We’ve written about the growing freelance economy, the shift away from a traditional 9-to-5 workday, and how happiness affects an individual’s personal and work outlook. In a new CareerBuilder survey, 63 percent of workers believe the 9-to-5 framework is outdated and have chosen to work outside of this time frame. However, this comes at a price. Many of the respondents said they checked emails outside of working hours and have a difficult time leaving the office mentally.
About 42 percent of workers said work is the first thing on their mind when they wake up, and 20 percent say they can’t enjoy their time off due to being absorbed by work.
Matt Straz, founder and CEO of Namely, suggested five alternatives in a recent Entrepreneur article to companies so they can help employees achieve a better work-life balance:
1. The four-day work week.
Although not a brand new concept, a three-day weekend might be good for employees to decompress. Employees typically work longer hours four days a week, Monday through Thursday, and have Fridays off.
2. The employee-made schedule.
Not all employees function optimally within the 9-to-5 time frame. Some work better in the early wee hours and others late into the night. Companies trust their employees to make their own schedules, as long as the work gets done.
Freelancers know these space well. It’s a good alternative to traditional offices for people to get out of the house and focus on their work. Tech startups and boutique agencies have started adopting this concept. Many companies use technology to keep in touch and collaborate online, freeing their employees to physically work elsewhere.
If your company is having trouble retaining employees, especially long tenured members, consider giving a longer paid time off.
5. Vacation stipends.
While paid vacation is great, a vacation stipend to help offset expensive travel costs will help encourage employees step away from the grind of work and come back refreshed.