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Employee Benefits That Create a Healthy Work-Life Balance


Employee benefits packages help attract and retain top personnel in today’s competitive labor market. The importance of work-life balance benefits for recruitment, productivity, employee satisfaction, and health is growing. These perks recognize that employees require help for their personal and professional lives. Flexibility in how, when, and where employees work helps them balance work and life. They also include personal services and time off work. Examples include flexibility, remote work, employee assistance programs, generous leave and vacation policies, childcare, and eldercare. Work-life balance perks help both businesses and individuals in the modern workplace. Employees desire more work-life balance as culture and demographics change. Since mobile technology allows 24/7 connectivity, work and life have blurred. World-class competition for talent has forced firms to improve benefits. Work-life balance benefits carry costs linked to scheduling, administration, and poorer productivity during absences, but research shows they are broadly positive. A good work-life balance reduces stress and improves mental and physical health, which boosts engagement and performance. They stay longer with supportive employers and are more loyal. Thus, organizations improve recruitment, retention, productivity, and competitiveness. In the future of work, work-life balance advantages will be crucial for success.

Work-Life Balance Benefits

Work-life balance perks help employees balance work and life. It means the absence of unacceptable levels of conflict between work and non-work demands (Tamunomiebi, & Oyibo, 2020). Flexibility in work location, schedule, and hours is a fundamental work-life benefit. Examples include flexible time, compressed schedules, telecommuting, job sharing, phased retirement, and shift flexibility for parents. Expanded leave policies provide paid or unpaid time off for big life events or personal obligations. Examples include parental care, elder care, bereavement, voting, volunteering, ongoing education, and longer vacations or sabbaticals (Tamunomiebi & Oyibo, 2020). Employee assistance plans (counseling, legal, and financial consultations), on-site daycare, childcare subsidies, concierge services, paid medical time, and gym memberships support life demands.

Kodak Eastman and U.S. Rubber pioneered work-life balance in the 1930s with personal days and increased leave policies. Flex time grew more popular for working mothers at progressive companies during the next few decades. Cultural attitudes that rigidly prioritized work over other life responsibilities and widespread fears that any flexibility or time off allowances would lead to dramatic lost productivity and profits slowed growth in most industries (Grawitch et al., 2010). In the 1990s, Generation X parents entered the office and valued family time more than the workaholic Boomer managers they replaced. Enterprise networking, email, mobile devices, and cloud-based remote working capacity increased productivity outside 9-5 office hours, driving adoption. Demographic transitions in managerial ranks and generational turnover have improved work-life policy. In a 2019 follow-up poll, 65% of businesses increased flexibility and time away programs, illustrating the quick rate of change (Sandstrom, & Dwyer, 2021).

According to Bureau of Labor statistics and other polls, flexible and leave benefits are being used. In 2017 and 2018, 27% of civilian U.S. workers reported teleworking, nearly doubling from a decade earlier. Higher-paid and salaried workers have more access. Inequality exists because 50% of top quarter wage earners work remotely compared to 10% of bottom quarter earners (Tamunomiebi, & Oyibo, 2020). Leading companies have enhanced parental and caregiving leaves. Many significant U.S. companies offered paid maternity leave from 17% to 25% and paternity leave from 13% to 20% from 2014 to 2017 (Tamunomiebi & Oyibo, 2020). While access inequities persist across industries and professions, employee conditions are improving.

Importance of Work-Life Balance Benefits

Work-life balance policies and culture are increasingly prioritized due to their benefits for individuals and corporate success. A comprehensive meta-analysis of over 250 empirical studies on international employee populations and private and public sector employers found statistically significant positive relationships between work-life benefits and productivity, turnover intention, workplace attitudes, and mental and physical health indicators (Werner & Balkin, 2021). With suitable work-life policies, cultures, and managerial support structures, the pooled data shows a win-win potential. Employees and employers benefit greatly if the workplace fosters outside-the-office responsibilities and identities. Quality of life and cultural values are becoming as important as compensation in today’s competitive hiring market. Schedule flexibility, generous and inclusive parental leave, fitness memberships and wellness benefits, paid sabbaticals, and a sustainable work-life integration culture were key factors for nearly half of the participants when choosing between comparable job offers (Werner & Balkin, 2021). Thus, starting with strong non-cash benefits rather than monetary incentives is important for talent acquisition, especially in labor market shortages when in-demand applicants have more options and negotiating power. An employer who prioritizes life outside work is progressive and humane.

