2024 HR Strategies to Promote Work-Life Balance

2024 HR Strategies to Promote Work-Life Balance

Flexible scheduling, time off, and workplace wellness are no longer just perks, but essentials for the modern worker. The pandemic made work-life balance a top priority for employees, and it has only picked up momentum since then. A growing number of HR leaders are embracing this focus on well-being in the workplace, with 63% of companies planning to enhance their health and well-being offerings in 2024.

As HR teams explore the top 2024 HR trends, work-life balance is ranking highly on every list. Now more than ever, employees are looking to more gracefully juggle their home life and professional life — and work-life strategies are proving to be key in improving both worker satisfaction and company outcomes.

The Rise of Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is not a new concept. From the push for an 8-hour workday during the Industrial Revolution, to the adoption of the 40-hour workweek in 1940, workers have long sought to carve out the necessary time for rest and family life. When women entered the workforce in large numbers in the 1980s, work-life balance once again took on new importance for these new workers struggling to do it all.

Since then, however, work-life balance for the average worker has worsened. According to an article in Time Magazine, hours spent working have actually increased since the 1970s. The advent of the internet, mobile phones, and wireless connectivity are likely big factors behind longer work days, as they have blurred the lines between work and home life.

The Impact of Covid-19 on work-life balance

The pandemic rapidly reset employee expectations for work-life balance at a time when hustle culture had reached its peak. The shutdowns of COVID-19 revealed that despite earlier suspicions, remote work is typically not detrimental to job performance. Employees came to appreciate the benefits of flexible scheduling even as they successfully met their employers’ expectations. Overall wellness also became a bigger priority, with the pandemic negatively affecting the physical and emotional health of many workers.

Although the health threats of the pandemic are behind us and many people are back in the office, employees have a renewed appreciation for workplace wellness and balance. In a study by Forbes from 2022, an astounding 90% of respondents said that work-life balance was an important aspect of their job. And between 2021 and 2022, employees reported that their company’s commitment to work-life balance had notably improved.

Work-life balance is here to stay

COVID-19 rapidly brought work-life balance to the forefront, but it wasn’t the only reason for its ascent. Record-high worker stress levels in recent years, Gen Z’s passion for mental and physical wellness, and increasing childcare pressures are all big reasons why work-life balance is outlasting the pandemic. This is further exacerbated by the fact that Gen Z and Millennials, who are strong advocates for health and well-being, make up a larger proportion of the workforce every year.

The Benefits of Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance isn’t just valuable for employees — it brings a wealth of benefits to companies, as well. Corporate initiatives that promote work-life balance improve worker engagement, retention, and performance, all of which lead to better company outcomes. Let’s take a closer look at some of these benefits:

  • Reduced absenteeism and turnover
    Employees are happier and healthier when they have a better work-life balance, which means they’re less likely to take excessive sick days or leave the company altogether. A survey from 2021 found that the pursuit of a better work-life balance was the top reason why workers were likely to change jobs, outranking pay considerations.

  • Improved engagement and performance
    A healthy work-life balance enhances employee engagement and performance by reducing burnout and stress. Employees with balanced lives are more productive, focused, and committed, leading to higher-quality work. Plus, companies that support work-life balance initiatives send a strong message to employees that their well-being matters — and this, in turn, fosters employee loyalty and workplace pride.

  • Increased diversity
    A non-obvious benefit of work-life balance initiatives is a more diverse workforce. Work-life balance programs like flextime, paid time off, and childcare vouchers have been found to significantly increase diversity in management, as women and people of color tend to be disproportionately overburdened by childcare and long work hours.

2024 HR Strategies to Promote Work-Life Balance

How to Promote Balance and Well-Being in the Workplace

We know that work-life balance is advantageous for employees and companies. But, what does it actually look like in practice?

In the aftermath of widespread policy changes during the pandemic, employers have developed a good understanding of what work-life balance means to employees. Initiatives like flexible work options, the development of an empathetic and inclusive work culture, and health perks and benefits all rank highly for workers.

5 Work-Life Balance Strategies for HR Departments to Focus On:

  1. Supporting flexible work schedules
    We now know that remote and nontraditional work schedules have a powerful impact on worker satisfaction, retention, and even productivity. Even as companies introduce return-to-office mandates, many are embracing the hybrid model rather than a 5-day return-to-office. Hybrid work schedules are preferred by employees and employers alike for balancing the convenience of remote work with the benefits of in-office team collaboration.

    Flextime has also become popular alongside the growth of remote work. This entails letting employees choose when to start and stop working, rather than enforcing a strict schedule. It has been found to be very beneficial for productivity and satisfaction.

