Work life balance
Getting the work life balance right in an organization is the key factor for staff retention, employment law and sickness. Work life balance is more then a legislation that practices good working conditions its there to help your well being as well as the company. So how does having a work life balance benefit a company? Well it means staff are more likely to have long term commitment with a company. First of all it complements the life cycle of career, marriage and family. Sure their maybe companies who may overwork their employees. Management may ask staff to work overtime instead of recruiting more staff. Staff may be denied holidays due to lack of staff or feel pressured to work longer hours through guilt. Whenever this happens employees may suffer weak family life and feel de motivated at work.
When employees feel that they are expected to work overtime that’s when there is an issue. The word commitment and the phrase “go that extra mile” or “treat it like your own business” are all strong persuasive techniques to staff to make them feel that by being more flexible, on standby or ready to work extra hours in short notice will get you recognition.
In my experience I believe having the best punctuality and attendance for over 7 years is related to my attention to my work life balance. Although at times employees are felt through assessments to exceed and go above standard and achieve exceptional standard you should be willing to swop shift, work longer hours, accept over time when asked or even request to work on major public holidays on your days off.
So what’s the big fuss about work life balance? Well up until 1980’s everybody had an image of traditional working pattern of 37-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Things have evolved due to business demands, competition, outsourcing, and globalization and multinational companies. This has lead having work patterns change to part time, flexi-time, temporary and zero hours. Sunday trading restrictions are now relaxed. However other ways things have been improved is by the 2007 work & families act and the adjustments to paternity leave to allow fathers to spend time with there new born child. Organizations have still got long way to go to support female workers in senior roles. Women who reduce her hours should not mean she has to reduce her status.
Some of the ways companies can tackle this is by focusing in performance management rather then just doing certain amount of hours. There are certain organizations were senior managers only do half of there scheduled hours per day if targets are comfortably achieved. This will approach will also suit working mothers in senior roles. In addition with citrix company applications, company email systems and company social network sites such as yammer it gives the tools for staff to work away from work.
What is equally important to seek low staff turnover and a fair work life balance is for staff to have an open dialogue from senior management to subordinates. Most corporate companies follow a chain of command with no direct communication. Allot of its about maintaining power among staff. A good example is were yearly Rota is kept by senior management only. Training programs are booked on subordinate’s day off without consulting them even though individual company email facility is available. Ultimately to have a good work life balance is part of good leadership, honesty and open communication.
Tips to achieve Work life balance at work place[line_list]
- Check company contract
- Check employee handbook
- Seek information from ACAS.
- Seek information from ( The working Time Regulations 1998 and the working time (amendment) regulations 2003.
- Find out whats expected from you at employee reviews and cross check on your contract.
- Find out whether your company is able to do flexible working, compressed hours or even part-time if you have other commitments outside of work.
For further information regarding work life balance please visit Trade Union TUC, ACAS and The Mental Health organisation.
Holiday Notice Requirements/ Acas.org.uk