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Balance or Buzzword? “Walking the Walk” of Work-Life Balance at Collaborative

It’s becoming more and more evident that work-life balance is a huge priority in today’s talent marketplace and not just a buzzword. However, if an organization wants to truly attract, develop, and retain its employees, leaders need to ensure they are “walking the walk” and fostering a work environment that supports balance. Finding work-life balance shouldn’t come with endless red tape or hoops for employees to jump through; it should be so ingrained in the culture that it’s hardly even notable.

Searches for the term work-life balance have grown tremendously over the past few years – and understandably so! Now, more than ever, employees are putting their mental health first by seeking out employers who have programs that establish a fair balance between work and personal time.

Work Life Balance Last 2010 to present

Source: Google Trends

This trend will only continue to increase, as the millennial generation, a cohort that leads the charge for work-life balance, will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025.

As employers battle for talent in this competitive marketplace, it’s important to ask – why is it so crucial to the workforce today? For starters, chronic stress is the most common health issue in the workplace, leading to physical ailments such as heart problems, chronic pains, and digestive issues. Chronic stress is also linked to a higher risk of insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Ultimately, all these effects can lead to burnout, which is detrimental not only to employee wellbeing but also to the success of the organization.

What is burnout? Why should organizations care about it?

When employees are faced with excessive stress and overtime hours, they are at risk of workplace burnout. This leads to physical exhaustion, deterioration of mental health, and lack of motivation to work. This must be prevented, or else productivity in the workplace will be dramatically compromised, and turnover will skyrocket. The “Great Resignation,” the workforce trend that started in 2021 in which workers quit their jobs and moved to other opportunities at a historically high rate, is a sign that it’s time for organizations to take burnout more seriously. By ensuring that work-life balance remains a priority, employers can save money and maintain a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce.

What does balance mean at Collaborative?

As one of our core values, the concept of balance is intentionally cultivated and encouraged at Collaborative. We understand that as the world reopens from the pandemic, the risk of burnout rises. We know that our employees are at their best when their priorities complement rather than compete. Our value of “People” also compels us to put the needs of our employees first and foremost. We respect and value our employees for their diverse backgrounds, experiences, styles, and ideas, and aim to support them in their professional development and personal growth. We believe one of the best ways to support employees is by encouraging balance, and we also believe this is why Collaborative remains an award-winning workplace year after year.

How is Collaborative helping employees maintain a good work-life balance?

Even when Collaborative was a much smaller company, balance was always at the forefront when it came to creating a positive workplace culture. As Collaborative grew, we officially imprinted balance into our DNA when we formalized our mission, vision, and values several years ago. Now, we continue to strive for more balance with new and better programs and benefits.

We’ve implemented internal initiatives aimed at establishing professional and personal harmony, such as generous paid time off, volunteer time off, remote work (if desired), and most recently, “Balance Days.” Balance Days include three days of time off to allow Collabies to “unplug” from work and enjoy a mental break. This program was designed for our employees to check in on their mental health, minimize stress, and reduce burnout.

Along with Balance Days, Collaborative also recently rolled out a Flex Work Plan, allowing employees to work 80 hours over 9 days, resulting in every other Friday off – a.k.a. Flex Fridays! This means, on average, employees who opt into the program have two three-day weekends a month. Employees have used this time to take a step back from the office and enjoy time with family, take a hike outdoors, or catch up on personal errands. No matter how they choose to spend their Flex Days, the goal is for employees to decompress and reset themselves for the following week.

As Collaborative continues to grow, we remain committed to living out all our core values: People, Balance, Collaboration, Knowledge, and Integrity - because we know that we are smarter together, balanced together, trusted together, and better together.

Learn what else makes Collaborative Solutions a great place to work or, if you are interested in joining our team, check out our careers page.