Have you ever heard one of your employees say:
- “I am finding it hard to juggle both my personal and professional life.”
- “I don’t have any balance between work and my commitments outside the office.”
- “I have so much on that I’m failing to achieve either at home or at work.”
If you have heard one or more of the above statements, your business might benefit from a new work-life balance policy. In this competitive economic market, workplaces that recognise and cater to the needs of modern families have the edge when competing for skilled and committed employees.
Work Life Balance
In what we call “family friendly” workplaces, employees have access to flexible working conditions such as shorter working hours, working from home, not working on some days, and access to more parental or career leave.
These flexible work options might sound minimal; however it’s now proved that they help employees balance the constantly changing demands of work and personal life. And as a consequence, they boost employees’ morale, productivity and the reputation of the workplace as being a “family friendly” environment.
The success of these flexible work arrangements requires a shared responsibility to make it work, by both the employers and the employees, in a “give and take” or “win-win” situation.
Here are some common strategies that employers have developed to help their staff balance work, life and family:
- 1. Offer flexible conditions for employees to respond to the need of their family and life.
2. Provide paid and unpaid leave to allow staff to deal with sickness of a parent, child or other family member.
3. Introduce flexible arrangements such as part-time work, job-sharing, tailored start and finish times, working from home.
4. Make provisions for the emergencies that happen in everyone’s life.
5. Be a role model and encourage your leaders to use flexible work arrangements.
6. Stay in touch with staff on parental leave.
7. Plan workshops, meetings, and trainings so that they don’t clash with school drop-off time.
8. Offer access to free advice for staff members on issues relating to age or child care.
As an employer, you might be concerned that by offering flexible conditions to your staff, they will start exploiting the system and push the business objectives at risk. In practice, flexible employers have found more benefits than disadvantages in having a work-life balance policy, including:
1.Staff more productive
Only a limited number of us can keep our personal and professional lives separated and isolate family from work or work from family. Flexible employees who can balance their responsibilities at home are more productive while in the office.
2. Staff more loyal and motivated
In offering a “give and take” situation, employees feel valued and understood and more willing to repay the business with their loyalty and motivation than to abuse the system.
3. Less “presenteeism”
We all know that spending long hours in the office does not equal productivity, and by allowing employees to be flexible with their hours, they become more efficient and achieve better performance in the time they spend at work.
4. Staff attraction & retention
Retention of quality staff is one of the biggest factors affecting future business success in today’s environment. Employees who feel valued and engaged thanks to a work-life balance policy are more likely to stay than to resign.
For more information on Corporate Health Promotion, and Corporate Health Productivity contact Healthworks on 1300 90 10 90 (International: IDD 61-2-9954-1888) or contact us.