Work-Life Balance

How Returning to Work is Good for Your Health

The Institute for Work and Health underwent a systematic review of research looking at the impact of returning to work after an illness or injury.  The research leans towards better health outcomes when employees return to work–and the earlier the better.  The challenge is finding the right balance.  To learn more about this study, click [...]

Help Employees Tackle Fatigue

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health Safety has a resources that you can share with your employees that will help them identify whether or not they are dealing with the effects of fatigue and what they can do to make it better.  There is a webpage full of information and a short 4 minute podcast [...]

Encourage Employees to Use ALL Their Vacation Days

It is getting more difficult to find employees who would say that they don’t experience any stress in their work lives.  Taking time away from work allows us to recharge our batteries, regain some balance and return to work re-energized. conducted a survey with Canadian workers looking at vacation deprivation.  According to the results, [...]

Explore the Feasibility of Telecommuting (a.k.a Telework)

With technology comes opportunities to do our work differently.  Some workplaces are moving toward having their employees work from home.  Depending on what line of business your workplace is in, think about the pros and cons of telecommuting (a.k.a. telework).  To start the “pro” list, check out the list below taken from an article in [...]

Supporting Employees in Balancing Work and Caregiving

Family status is a protected ground under human rights legislation so it is important for employers to consider what accommodations might be required.  The Canadian Human Rights Commission has produced “A Guide to Balancing Work and Caregiving Obligations.”  Be sure to check it out. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Be Open to Where and How Work Happens

The Government of Canada, through the Public Works and Government Services department, has been looking at what the physical workplace of the 21st century needs to be.  They call their initiative Workplace 2.0 and it looks at how to use today’s technologies into our work and our work environments.  Click here to learn more. New [...]

Support Employees Who Are Pregnant or New Parents

Have you made your workplace family-friendly?  Choosing to have a child means taking a number of things into consideration.  One of those things is how well does the workplace support workers who are pregnant or returning to work after the baby is born.  Not every workplace is the same and their may be risks to [...]

The Law and Return to Work Plans: Supporting Employees with Mental Illness

On November 6, about 100 workplace representatives attended a session hosted by the Peterborough Health at Work Committee and the Peterborough Chapter of HRPA.  Dr. Martin Shain provided a good background on the legal issues around mental health in the workplace.  With seven areas of law influencing a workplace’s duty to provide a psychologically safe [...]

Family Friendly Workplaces

Is your workplace family-friendly? Check out the August 2013 issue of the Health at Work e-Bulletin to see if there is one new family friendly initiative that you might want to introduce into your workplace. Source: Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Dealing with Mental Health in the Workplace: Are you ready?

Only one in four employees feel their supervisor handles mental health issues well and only 56% of managers say they have received any training on mental health.    These are only two of the interesting findings you can find in a report produced by the Conference Board of Canada. In June 2011, they released the [...]

Returning to Work After Baby

Heading back to work after a parental or maternity leave can be very challenging.  To help employees transition back to work, consider sharing with them a new resource from Best Start: Ontario’s Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre. The 20-page booklet contains information on choosing child care services, work and breastfeeding, planning time, establishing [...]

Aging Workforce – Local Project

Over two years ago, the Workforce Development Board, Trent University and the Trent Centre for Community-Based Education partnered up to take a local look at the aging workforce.  The research involved talking with older workers as well as employers.  The following reports have been generated: Older Worker Stories Project – Final Report Summary of Older [...]

Ten Work-Life Balance Strategies for the Workplace

The Psychology Foundation of Canada in partnership with Desjardins Financial Security developed a number of resources for workplaces on stress, work-life balance and the multigenerational workforce.  Click on this link to access, Managing to Manage Workplace Stress.  In this resource you will find ten strategies for addressing work-life balance. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Learn about the Changes to CPP–and Share It With Your Employees

Starting on January 1, 2011, the government has made changes to the Canada Pension Plan.  For more information, please visit Share this information with your employees.  Consider hosting a lunch and learn and invite a representative from Service Canada to speak about the changes. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Family Child Care Fair (Kit)

The Family Child Care Fair is designed to introduce employees to the various organizations in your community that provide quality childcare and related services.  Attendees have the opportunity to introduce themselves to providers, discuss their childcare needs, and explore available options. Coordinators should host this event in a large, open area, where each childcare agency [...]