According to Werner & Balkin (2021), maintaining an internal culture that openly acknowledges personal responsibilities and interests outside of work while granting autonomy for employees to self-manage flexible scheduling aligned with business priorities results in significantly higher engagement and lower burnout. Employees with greater day-to-day work-life balance as part of their organizational and team cultures scored dramatically higher across all metrics from motivation, energy levels, favorable career outlook perception, workplace satisfaction to intent to stay loyal to the organization long-term scored significantly higher than those with harsh standardized office-only policies, excessive overtime expectations, and intense availability demands outside of working hours (Lockwood, 2003). Thus, flexibility is crucial in attracting talent and immediately improving performance quality, productivity, and employee retention after they join the company.

Work-life balance advantages boost internal employee engagement, increase external talent recruiting, and reduce voluntary turnover across industries, according to Tamunomiebi, & Oyibo (2020). When employees feel trusted by the organization’s peers, and leadership and policies allow individuals to flourish in their chosen positions without risking their jobs or connections at work, employee loyalty and tenure intention rise. Workplaces with better work-life policies and resources had lower turnover. Thus, proactively minimizing turnover costs can significantly reduce a company’s actual costs. Werner & Balkin (2021) argue that these costs are half to two times an employee’s annual income, depending on skill level, experience, and costs of losing uncommon institutional knowledge. It undermines cultural continuity to replace valuable talent, and retraining replacements to the same level is expensive. The remaining workers face more stress and uncertainty. According to Lockwood (2003), progressive organizations can avoid turnover by leading work-life culture change, which costs the average U.S. Corporation over $1 million annually in macro productivity losses.

From the interview with former HR Manager Darion Haggerty, scheduling flexibility is effective but operationally difficult: Darion states, “The flexibility in schedule is the most valued and utilized by employees. This is also the most costly benefit to the employer because it is challenging to create balanced schedules to meet the needs of the business, and more employees must be hired to fulfill the needs of the business.” Comprehensive coordination and hiring to cover gaps may increase H.R. expenditures, but productivity, retention, and healthcare savings usually surpass them. Flex policies that limit work-family conflict saved over $15 million in healthcare costs for a 17,000-employee sample (Werner & Balkin, 2021). When employees feel supported across all life domains, their performance and loyalty are mutually reinforced. Therefore, despite requiring upfront administrative efforts and staffing flexibility, supporting work-life integration pays off exponentially, given that everyone brings their energy and talents more fully to bear.

Key Forces Impacting Work-Life Balance Benefits

Due to major cultural trends and environmental influences, work-life balance benefits are being prioritized and expanded throughout global labor markets, sectors, and demographics and changing social demographics, such as dual-income families becoming the norm in middle-class households, sharp rises in single parenting, eldercare obligations with aging populations in advanced economies, and vocal millennial employees digitally connected since youth openly questioning traditional perspectives rigidly compartmentalizing work from all other life roles and domains (Lockwood, 2003). As these elements change, demand and momentum grow to recognize that rigid divisions between job, family, community, and personal identities no longer fit 21st-century living realities and welfare needs. Flexible work-life integration is key to attracting and keeping talent.

Continuous connectivity and mobility have changed how, when, and where work is done. Employees can now interact in teams, access data, communicate with stakeholders, and contribute remotely via cloud computing platforms, enterprise mobile apps, and video conferencing solutions. Remote work is estimated to be possible in 80% of jobs (GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics, 2022). Integration of flexibility alternatives is needed to expand job possibilities dramatically. Global demographic shifts like aging populations and declining birth rates in sophisticated economies like the U.S. and Western Europe have boosted competition between governments and enterprises for competent individuals (Roopavathi & Kishore, 2021). Similarly, Lockwood (2003) argues that Employers must provide greater salaries, purposeful work, and work-life balance to attract and retain top performers in high-demand industries, including technology, finance, academia, and sophisticated manufacturing. Otherwise, top talent may leave due to brain drain.

Crises and disasters can also affect work-life policy and culture. According to my interview with Darion Haggerty, the COVID-19 pandemic made work-life balance difficult: Darion said, “The teammate assistance program was enhanced and promoted to help those who were having challenges due to Covid. Also, schedule flexibility became more challenging due to the demand on employees from the impact of Covid in healthcare.” The pandemic made flexible scheduling more complicated but highlighted the need to help employees facing extreme stress, uncertainty, illness, caregiving, and trauma. Emergency leave, backup childcare stipends, and improved mental health services addressed these issues (Roopavathi & Kishore, 2021). Though the pandemic proved devastating for employers, crisis support for work-life integration and employee welfare may have lasting benefits. Changing age distributions, societal values, communication technology, and worldwide mobility have enhanced worker bargaining power and demanded that businesses recognize and nurture employees’ lives within and beyond the workplace (Roopavathi & Kishore, 2021). Organizations must meet expanding work-life policy expectations amid fierce competition for specialized expertise. Failure to adapt methods might hurt talent recruiting and retention.

