National Work Life Week is taking place from 11 – 15 October 2021 and Working Families’ annual campaign aims to get employers and employees talking about wellbeing at work and work-life balance. There has been heightened interest in these areas over recent years, with renewed focus being placed on them as employers and employees begin to settle into the ‘new normal’.
Whilst flexible working requests may become more common in some organisations (further information about flexible working can be found here), other organisations may be thinking about what they can do more generally to support employees with work-life balance and workplace wellbeing. If you are one of those employers, here’s three simple tips that may help with a ‘good balance’.
Three Top Tips
1. Create an ‘appropriate hours’ culture
We’ve all heard of the ‘long-hours’ culture, and whilst it can be necessary for employees to work extra hours on occasions, encouraging employees to finish work on time where possible can have benefits for employees’ work-life balance and for the organisation too. Sometimes employees work extra hours not because it is needed, but because it has become a habit, they think it is expected or they have fears over job security and feel they need to be seen to be ‘putting in the hours’. Employees may not necessarily be as productive or effective when working longer hours and can become fatigued over time. Creating an ‘appropriate hours’ culture can help support employees to remain focussed and perform at their best.
2. It is helpful to be prepared
Whether an employee finds themselves dealing with a domestic issue such as a broken boiler, needing to book a routine dental appointment or is experiencing a more serious life event such as a bereavement, it is helpful to ensure that employees are aware of the organisation’s policies and approach to such matters. This can take some of the stress out of the situation and in some cases enable employees to make appropriate plans, contributing to a positive work-life balance.
3. Empower those with people management responsibilities to step in where needed
A key part of wellbeing at work is appropriately monitoring and managing performance so that action can be taken where needed to support an employee who is having difficulties. Knowing how to spot if someone may be struggling and being able to have a sensitive conversation with them is important, not only from an employee welfare perspective but also from a performance and employment law one as well in terms of informing what action, if any, should be taken. Whilst such conversations may come naturally to some managers, others may find them more difficult, particularly if they are new to people management. Ensuring managers and supervisors are appropriately trained and supported can empower them to step in when needed, which can make a real difference to employees and the organisation as a whole.
If you have an employment law matter you would like assistance with, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we are happy to help.