  2. Expanding employee benefits
    While not an option for every company, improvements in paid time off and childcare benefits tend to have a strong return on investment. Vacation days, sick days, and mental health days are all crucial ways to preserve employee morale and well-being. Maternity leave policies can also play a big role in boosting retention among female employees.

    With costs of childcare skyrocketing, company childcare support is another big way to promote work-life balance. Employers can show their consideration for the hassle of childcare arrangements simply by providing a list of vetted local childcare options. Companies with larger budgets may consider offering childcare vouchers, as this improves retention for caregivers (particularly among mothers and minorities).

  3. Cultivating employee pride and purpose
    When workers are assured that their efforts play a necessary role in the broader success of the company, they feel more confident and accomplished. And, these feelings are foundational to one’s overall well-being.

    Companies can nurture feelings of pride and purpose in the workplace by clearly communicating their mission statement, regularly recognizing employee efforts, and linking individual successes to larger company initiatives.

  4. Putting work-life balance policies in writing
    Some companies claim to value work-life balance, but they don’t roll out actual initiatives and strategies to support this claim. Programs like flextime, remote work, and mental health days should be clearly defined and written out for employees so that they know how to take advantage of them.

  5. Creating a culture of empathy and trust
    If a company culture doesn’t value individual well-being and autonomy, corporate programs won’t be able to solve work-life balance challenges. Employees need to feel assured that their wellness and satisfaction matter to their employers and that taking time off won’t be penalized. HR can lead this cultural shift by organizing work-life balance workshops and hosting open discussions on the importance of maintaining a healthy balance. Additionally, leaders should model empathy and appreciation for work-life balance by checking in with employees and encouraging them to use available benefits if needed.

2024 HR Strategies to Promote Work-Life Balance

2024 Work-Life Balance and Well-Being Trends

We know that flexibility, empathy, and company benefits are all core components of work-life balance programs. In the coming year, we can expect to also see several new work-life balance and wellness trends reshaping the business landscape. Here are 5 trends to consider as you develop your 2024 company wellness strategies:

  1. Digital health platforms
    Advances in healthcare technology have made it easier and more enjoyable for employees to interact with workplace wellness programs. From real-time health monitoring to personalized wellness plans, the latest digital health platforms fit seamlessly into wellness initiatives and can help workers attain better work-life balance. HR teams should be sure to consider these technologies when building out their tech stack.

  2. Recognition and rewards
    Giving employees recognition and rewards is a great way to boost their overall wellness, as it improves confidence and satisfaction. Employees can take this important practice a step further by offering wellness-related rewards — for example, extra paid time off days, wearable health trackers, or gym memberships.

  3. Mental health awareness
    Particularly among Gen Z workers, emotional and mental health is no longer a taboo topic. Employees increasingly expect companies to demonstrate care and commitment to emotional well-being — whether it’s by offering flexible scheduling and time off to combat burnout, resources for stress management, or workplace educational programs. By normalizing conversations about mental health and providing adequate support, companies can create a more nurturing and empathetic work environment.

  4. DEI and inclusivity
    Workplace inclusivity is closely linked to work-life balance and wellness. In fact, 81% of employers report that their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy influences the design of their well-being program. Marginalized groups are more likely to face obstacles as they strive to attain work-life balance, so addressing any issues of equity and inclusion is a key component of work-life balance initiatives.

  5. Perfecting the hybrid model
    In 2023, many companies began to require employees to return to the office. Despite ambitious expectations for full-time on-site attendance at the beginning of the year, more companies are turning to the hybrid model due to pushback from workers. Over the coming year, companies will focus on balancing employee and corporate expectations under the hybrid model.

Bring Work-Life Balance to Your Company With WorkProud

When employees feel appreciated by and connected to colleagues, they feel more joy and well-being. Using the WorkProud rewards and recognition software, you can foster an inspired and positive workplace that promotes better work-life balance. Our software features a full set of tools for enhancing recognition, onboarding, diversity and inclusion, and many other HR efforts. Contact us for a free demo!



Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on email


WorkProud is committed to helping its clients create a unified approach to the employee experience by helping them build cultures of workplace pride. Trusted by millions of users at some of the world’s most recognized employer brands, WorkProud delivers a comprehensive approach to building company cultures that inspire people to be Proud of their Work and Proud of their Company.

Connect with a WorkProud Expert​

Press Release

Get The Inspired Workplace Newsletter

Every month, we share news, knowledge, and insight into what we believe is a pretty simple proposition: If you are “proud of your work and proud of your company,” you are more engaged, more productive, and more likely to stay with your company for the long haul.

*By selecting “SIGN UP,” you agree to WorkProud’s Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from our newsletter at any time. Please note when unsubscribing: it may take up to 10 business days for your request to take effect.