Working Hours

COVID-19 changed a lot of things about the way that we work. Flexible working was one of those things as working the traditional 9 to 5 wasn’t practical for many, particularly parents.

Being more in control of when and where they work helps employees feel less overwhelmed and stressed. Flexible hours allow them, for example, to take a relative to a medical appointment or do the school run and complete their hours in the evening, enabling carers and parents to balance work and their caring responsibilities.

Some people work best early in the morning. Others have more hours of productivity late afternoon or evening. The opportunity to work flexible hours can make a huge difference to how well people work which is better for business.

Encourage Breaks and Time Off

Providing stylish and relaxing break areas with comfortable sofas, somewhere to chat, and quality eating places encourages employees to take their breaks and return to their desks feeling refreshed and focused.

There is a rapidly developing trend towards multi-use canteen & break-out areas in both commercial and educational organisations. A carefully created canteen area can double up as an informal meeting area, a quiet workspace, or a hot-desk workstation. It can also be a central social hub where new ideas are exchanged and developed.

To meet this demand, there is a huge variety of canteen and break-out furnishing options. We can guide you through the process from understanding your objectives to showing show you the options to a coordinated solution that meets your budget requirements and adds value and flexibility to your workplace.

Provide Wellness Programmes 

One way of helping your employees to have a better work-life balance is to provide some kind of wellness programme. This could be anything from an on-site gym facility to secure bike sheds and healthy canteen food choices.

A wellness programme doesn’t just cover physical and mental health. It can also cover things like finances so perhaps a savings scheme or discount vouchers towards purchases made at specified retailers, and social, for example, in-person and virtual events that can help to improve work-life balance.

Create Comfortable Breakout Areas

The environment your teams work in can have a big impact on how they feel which in turn, can affect their productivity and morale. One way to create a good working environment and therefore improve your employees’ work-life balance is to create spaces for them to have some personal time in comfortable surroundings.

This could be a calm chillout area with comfortable seats and space to be alone, or somewhere that small groups can gather and spend time chatting.

Our design team can help you to incorporate this into your workplace. We have a range of meeting pods and third-space furniture that are designed to serve as quiet study pods, creating a relaxed and casual ambiance. These types of spaces can help to build a strong mental health foundation, helping to reduce work-related stress and give employees space to think and relax when they need to.

Establish Clear Communication Channels

Your office design can have an impact on how well everyone in your business communicates with each other.

The way that your office and workplace are laid out can have an impact on how easily your employees feel they can communicate with their colleagues and with management teams. Individual offices with a closed-door policy negatively impact how at ease your people feel about being able to communicate with you if they feel overwhelmed.

Open-plan spaces encourage better communication which in turn can help to reduce stress at not being able to talk through problems with their colleagues.

Set Realistic Goals and Expectations

Having a clear job description when a vacancy is advertised sets clear expectations and goals from the start. If a position requires set hours in the office, make sure that’s clear and explain it fully during the interview process.

If there is scope for flexibility, discuss that as well.

Employees can better manage their expectations if they know from the start what’s expected of them so that they can assess whether a role will enable them to have a good work-life balance, or if, for example, the long hours required will have a negative impact on their personal lives.

Office Employee Assistance and Support

However hard we try to avoid it, there will always be times when personal activities or events happening during our family time, affect our work life. This could be due to an illness, a relationship breakdown, bereavement, or a whole host of other things.

Having a workplace support scheme can help employees get back on track quickly by giving them access to the specialist help and support they need. This could be counselling to support mental health issues, financial or legal advice, or relationship advice to help manage personal relationships.

Giving your employees access to this type of help benefits them because they get the support they need quickly at a time when many waiting lists are getting longer, and from a business perspective, it helps to get them back to full capability quicker.

Promote A Positive Culture

If your workplace provides your teams with a poor balance between work and their home and personal life, it is likely to promote a negative culture that leads to low morale and high staff turnover.

On the other hand, a business with an office space that promotes well-being, discourages working long hours without regular, effective breaks, and provides its staff with the space to relax, eat well, and mix with their colleagues is likely to have a positive culture.

Staff who feel valued and happy in their work will promote that positivity and help your business become known as a great workplace.

Implement Modern Facilities

Agile working spaces are specifically designed with the intent of allowing employees to have the choice to move around the office and work in areas that are supportive of the task they are working on and also how they work best.

For an employer, implementing agile working spaces can help to highlight the performance of your team. It can help you recognise what conditions are best for particular employees, as some may prefer to work in a busier environment where a lot is going on, whilst others require a quiet space to be most productive.

Here at Office Options, we can help your business to implement agile working spaces with a Space Planning and Management consultation. This service includes a comprehensive design, development, and delivery style of strategy.

We will work with you to: 

  • Develop and recognise your goals and objectives
  • Maintain and improve your team’s communication channels
  • Enhance your team and focus-time work areas within your organisation

Regularly Seek Employee Feedback

Having an open-door policy helps to create a positive work-life balance and workplace culture. It helps to show your teams that feedback and new ideas are welcome and that there is space for them to share a major life event that may be affecting their ability to work.

Effective ways to seek feedback could include regular team meetings, informal chats, or a designated time each week for problems and issues to be aired in a safe space.

If your teams feel valued and that their opinions count, they are more likely to be able to give quality time to your business.

Are You Interested In Our Office Fitting Services?

There are lots of things you can do in your office space to help your employees have a good work-life balance. From creating chill-out spaces to good canteen facilities and wellness programmes, building an office space that encourages productivity, reduces work-related stress, and helps to improve physical as well as mental health is good for your business.

If you want to find out how your office can be turned into a space that helps your teams have a healthy work-life balance, get in touch with our team today. We will talk you through our design, and develop and deliver a strategy that ensures you get an office design that meets the needs of your business and your staff.

To discuss your project with our team today, give us a call on 01642 211 100 and email us at