Capture the Moment (Kit)

Capture the Moment is a simple activity that provides employees the opportunity to share their favourite stress-relieving hobbies and past-times with their fellow employees.  The activity emphasizes the importance and variety of stress management strategies.   Employees who are interested in participating must submit a work-appropriate photograph of themselves enjoying their favourite activities.  Staff will cast [...]

His & Hers Health Fair

Organize a Health Fair at your workplace. Invite organizations to provide a display or handouts that introduce employees to the issues related to healthy eating, staying active, and maintaining vitality throughout life. Approach different organizations for resources.  Organizations could include your local Health Unit, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Diabetes Association, or the [...]

Hobby Fair (Kit)

The Hobby Fair encourages employees to share the interests or activities that they enjoy outside of work with their fellow employees.  Hobbies and interests that are unrelated to work often play an essential role in good health.  Importantly, these activities help relieve stress. Coordinators should host this event in a large, open area, where each [...]

Flexible Scheduling that Encourages Exercise

Develop flexible scheduling policies that allow employees to dedicate a few moments throughout the day to physical activity.  The adjusted work day and flex-time policies allow employees to work the standard number of hours on a daily basis, with flexible start and finish times within limits established by management.  More flexibility means that employees have [...]

Consider Offering On-Site Massage Therapy

Some workplaces arrange for a massage therapist to visit their workplace once a week or once a month.  Employees sign up in advance.  If possible, cover the cost.  If that isn’t possible, consider subsidizing the cost.  Encouraging employees to get massages prior to a problem developing will help prevent injuries and positively affect the workplace bottom line.  [...]

Everybody Needs a Little Space

Using available resources and facilities, create a quiet room where employees can go to relax and unwind throughout the day.  Furnish the room with comfortable chairs or couches and calming decor.  Provide a tape recorder with relaxation music as a fixture in the room or on a sign out basis.  If possible, make sure the [...]

A League of Their Own

Encourage physical activity and athletics among employees by helping to establish workplace sports leagues or walking clubs.  As the employer, you are in a position to take the lead.  Reserve outdoor recreational areas, create rosters, and provide sports equipment.  Just make sure to offer a variety of options for employees of different ages and abilities. [...]

Support Employees Who Care for Ill Family Members

Provide employees with informational materials on healthy caregiving and the signs of caregiver burnout.  As a supplement to these materials, encourage employees to form a caregiving group where issues related to caregiving can be shared and discussed.   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Active Workplace Teams

Form workplace teams or hold family events to support increased levels of physical activity as well as the development of healthy relationships between employees and between family members. Try bowling, golf or softball. Also, consider forming groups for activities like cycling, Tai Chi, regular daily stretching or aerobics. Encourage walking groups, dancing groups or recreational [...]

Provide Staff with Outdoor Recreation Space

Encourage employees to use this space for physical activity before, during, or after work.  Given the size and suitability of the area, you may also want to provide sports equipment, such as soccer balls, volleyball nets, etc; or, encourage employees to bring these supplies from home. Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Incorporate Physical Activity into Recreational Events

Next time you plan a recreational event for employees, make exercise a key component of the day’s activities.  Invite employees to take a hike in the woods, enjoy an afternoon of skiing, go golfing, or participate in a walking fundraiser for charity.  Employees receive a double benefit.  They engage in physical activity while enjoying a [...]

Prohibit Excessive Overtime

Excessive or mandatory overtime may only worsen the potentially negative effects of working late into the night or evening.  Make sure that your workplace policies don’t inadvertently urge employees to work during times at which they aren’t scheduled to do so. Source:  Brant  County Health Unit

Place a Limit on Employees’ “Homework”

If your employees regularly take work-related assignments home in the evening to complete during their time off, chances are they’re taking time away from other activities and family time that make up a balanced life.  Considering feedback from employees, create a policy that establishes guidelines for the amount of time that employees should spend on [...]

Enact Flexible Scheduling Options

Develop flexible scheduling policies that allow employees to dedicate a few moments throughout the day to physical activity, personal appointments, family obligations, stress relievers, or other pleasurable activities.  The adjusted work day and flex-time policies allow employees to work the standard number of hours on a daily basis, with flexible start and finish times within [...]

Flexible Schedules Allow for Counselling

Develop flexible scheduling policies that allow employees to attend substance misuse programming or counselling sessions as needed.  The adjusted work day and flex-time policies allow employees to work the standard number of hours on a daily basis, with flexible start and finish times within limits established by management.  More flexibility means that employees are able [...]

