This working life

National Work-Life Week 2016 will take place from Monday 3 – Friday 7 October and provides an opportunity for both employers and employees to focus on well-being at work and work-life balance. Employers can use the week to provide a range of relevant activities for staff, and to promote their flexible working policies and practices.

The campaign encourages people to ‘go home on time’ on Wednesday 5 October as research shows that many parents are working far longer than their contracted hours every week. With 24/7 connectivity, it’s now not as simple to leave work behind at the office door. Technology enables us to work wherever, whenever and although that may help work/life balance, it could also damage it.

national-work-life-weekThere is evidence that women rather than men, and those on higher incomes, are more likely to work flexibly. Four out of ten younger fathers say they are willing to take a pay cut to improve their work-life balance. National Work Life Week is an opportunity to remind staff that flexible working is available to all employees, not just women or high value or senior staff. All jobs can be done on a flexible basis.

Family friendly and flexible

Here are some ideas to help staff with well-being at work and work-life balance:

  • Offer lunchtime work life balance or workplace resilience advice to your staff – ask a senior manager to share insights on how they balance their time
  • Highlight great examples of people working flexibly in your work force, whether it’s because of parenthood, caring responsibilities, accommodating a non-work activity, progressing towards retirement or managing a portfolio career
  • Encourage employees to use digital devices to increase flexibility over when and where they work rather than an ‘always on’ approach to working hours
  • Promote family friendly and flexible working policies, practices and case studies in staff newsletters and staff intranet
  • Encourage employee networks to hold events to mark the week
  • Encourage employees to share on social media what helps them achieve a better work-life balance, using the hashtag #timetorebalance

Aim to lead from the top on this – if senior members of staff leave on time, it’s sends a very clear message to staff that this behaviour is acceptable. Put the CEO and HR department centre stage, to reach out the workforce who are perhaps feeling the strain of combining work duties and family commitments.

Measure output not attendance

At 10Eighty we think that people should be measured on output rather than hours and furthermore the traditional hours of ‘9-5’ are no longer relevant in the modern workplace. Peer pressure to be seen in the office prevents the benefits that working flexibly brings, such as improved morale, high levels of employer loyalty and productivity gains.

How we organise the workplace has an impact on wellbeing which in turn improves employee engagement and ultimately business performance. Research last year shows that half of UK workers (54%) are aware of the Government’s right to request flexible working legislation but so far only a fifth (23%) have acted upon it.

If you want to be as productive and efficient as possible make flexible working a priority.

Join the conversation

Why not tweet your thoughts and experiences during National Work-Life Week using #TimeToRebalance.

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Michael Moran – CEO 10Eighty

A blog about career and talent management, things that might help you with your career and in your job.