The Future of Work-Life Balance Benefits

As the extensive data and diverse driving forces described in the previous sections show, benefits that promote greater harmony and workability between career and personal life for employees have advanced greatly, especially over the past three decades across global labor markets (Kelliher et al., 2019). Looking ahead to the next decade and beyond, most firms have room to expand, improve, and innovate work-life policies. Much progress deserves recognition, but more progress will require proactive leadership from individual managers, corporate executives, government policymakers, and grassroots advocacy groups to continue transforming antiquated legacy models that focus solely on rigid workplace centricity rather than genuine integration (Kelliher et al., 2019). Traditional practices that endure because of inertia no longer meet the changing reality, expectations, and unmet demands of 21st-century workforces in a digitally connected world.

Flexibility and remote work are expected to rise over the next decade, with over 70% of full-time workers working from home at least once a week (GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics, 2022). Instead of setting policies, leading organizations may customize timetables. Allowing employees to determine their calendars increases engagement and ownership. Outdated cultural preconceptions and change resistance may hinder adoption. Middle managers may object to control losses or expense increases. Extended remote access networks beyond business firewalls enhance data security threats (Lockwood, 2003). Flexibility is accused of eroding work ethic, professionalism, and revenues. When correctly implemented, results-focused flexibility programs reduce attrition costs and improve productivity and worker happiness.

In addition to scheduling independence, more extended and creative leave programs may arise. Progressive firms and governments are experimenting with communal parents’ leaves, sabbatical banks, volunteer service exchanges, and eldercare cuidadores familiares support networks (Kelliher et al., 2019). Policymakers must update leave legislation to provide legal rights and standards. The U.S. is one of the few industrialized nations without national rules for paid family leave and vacation days, compared to over 200 in the E.U. (Grawitch et al., 2010). Companies and governments should give adequate flexibility and support through work-life policies for individuals at all socioeconomic levels to thrive at work, at home, and in communities for maximal symbiotic success. They are no longer pressuring workers to miss important life events or family duties for work. Organizations will gain motivation, creativity, and mutual fulfillment when work-life integration replaces friction and conflict with purposeful complementarity across domains.


In modern workplaces, work-life balance perks are crucial for recruitment, retention, productivity, health, and success. Changes in demography, societal values, communication technology, talent competitiveness, and big crises that strain duties encourage adoption. Over the past few decades, scheduling flexibility and leave possibilities have increased, yet gaps remain, and more work is needed to optimize work-life integration. Assumed productivity, professionalism, managerial control, and profit losses are common objections. However, rising research shows that work-life balance policies improve employee and organizational performance when intelligently implemented in a personalized, accountable manner. Reduced stress, improved physical and mental health, loyalty, and job satisfaction lead to better workplace involvement and contributions. Absenteeism, turnover, and overhead costs decrease for employers. Work-life balance advantages can be win-win with good management. Leading experts and best practice organizations want more schedule flexibility, results-focused work cultures, leave alternatives, and general support across job and non-job duties. A future vision with abundant work-life support ensures no one must sacrifice family or community for job success or livelihood. Government legislation, managerial innovation, and grassroots activism can create a new paradigm integrating work, life, and human advancement. Transformation of society and culture is the goal.


GlobalWorkforceAnalytics. (2022, January 18). Latest Work-at-Home/Telecommuting/Remote Work Statistics – Global Workplace Analytics. Global Workplace Analytics.

Grawitch, M. J., Barber, L. K., & Justice, L. (2010). Rethinking the work–life interface: It’s not about balance; it’s about resource allocation. Applied Psychology: Health and Well‐Being2(2), 127-159.

Kelliher, C., Richardson, J., & Boiarintseva, G. (2019). All of work? All of life? Reconceptualizing work‐life balance for the 21st century. Human resource management journal29(2), 97-112.

Lockwood, N. R. (2003). Work/life balance. Challenges and Solutions, SHRM Research, USA2(10).

Roopavathi, S., & Kishore, K. (2021). The Impact of Work-Life Balance on Employee performance. Journal of Interdisciplinary Cycle Research2(10).

Sandstrom, H., & Dwyer, K. (2021, November 10). How Targeted Health and Wellness Efforts Can Strengthen the Home-Based Child Care Workforce. Urban Institute.

Tamunomiebi, M. D., & Oyibo, C. (2020). Work-life balance and employee performance: A literature review. European Journal of Business and Management Research5(2).

Werner, S., & Balkin, D. B. (2021). Strategic benefits: How employee benefits can create a sustainable competitive edge. The Journal of Total Rewards30(1), 8-22.


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