October is National Work and Family Month so we wanted to dedicate this month’s blog post to the topic of Work-Life Balance.Have you ever heard someone say, “Happy wife, happy life?” In our brief review of the subject of work-life balance it seems the same thing can be said about the employee/employer relationship. If employees feel that their employers instill a culture where work-life balance is important, the employers are often rewarded with employees who are more loyal, attentive and committed. And the benefits do not hinge on employees actually participating in the work-life services offered by their employer. Employees just need to be reassured that the service is there and that they have the option to participate if they want to.So how does an organization go about creating this culture? First we will look at the advantages of creating a work culture where work-life balance is important both to employees and employers. Next we’ll list some ideas for creating this culture and lastly, we’ll list some resources you can follow for more information.1). AdvantagesWork-Life balance advantages: EmployeesA good work/life balance can enable employees to feel more in control of their working life and lead to:

  • Increased productivity
  • Lower absenteeism
  • A happier, less stressed workforce
  • Improvements in employee health and well-being
  • A more positive perception of you as an employer
  • Greater employee loyalty, commitment and motivation

Work-Life balance advantages: EmployersThe benefits of a work-life balance initiative are not confined to just the workforce. Work-life policies and flexible working practices can also help you to:

  • Measured increases in employee accountability and commitment
  • Better teamwork and communication
  • Improved morale
  • Increased engagement and commitment levels
  • Less negative organizational stress
  • Reduces Staff Turnover and Recruitment Costs
  • React to changing market conditions more effectively and meet customer demands – for example, shift work, part-time work and flexitime can help you open longer without making your employees work longer hours
  • Meet seasonal peaks and troughs in your business boost your competitiveness
  • Become recognised as a business that people want to work for

2) Ideas for implementation• Flexible working practices. This includes:

  • part-time working
  • flexi-time
  • job sharing
  • working from home

• Unpaid career breaks and paid sabbatical schemes• Allowing your employees extra days off work – whether paid or unpaid• Holiday purchase schemes enable employees to buy additional – usually limited – holidays on top of their annual entitlement• Giving employees maternity, paternity, adoption or parental leave in excess of the statutory minimum, eg higher pay or longer leave• Organize Family/Employee Events• Make the working environment more attractive. Typical techniques include:

  • Free exercise classes
  • A free/subsidised canteen
  • Company Days Out
  • Childcare Vouchers
  • Funding or time-off for learning

3) Resources/Further ReadingThis article is a further exploration into what we’ve described above. “How Work-Life Balance can Keep Your Employees Happy and Your Business Healthy from Inc. Magazine http://www.inc.com/john-rampton/how-work-life-balance-can-keep-your-employees-happy-and-your-business-healthy.htmlNeed more reasons why Work-Life Balance is important. “Work and Life Balance: Good for People, Good for Business” from the Huffington Posthttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-boyce/work-and-life-balance-good-for-people-good-for-business_b_8410466.htmlThe importance of having paid time off and encouraging employees to use it. “Why I took a vacation and Didn’t Look Back”, from WorldatWork http://blog.worldatwork.org/2016/08/why-i-took-vacation-and-didnt-look-back.htmlNigel Marsh presents and writes on business and personal life — and how the two interact. “How to Make Work-Life Balance Work” VIDEO from his TED Talkhttps://www.ted.com/talks/nigel_marsh_how_to_make_work_life_balance_work?language=en?utm_source=tedcomshare&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=tedspreadWorklifeBalance.com offers tips, classes and a free monthly newsletter dedicated to creating Work-Life Balance for individuals and organizations.http://worklifebalance.com/work-life-balance-tips.html

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