More Employers Taking Action on Work-Life Balance
Nearly nine out of ten employers report excessive workloads and long hours as a top source of employee stress, according to results of the Towers Watson Staying @Work survey, a biennial study of North American companies’ health and productivity practices. And the prevalence of each of these stressors has risen significantly over the past two years: 89% of employees surveyed said excessive workload and long hours is a problem, compared to just 64% in years prior.
The good news, however, is that more employers are taking action this year to address causes of workplace stress, including taking action on work-life balance, lack of supervisor support and inadequate staffing.
This is important, as key results from the survey show a strong link between health and productivity strategies with financial results and business outcomes. About 66% of companies with highly effective health and productivity programs report they perform better than their top competitors, versus 50% of companies with ineffective programs. They also report fewer lost days due to unplanned absences and disability.
So, while it may seem counter-intuitive to be spending during difficult economic times, the positive effects on an organization, reduced absenteeism and overall bottom line may make wellness strategies worthwhile, organizations are discovering.
Tips for achieving work-life balance
About 38% of professionals identify work–life balance as a top contributor to their job satisfaction, according to another survey from the staffing service OfficeTeam. Opportunities to learn and grow came in second, with 20% of the response.
Since employees appreciate the ability to successfully juggle business and personal obligations, OfficeTeam offers five tips managers can use to help their teams achieve work-life balance:
- BE FLEXIBLE
If it’s practical for your business, offer alternative work arrangements such as modified schedules or job sharing.
- ALLOW WORKING FROM HOME
Reduce employee’s commute time by giving personnel whose jobs can be done remotely the option of working from home one or more days a week.
- BE MINDFUL OF PERSONAL TIME
Avoid contacting staff outside of office hours unless the matter is urgent and cannot wait until the next business day.
- TAKE A BREATHER
Remind workers to take breaks and vacations. Set a good example by doing so yourself.
- BRING IN REINFORCEMENTS
Encourage employees to seek help when they are overwhelmed with projects. Use temporary professionals, when necessary, to alleviate workloads.