Coming Down with Something? Get Some Rest—Away from the Workplace

Encourage employees to take a “sick day” and stay at home when they’re feeling ill.  This will help prevent the spread of colds and other illnesses from one employee to another, reducing the total number of sick employees and the amount of lost work time.  Additionally, consider encouraging employees who are parents to stay at [...]

Work-Life Balance: Helpful Resources

LOCAL RESOURCES Centre for Addiction and Mental Health 1-800-463-6273 Peterborough Public Library (705) 745-5560 Community Care Peterborough (705) 742-7067 Ontario Early Years Centre Peterborough (705) 748-9144 City of Peterborough: Child care and daycare directories (705) 742-7771 Community Care Peterborough (705) 742-7067 Peterborough Parks Department (705) 745-1386 Peterborough Recreation Department (705) 742-7777 Five Counties Children’s Centre (705) [...]

Making Time for Family

Host a seminar or distribute informational materials on managing family time.  Include strategies for planning personal time alone, planning time with your partner, and planning time for one-on-one interaction with children. Source:   Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Offer Parenting Seminars for Male Employees

Letting go of traditional roles and sharing the responsibilities of parenting may help employees maintain their worklife balance on an even keel.  To this end, host a parenting seminar for male employees who may not be familiar with the ins and outs of caring for a child.  Topics might include proper methods of bathing children, [...]

Create a Childcare and Respite Care Bulletin Board

Invite employees to post contact information for individuals and organizations they trust to look after their children and loved ones.  For someone looking for childcare or respite care, this referral information could go a long way. Source: Brant County Health Unit

Host a Seminar on Early Childhood Development for Employees Who are Parents

Understanding their children and the life cycle may help employees reduce stress both at home and at work.  The seminar should include information on the normal stages of child development, assisting with development, identifying child development problems, and reading to your child. Source:   Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Support Pregnant Employees

Refer families to the Peterborough County-City Health Unit website where they can get more information about classes, Prenatal Health Fairs and online resources.  In addition, a public health nurse staffs the Health Unit’s FamilyHEALTHline and is available to answer questions and connect families to community services and supports Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 [...]

Take-Home Food Options

Work with cafeteria staff to implement a take-home dinner option from the food that did not sell during the lunch hour.  Recognizing that families are stressed for time, healthy pre-packaged meals (refrigerated if needed) that are quick to grab could be sold to employees to take home to their families. Or, prepare bagged lunch options [...]

Family Benefits

Consider providing flexible, family-oriented benefit packages that can be reassessed based upon family life situations. For example, parents could select different options based on the age of their child(ren), such as opting for orthodontic coverage for braces or day care coverage if children are young. Source: Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

Provide Breastfeeding Support

Facilitate breastfeeding or breast milk expression in the workplace by providing private rooms, milk storage arrangements, adequate breaks during the day, flexible work schedules, and on-site child care facilities. For more detailed information about why you need to support breastfeeding employees, including policy ideas, check out this publication from the Ontario Public Health Association: The [...]

Create a Flex-Time, or Adjusted Work Day Policy

Employees whose work schedules are more compatible with the demands and responsibilities that they face outside the workplace are better equipped to balance work and home.  The adjusted work day and flex-time policies allow employees to work the standard number of hours on a daily basis, with flexible start and finish times within limits established [...]

Offer Night Workers Quality Daycare

Employees who work during the evening and nighttime hours find it difficult to care for children or loved ones during the day, the time at which they’re usually asleep.  If possible, consider including quality daycare services as a benefit for shiftworking employees who double as parents. Source:  County of Lambton Community Health Services Department

Consider Employees’ Input When Creating and Adapting Shifts

Employee involvement may provide the key to forming the most efficient shift schedule.  Remember, the best schedules are those that cause the least disruption to sleep patterns and still allow for the maximum amount of social and family time. Source: Brant County Health Unit

Happy Holidays

Consider the suggestions and needs of employees when creating holiday work schedules.  This will ensure that everyone enjoys a happy holiday, while minimizing the demands and stresses of work.   Source: Brant County Health Unit

Consider Offering an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Employee assistance programs are here to help.  Make sure that your staff has access to an Employee Assistance Program that can provide employees with counselling and additional tips for dealing with interpersonal conflicts.   Source:  Brant County Health Unit