What may seem to be just a buzzword or the latest fad, finding a positive work-life balance has been proven to increase employee happiness and productivity. However, before you can begin creating this balance, you must first understand what it is. A work-life balance is achieving a counterbalance between the priorities of the workplace and the priorities of home life. Put simply, a work-life balance hinders the possibility of an individual’s career overwhelming their ability to enjoy a personal life outside of work.

So, how can employers enable their employees to achieve a positive work-life balance?

Ask your workers what they need. No one understands what someone needs more than that someone themselves, so why not have that person help you help them? How can we prevent or solve issues for employees if we don’t ask them what their problems are?

While it would be time-consuming to meet individually, managers can learn about the issues faced by having employees fill out anonymous surveys. This will not only make them feel important and heard, but it will also help employers determine the specific areas in which the business can work to improve for all employees.

Educate employees. The best way to prevent burnout and employee dissatisfaction is to educate them on work-life balance, time management, and communication tips. With the right knowledge, employees know how to recognize the signs of burnout and how to prevent it from consuming them. Educating employees is giving them the tools needed to be as productive as possible.

Childcare services. It is inevitable that the workplace will deal with some conflict involving childcare. Whether it is an issue of needing time off for sick kids or maternity leave, childcare services can be a business game changer. Not only do these services help alleviate employee stress and productivity, but they also help make companies more attractive to top talent.

Encourage vacations. It is no secret that workers in America receive a relatively small amount of paid time off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average employees that have worked with a company for five years are given 15 days of paid vacation, while workers with an average of 20 years at a company receive 20 days of paid leave. As those numbers show, tenure isn’t a guarantee of increased days off. What’s more, 52% of Americans didn’t even use all of their vacation days in 2017. Employers can increase employee happiness and productivity by nudging them to enjoy their time off.

Embrace Flextime. While it may go against the traditional idea of a workday, studies have shown the benefits of offering flextime to employees. Rather than the more common notion that allowing employees to determine their hours or office time results in reduced productivity, flextime allows employees to get their work done on their time while also being able to pick their child up from school or go to the doctors. Instead of judging an employee’s performance based off of time in the office, base it off of quality and quantity of work completed.