Around ten years ago the only goal of a business was make a profit. Almost all businesses still have that goal, but many have added another goal to their business plan. That goal is keeping their employees satisfied. This satisfaction is most often obtained by coming to the realization that all employees have a life outside of work that is just as important, if not more, than their career.
Pleasing each and every employee is a difficult task; however, many employers have found a way to accomplish that task. By incorporating work-life balance into their organization many business owners have seen the increase in employee happiness and performance. The goal of work-life balance is to obtain a healthy balance between work and life. Even though each business is likely to implement their own style of work-life balance there are a few common practices.
Long hours and overworked employees is a common scene in many workplaces. To prevent this scene from occurring there are many employers who are hiring two employees to fill one job. This practice is known as job sharing. Job sharing works by dividing work time, benefits, vacations, and pay between two workers. Job sharing makes it possible for employees to work a steady job while still being able to tend to their life outside of work.
In addition to job sharing, it is now becoming standard practice for an employer to offer their employees flexible hours. In many cases the hours that an employee would like to work are predetermined during the hiring process; however, they can also be established on a weekly or monthly basis. Not all companies, but a number of them are now allowing their employees to actually pick the hours that they work each week. In this situation, employees will signup to work a particular shift if they are available to do so.
Working from home is another alternative work arrangement that enables more employees to be at home with their family. There are many employers who are only looking to hire at home workers. In addition to full or part-time at home workers, it is possible for a traditional employee to occasionally work from home when it is convenient for everyone involved.
Since a large portion of the working population has a family that they must care for there are family medical leave programs. These programs make it possible for an employee to take time off from work if they or one of their family members becomes injured or ill. Many employers will pay their employees for an agreed upon time and after that the leave can continue, but without pay.
For parents the most popular way that work-life balance is brought into the workplace is through onsite child care. Onsite childcare, also known as daycare, is often provided free of charge by many employers. A childcare center is typically located in the same building, which allows parents to visit their children whenever they want to. Onsite child care is beneficial to all parents, but it is especially beneficial new mothers who are just reentering the workforce.
Flexible hours, job sharing, onsite child care, and family medical leaves are just a few of the many ways that an employer can incorporate the work-life balance into their organization. When an employer first establishes a work-life balance policy it is likely that the policy will be put into place over a period of time. Once that business realizes the benefits of having a work-life balance policy it is likely that the above mentioned work alternatives will all be in place.
— Jennifer Foote.
This is the end of the series of Achieving Work-Life Balance. Hope you enjoyed it.
Other articles in the series:
- Achieving Work-Life Balance #4: Finding a Career with an Employer that Values the Work-Life Balance
- Achieving Work-Life Balance #3: Not Just for Those with Families
- Achieving Work-Life Balance #2: Long Work Hours and the Impact It May Have On Your Family
- Achieving Work-Life Balance #1: How You, Your Family, and Your Employer Can Benefit from It