Lovewell’s logic: Work-life balance takes centre stage

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck

How well does your organisation support employees’ work-life balance?

This week, Glassdoor revealed the top 20 organisations providing employees with a good work-life balance, based on staff ratings submitted to the jobs and recruitment site. The list comprises employers from a wide variety of industry sectors, including Goodman Masson, Cisco Systems, HomeServe UK, Lola Staffing, American Express and BP, to name but a few.

This was followed by research by Grass Roots, which found that, by 2025, flexible-working arrangements will be the most coveted employee benefit. Its Future of Work report showed that nearly half of the employees surveyed hoped to achieve an improved work-life balance in the future.

As technology and business needs increasingly mean the traditional nine-to-five is a thing of the past for many employees, the boundaries between work and home life often begin to blur.

Ensuring that employees are still able to achieve a good work-life balance, however, has proven benefits for employers and staff alike. A report published by The Work Foundation earlier this year, Working anywhere: A winning formula for good work? which looked at the rise of mobile working, for example, found that the benefits for employers included: increased productivity, improved employee wellbeing and better staff recruitment and retention.

Yet, interestingly, in recent weeks, I’ve also had conversations with individuals (none of whom work for any of the organisations named above) about the disconnect between their employer’s public stance on issues such as work-life balance and the reality of the organisation’s culture. In some instances, while an organisation declares itself to support employees in achieving a good work-life balance, in reality, line managers may have very different expectations for their teams. So, unless employers engage managers at all levels with work-life balance policies, employees working for the same organisation may have very different experiences.

And with websites, such as Glassdoor giving employees a forum to express their views, it may not be too long before organisations that merely pay lip service to issues such as work-life balance find themselves on a very different kind of list.

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
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