Yes, offering flexible working hours is a fantastic initiative for those organisations and job roles where it is an option. I am particularly passionate about organisations ensuring that staff work hours are managed appropriately, to avoid the inevitable burn out.
However, what about those organisations or job roles where flexible working hours just don't work. Is this the end of work life balance for them?
You've also got to keep in mind that flexible hours just means that your work hours are redistributed. There are still only 24 hours in a day. Flexible hours don't provide staff with more time, just modified time.
So what else can you do?
Why not investigate, in conjunction with flexible hours, some other work life balance options for your staff!
The first step in the process is to ask. A novel idea, I know, but have you ever asked your staff, formally, what work life balance means to them? Have you ever brainstormed ideas with them to come up with more creative solutions that match your organisation? Have you ever sent them a survey to get some real data on what they are currently doing and what they actually want?
When thinking of work life balance, often it is seen to be time consuming or expensive, and just not a realistic proposition. However, there are ways to improve the work life balance within your oganisation, that are straightforward, inexpensive and creative.
So what are other organisations doing? Here are some ideas:
American Express - have banned all emails on weekends and vacations for all staff. They also ensure that all staff have left by 6:30pm.
Wegmans Food Markets - provide onsite flu-shots and health checks
NetApp Australia - have a huge program including financial training, volunteer time off and tuition reimbursement
So what are you doing? If your organisation is doing something amazing in Work Life Balance, or if you have a great idea, we'd love to hear from you! Let's share our knowledge so we can improve Work Life Balance world wide.
Need help? Lifestyle Elements can help you with surveying your staff and can also talk to you about providing your organisation with our corporate concierge services, tailored to the needs of your staff and organisation. Get in touch and start talking about work life balance in your organisation!
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