As part of a project I was doing on Work-Life Balance, I asked this question in LinkedIn on what some of the members thought of Work Life balance and what one thing they (or their organization) did to build the Work Life Balance.
I got some very good responses. Many came back with specific items that they were doing to achieve this goal. During the last week, having read some books & thought through this, I have changed my perspective on WLB a bit as well 🙂
In my opinion- Work Life Balance is not the responsibility of the Organization only. For this to be successful, it needs every employee’s involvement (and commitment) as much as the Organizations direction.
I got the feedback from a host of people across the world from various spectrums of life. Click here for LinkedIn Answers. However, one of the elements that was highlighted was what the company should do … not many mentioned that the responsibility is as important from an employee’s point of view as it is from the company.
The employee needs to-
a) Have a VERY Clear and defined GOAL to create the balance in his life. It should be written down, clearly defined, and followed through very closely. If for example, the goal is to ensure that I attend all my daughter’s school functions, it should be defined clearly upfront, and shared with the manager well in advance. This way the employee also demonstrates his planning plus ensures that the company’s interests are not compromised in any way.
b) Aware of the policies of the company so that he can make a clear and education decision on the next steps.
c) Be sure that he will use the right schemes to ensure that he gets the right benefit.
d) Commit to ensure that he/she will NOT misuse the scheme (this I think is one of the main reasons many companies are averse to thinking of more such schemes).
From an Organization point of view- it is important to note that many of them already have policies. In many cases, these are well-kept secrets and neither the employee nor the managers know or offer them. HR & the Top Management play a key role to share this information on a regular basis + this message then percolate to the Field Managers who need to execute.
– Another element for an Organization is to constantly lookout for potential areas of improvement- and share it with the customers. This should include gathering feedback from employees & looking at new models to adopt every year.
Here are some of the great tips I saw…
– Ask Roger Federer, Robbie Williams or a farmer or a painter. Are they living or working or doing both or doing nothing? While they are doing nothing they do 99.9999999 percent of their work. Concentration, focus, waiting, reading the situation, looking for that magic instant. Living the moment. Catching the wave. Alex Rotenberg
– Going home. :). Seriously, I agree that Work-Life balance only arises when the work we’re doing is out of alignment with our expectations of life. A best-practice work-life balance would then be one that re-contextualize my work as an outpouring of my life.
– Quote from Donald Trump – "Do not worry about work – life balance, just make your work more pleasurable.
– No surprise that few Corporations are including Gyms at premises as well as day care centers to try to phantom the creation of balance for their employees – Sahar Andrade
– Getting up, walking thru my kitchen to my office – now that is work-life balance. It’s about loving what you do and not forgetting your priorities. For me, it was about getting out of corporate, and doing something more meaningful to me – something that I could control. For others, it could mean something else. Ideally, though, I agree with Trump’s quote – don’t worry about the balance – just make your work more enjoyable! – Emily Kuhl
– The availability of a wellness centre, onsite masseurs, yoga classes, a concierge service, the assignment of points to be used to hire people to run errands, $500 toward elder or childcare, plus three ‘balance’ days to be taken at any time. – Judy B Margolis
– Insisting that employees take a lunch break. Creating excuses for the office to celebrate. Encouraging at least a leisurely walk during a lunch break. Discouraging long work hours. Providing gifts for client’s and their families (i.e., gift certificates at family restaurants) – Juan Garcia Ph.D
– Flexible working hour policy and the option of occasionally work from home facility. – Nipsy Jhamb
– We permit parents to bring children in for brief parental transfers. – Jane Plank