Combating the issue of the work-life balance

With the ever increasing volume of communication channels and the expectations from a number of employers that staff be available all hours of the day, the discussions around the work-life balance topic are continuing to grow. But is it really that much of an issue? 

 

With some of the latest company initiatives being put in place it would appear so.

Innovative company action

Organisations know that retaining loyal and engaged staff leads to the satisfied customers that fuel the business. As a result they are now coming up with a wide range of creative benefits for staff to encourage the work-life balance, with examples including flexible working times, job-shares and remote working arrangements. Some others are shown below:

  • The Virgin Atlantic website demonstrates some of the advantages of working for the giant which include staff gyms and stores full of discounted beauty and leisure products. Staff can also purchase extra holiday time and participate in the company's childcare voucher scheme. 
  • The technology agency DigitasLBi have come up with ‘Summer of Love’ where staff only have to work half a day on Fridays for the 10 weeks throughout the summer, with a barbeque lunch before it.
  • Hubspot and Netflix were the champions of the ‘unlimited time off’ scheme that is building steam in the States. Additionally certain organisations such as Moz and Full Contact are also rewarding their staff with cash bonuses to take all their holidays in the allotted time (Figures as much as $3,000 & $7,500 have been mentioned!). 
  • B&Q stress the chain's strong commitment to flexible working practices that enable staff to balance family, work and leisure. The company is a winner of the Top Employers for Working Families Award

Interestingly, The Top Employers for Working Families site (which we have no affiliation with) indicates that this award is organised by the Working Families charity, which also helps firms encourage work-life balance through relevant training. Employers can then offer tax efficient childcare voucher solutions to their staff (saving them up to £933 annually) through a partnership between Working Families and the Childcarescheme. Working Families also encourages companies to participate in National Work-Life Week and Go Home on Time Day activities.

Vital equilibrium

When the appropriate work-life ‘equilibrium’ is not maintained it can result in loved ones feeling neglected, which can then lead to relationship breakdowns. Spending time with friends and enjoying a social life then become difficult as a result, and isolation and frustration easily step in. Consequently, it could come full circle and result in not being able to function efficiently at the very job that was sacrificed for the well-being in the first place.

With that being said it also pays to be wary of the other extreme, where too much emphasis on family, friends and socialising can lead to poor work performance, which will likely be quickly picked up on by peers and managers. 

Take action!

If the appropriate steps are taken to ensure that the right balance is found between life inside and outside of work there’s no doubting the positive impact it can have on performance in all aspects of life. Capitalise on any opportunities for managing the work-life balance at your workplace, set priorities, even adopt time management techniques and take control of your work-life balance today!