Work plays an important part in all our lives. Our income ensures that the home and hearth stay functional. It is not easy to attain work-life balance in today’s unpredictable business world. Especially since the pandemic, we have grown progressively more connected through technology and social media. The work from home situation is making it difficult to separate work from our personal lives. It is routine to check emails at odd hours, take professional calls at the dinner table and work on our laptops on weekends.
The catchword “work-life balance” has become popular in recent years. This is somewhat due to the increasing presence of millennials in the workforce. Employers have been striving to regulate the best way to appeal to millennial workers. Many industry leaders think it’s time to redefine what work-life balance looks like, with the millennial generation of workers projected to take up 75% of the workforce by 2025,
Over the years, approach to work-life balance has been constantly developing. Many millennials don’t care for standard perks, instead, they are more interested in finding a career path that will sustain the “lifestyle” that they have envisioned for themselves. While free coffee isn’t necessarily jeered at in this generation, it’s imperative for employers to appreciate that the same factors, like pay, career trajectory, job location, etc. that have influenced past generations to select which company to work for, are still an important discerning issue to the largest working generation of today.
Upholding a healthy work-life balance is not only vital for health and relationships, but it can also improve you’re an employee’s efficiency, and eventually performance as well. To put simply, if people don’t view work as a bore, then they will put in more effort at work, make less mistakes and will be more likely to become champions for the organisation. Focussing on work-life balance will enable organizations to attract a valuable in-house talent-pool for new recruits and improve retention rates, thereby saving time and money.
It’s but obvious that when we are overworked, exhausted or stressed – our health will be compromised. By encouraging the workforce to find balance, a company will significantly minimize health problems and absenteeism. This will ensure that people want to be part of the business and culture of that organisation. Helping employees find the perfect balance between work and home, will increase their engagement levels. This has many positive effects: According to Tower Perrin’s 2006 global survey; “Companies with highly-engaged employees had a near 52% gap in performance improvement in operating income.” Additionally – “Companies with high levels of employee engagement improved 19.2% in operating income while companies with low levels of employee engagement declined 32.7%.”
Designing a flexible work culture is one of the best ways to gratify the work-life balance needs of most workers – irrespective of the generation they belong to. A flexible work environment can decrease stress, improve job satisfaction and assist employees to maintain better work habits.
When employers prioritize a healthy culture, where every staff is happy in their roles, work will feel more attractive, and less like working for a pay check.
So, as a professional, don't strive for the perfect schedule; attempt for a realistic one. Remember to pause, pay attention to when you are most productive at work and reserve that time for your most important work-related activities. Rethink priorities, assess alternatives, and implement the desired changes — throughout personal and professional lives.
Written By: Prof. Avirupa Bhaduri Faculty – Media & Communication ISB&M Kolkata