A major component of well-being is our ability to manage stress in our daily lives.
In fact, a report from Health Advocate found stress costs about $300 billion each year in lost productivity. The impact of stress in the workplace is especially significant for employees who are family caregivers – 49 percent of family caregivers experience clinical exhaustion.
The good news is that employers can support family caregivers by helping them achieve work-life balance. What is work-life balance and why is it important?
The concept of work-life balance refers to someone’s ability to manage their work-related responsibilities and those in their personal lives.
Finding this balance is the second biggest attraction for prospective employees behind compensation.
This concept is especially important for family caregivers. Not only are they juggling their work tasks, but they’re also focusing on coordinating care for aging and special needs loved ones.
20 percent of employees lose 10 or more working hours per week to caregiving, and 70 percent of employees hide their caregiving responsibilities from their employers.
Caregivers need to feel comfortable talking about their lives with employers, which is why leadership should be proactively supporting their staff and helping them find a way to balance both worlds.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can support your staff as they support their loved ones.
Solicit Employee Feedback
You’re not a mind reader, and you don’t have to be. Encourage your employees to speak up about what they need. Conduct surveys for employees to anonymously submit feedback and share their perspectives on work and home life.
Start an Employee Wellness Program
Creating and launching a formalized program to improve employee wellness is a great way to demonstrate your company’s commitment to your staff and to make measurable progress.
There are plenty of elements you can include in your program, such as:
- Free healthy snacks in the common area.
- Fitness rooms on site.
- Corporate health discounts for local gyms.
- A digital library of wellness resources.
- Wellness challenges.
- An annual health fair with local vendors and practitioners.
- On-site wellness services (e.g., massages, meditation classes, yoga classes).
Host a Caregiver Seminar
Educate your caregiving employees by hiring professionals in the caregiving field to give a presentation on a specific topic, such as helping parents with dementia or improving home safety for aging family members.
During the seminar, plan for some Q&A time so caregivers get direct access to experts.
Add Benefit Options Geared Toward Caregivers
There are many new benefits you can offer to better support the caregivers on your team. The most notable benefits include:
- Flextime – You can offer employees flexible work arrangements. Instead of focusing on how much time employees spend in the office, focus on productivity and output. When they’re not worried about attending work at strict times, they can better focus on caring for their loved ones and getting their work done.
- Work-from-home options – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to adopt telecommuting. This is especially helpful for employees who live with elderly parents who need more attention around the clock for daily activities, such as eating, taking medications, and grooming.
- Flexible spending arrangements – Start an employer-sponsored option that allows employees to contribute pre-tax dollars to a dedicated account, which they can use for reimbursement of health and dependent care expenses. You can even provide an employer match to further bolster the contributions to their account.
- Offer a Family Caregiving benefit, such as Dari by Homethrive
How Homethrive Can Help Employers and Caregivers in Achieving Work-Life Balance
Dari by Homethrive is an option that allows employers to be proactive in preventing burnout for caregivers. Employers can offer it as either a partially subsidized benefit, a voluntary benefit, or as a covered benefit.
Dari by Homethrive offers personalized coaching, navigation, and resources available at your employee’s fingertips, 24/7.
Dari allows employees to:
- Gain a knowledge advantage with advice coming directly from our experts.
- Get real answers from real people who understand.
- Connect with a community of peers who can offer support.
- Go Dedicated (upgrade) for dedicated support to address all kinds of caregiving obstacles, such as finding specialists for grocery, meal, or medication delivery; scheduling transportation; coordinating home care visits; and more.
When caregivers have access to expert coaching, the work-life balance they hope to achieve comes easier. Employees will have more time to take care of themselves, bring their whole selves to work, and, most importantly, spend quality time with their aging loved ones outside of the day-to-day stressors of coordinating services for them.
Learn more about Homethrive today to see how it can help you support caregivers on your team to navigate their own balancing acts.