Collaborating with hr services to improve the work-life balance of your employees is essential to your company's health. If workers feel they can accommodate all of their commitments outside the job, they'll be able to focus and concentrate enough to move your company toward its goals. However, the opposite can also be true.
Poor work-life balance is a major source of stress for employees, potentially leading them to maladaptive coping mechanisms. One team of scientists from Europe suggested that working long hours increases the risk that employees will abuse alcohol, as published in The British Medical Journal.
'The workplace is an important setting'
In the past, various small studies indicated that longer hours may make employees more prone to drinking. To get a better idea for whether that's true, the authors of the new study conducted two data analyses. In the first one, they reviewed information collected from more than 333,600 people who worked in 14 countries. The second analysis included more than 100,600 people from nine countries. While the first analysis revealed that people who had long hours were 11 percent more likely to abuse alcohol compared to those who had shorter hours, that figure was 12 percent for the second analysis. At the individual level, those who worked 49 or more hours per week were between 12 and 13 percent more likely to abuse alcohol compared to those who worked 35 to 40 hours per week. There were no differences attributable to sex, socioeconomic status or region.
"The workplace is an important setting for the prevention of alcohol misuse, because more than half of the adult population are employed," the study read in part, quoted by a statement from The BMJ. "Further research is needed to assess whether preventive interventions against risky alcohol use could benefit from information on working hours."
There are better coping strategies
Experts from Harvard Medical School had several recommendations for better stress management. It starts with recognizing the signs of workplace stress, which include anxiety, depression, apathy, sleeping problems, muscle tension, low sex drive or stomach issues. Next, it's important for employees to adopt healthy lifestyles, such as regular exercise and a well-balanced diet.
While on the job, it can be helpful for workers to better manage their time. This can be accomplished with a balanced schedule, regular breaks, task prioritization and delegation of responsibility. Employers themselves can help workers by clearly communicating job expectations and making sure employees are valued for good work they do.