The need for employees to enjoy a reasonable balance between their work and other aspects of their lives is now widely accepted. Work-life balance has been shown to have real business benefits, including increased productivity, improvements in performance and competitiveness, better morale, and lower levels of stress, absenteeism and sickness. It can help to enhance employee motivation and retention and support recruitment. In the UK, it is now government policy to promote work-life balance and to support working families.
Work-life balance, and in particular flexible working practices and family-friendly policies, has been the subject of widespread public debate. This has arisen from social and economic changes, such as greater numbers of women in the workforce, the expectations of younger employees - Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) and Generation Y (born between 1979 and early 2000s), the rise of the 24/7 society and technological advancements. There has also been a growing backlash against what has been dubbed the ‘long-hours culture’ which puts employees under pressure to work additional hours, regardless of the impact on their personal lives, health or well-being.
For employers it is important to consider how to give employees more control over their working arrangements, in order to accommodate other aspects of their lives, without adversely affecting the capability of the organisation to deliver on targets and objectives. It is important, when introducing work-life balance policies, to balance the benefits to individual employees with arrangements to manage the operational implications for the organisation as a whole.
Work-Life Balance Definition
Work-life balance is the equilibrium between an individual’s priorities at work and their priorities in other aspects of life. With good work-life balance, work/home conflict is minimised so that the demands of work do not prevent a person from gaining satisfaction from their life outside work, while aspects of their personal life do not spill over to exert a negative impact on their work.
Work-Life Balance Tips and Best Practices
1. Find out what employees’ needs are, and how far they are being met
2. Build the business case
3. Focus on the culture of your organisation
4. Consider the structure of your organisation
5. Improve personal and organisational efficiency
6. Consider the options
7. Take practicality into account
8. Launch the initiative and communicate the benefits
9. Inform and train managers
10. Evaluate success
For detailed explanation of each step and to find out more about work-life balance, view the guide below.
Download the guide Work-Life Balance
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