Training & Performance

The Balancing Act

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The back to school season is upon us, so we thought it would be helpful to highlight the importance of having workplace policies and programs that support work/life balance.   While some managers may be reluctant to offer these types of benefits to employees; it is essential to seek out ways to help employees better integrate their personal and professional lives.  Here are just a few programs that may help promote balance in your organization:

Flexible Scheduling – Flexible Scheduling is simply the practice of allowing employees to choose their work hours within limits established by the employer.  The ability to push back the start of the workday by an hour may make a really big difference to a parent with a child in school.  Conversely, arriving earlier in the morning may be an optimal for the employee who is a caretaker to an aging parent.

Compressed Work Week – The compressed work week is a schedule which breaks from the traditional Monday through Friday, eight hours per day.  More common examples of a compressed work week allows for four, ten hour days for a given week.  Another common design provides for employees to have every-other Friday off in a two week period as eighty hours are worked over the course of nine days in a two week period.

Telecommuting Arrangements.  Telecommuting allows employees to perform all, or a portion of their work remotely, one or more days per week.  Although you may be reluctant to offer this benefit to employees because of the difficulty in gauging the level of productivity, 48% of managers indicate that teleworkers are just as productive as in-office employees.   Prior to implementation, map out an ongoing system to ensure objectives are being met.

Employer Sponsored Personal Services.  Coordinating the use of personal service platforms for employees during work hours could relieve them of some of the stressful burdens they carry throughout the day.   These service might include a dry cleaning pick up service, coordinating travel services, establishing fitness rooms or arranging take and bake meal services.

As with implementing any new program, there should be periodic monitoring to ensure that the intended result is achieved; ask employees for feedback!  Also, be sure to engage your employees prior to implementation to determine their needs.

References
2016 – World at Work:  Paid Time Off Programs & Practices… https://www.worldatwork.org/adimLink?id=80292