National Work Life Week is 1-5 October launched by Working Families in 2010. The week aims to promote the balance between working and home life.
Working Families is the UK’s work life balance charity. They support and advocate on behalf of working parents and carers, and work with employers to create workplaces which encourage work life balance for everyone. Working Families provides a range of support for parents and carers, including through the legal advice service.
What benefits are gained from achieving a work life balance?
- 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.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important for health and relationships, and can not only improve your employee’s productivity, but ultimately performance. Put simply, if your people don’t view work as a chore, they will as a result work harder, make fewer mistakes and are more likely to become advocates for your brand.
The importance of work-life balance
In today’s society it is common for employees to have many competing responsibilities in their life. Examples of responsibilities away from work
- care commitments involving children or elderly relatives
- education commitments that limit availability at times of the week/month/year
- duties and/or interests outside of work
- needing to be available for religious observances
- people wanting a greater sense of well-being and reduced stress levels
A poor balance between an employee’s work commitments and their other responsibilities can lead to stress, high absence and low productivity. Employees who have a better work-life balance often have a greater sense of responsibility, ownership and control of their working life. If an employer helps an employee to balance their work and home life this can create increased loyalty and commitment. They may also feel more able to focus on their work and to develop their career.
Types of Flexible Working
- Job sharing – two people do one job and split the hours
- Working from home – it might be possible to do some or all of the work from home or anywhere else other than the normal place of work
- Part time – working less than full time hours (usually by working fewer days)
- Compressed hours – working full-time hours but over fewer days
- Flexitime – the employee chooses when to start and end work within agreed limits but works certain ‘core hours’
- Annualised hours – the employee has to work a set number of hours over the year but they have some flexibility about when they work. There can sometimes be ‘core hours’ which the employee works each week, and they work the rest of their hours flexibly or if there’s extra demand at work.
- Staggered hours – the employee has a different start, finish and break times from other employees
- Phased retirement – older workers can choose when they want to retire after their official retirement age. They can reduce their hours and work part-time
The Top Employers for Working Families Benchmark 2019
Working Families established The Top Employers for Working Families Benchmark in 2010. It is UK-wide and open to all Working Families’ employer members.
The benchmark is a way for employers to see whether they are ahead or behind the curve in the development of flexible and family friendly working, and to get tailored feedback and next steps support from Working Families. To register an interest in taking part in the 2019 benchmark contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Are your policies up to date?
Employers and employees can get involved by joining networks and staff associations, organising training events or fun events such as quizzes and fundraising activities. It’s the perfect time to refresh company policies and promote diversity and role models across an organisation. Kidwells offer Employment and HR packages and HR Health Checks giving you peace of mind your business is running smoothly. Our solicitors can also provide guidance on employment contracts, changing terms of employment, settlement agreements, early conciliation and employment law.