How Free Lunch Fosters Work-Life Balance

The precise balance between work and life is different for each person. Still, one thing’s for certain. When the scale tips too far in one direction for an employee, they’ll have a problem on their hands. Whether the problem is personal or work-related, it translates into a problem for your organization.

If left to their own devices, most people would either work too much or work too little. The reality is that it’s hard to find a balance. And, the moment that precious balance is found, it can easily be lost. That’s why progressive organizations seek to help their employees manage their work-life balance.

Look at work-life balance differently

It’s customary to think that the “life” part of the work-life balance equation means disconnecting from all things related to work. No calls. No emails. No working at home. Life means taking care of personal responsibilities, enjoying time with family and friends, and indulging personal interests.

When thought of in this light, the “work” part of the work-life balance equation means excluding all things related to life. No personal calls. No errands. No relaxing with family and friends. Work means handling professional responsibilities while managing a career.

But what if the “life” part of the work-life balance equation merged with the “work” part of the equation? This idea turns the concept on its head. Life at work? Yes. It’s possible! All it takes is a fresh perspective and a commitment to helping your employees succeed on both sides of the equation.

How employers can help

Some organizations are concerned enough about the personal and professional health of their employees that they are taking creative steps to help. This help comes in the form of enabling employees to take care of important personal tasks. The idea is that when an employee can get personal matters done during the workday, they have less stress and more time to enjoy their leisure time at home. This results in a well-rounded and engaged employee.

Some life-related perks include onsite childcare services, laundry facilities, exercise facilities, and dry-cleaning pickup and delivery service. Other lifestyle perks include unlimited paid time off, extra time off around the holidays, and extended maternity and paternity leave.

One of the most supportive work-life-balance perks is schedule flexibility. Allowing employees to come in earlier or later gives them time to do things that might include visiting a child at school or taking a trip to the doctor. Also, employees might prefer the option to work remotely either permanently or when the need arises.

Work. Life. Lunch.

It’s possible to have it all! One perk that’s effective at balancing the work-life scales is Lunch as a Benefit (LaaB). When there’s lunch at the office, life and work gets better.

On the personal side of the equation, your employees have one less thing they need to worry about. With a LaaB program, they can select the lunches they want to have for an entire week and forget about it. The lunch they chose will arrive each day like clockwork. No longer must employees shop for lunch items they need to prepare and pack their lunch every day. Or, if they don’t pack a lunch, they won’t need to waste time at fast-food restaurants during their lunch hour.

On the work side of the equation, there’s a benefit to the organization. LaaB influences how well employees work together. It’s not about keeping employees in the office or driving productivity. It’s about nurturing a collaborative culture in which employees get to know their teammates as well as people from other teams. And, this all happens around the lunch table.

There’s no question that a LaaB program is a pleasing way to give time back to your employees. Enjoying a worry-free lunch with coworkers is a huge step towards a healthy work-life balance. At the same time, your organization is doing more than living up to the goal of supporting its employee’s healthy work-life balance. The interpersonal relationships that develop during lunch strengthens the company’s culture.