Things are changing in the corporate world. These days, employers are starting to recognize the importance of
encouraging a work-life balance among their employees. And, in today’s competitive job market, family-friendly work environments are becoming all the rage – for a good reason.
Research has demonstrated that over-worked, stressed-out employees who are having difficulty balancing work and other life commitments result in lower productivity, decreased job satisfaction, illness, absenteeism and high turnover. Accordingly, it has become almost imperative to adjust company policy to accommodate the realization that the life “balance” of employees has a direct impact on business results.
What Is It?
So what exactly are work-life programs? Essentially, a work-life program is defined as “…any benefits, policies, or programs that help create a better balance between the demands of the job and healthy management (and enjoyment) of life outside work.” (Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety). Examples of such initiatives include maternity/paternity leave policies, flexible work schedules, child and elder care programs, and so on.
Who’s Doing It?
Such a great deal of value has been placed on the work-life balance as of late that it has actually garnered international attention. In fact, governments and companies of industrialized countries worldwide are adopting “family-friendly” policies to help alleviate the longstanding work-life paradox.
What Can I Do?
There are plenty of resources and ways to get started on adopting a work-life program for your corporate environment. For some fantastic resources and starting tips, visit the Human Resources Social Development Canada (HRSDC) website.
Work-Life Programs Ideas
How your work-life program will look is unique to your organization. Finding out from your staff what their needs are is the best place to start. In the meantime, here are some program ideas:
- Flexible work schedules
- On-site childcare
- Fitness membership
- Leave of absence policies – ie. Educational, family, etc.
- Seminars and workshops on a variety of topics
- Training and educational improvement programs