Work-life balance is good for businesses
In the past decade there has been a notable shift from people working all hours for maximum pay towards seeking flexible working arrangements and gaining a better worklife balance.
Flexible working arrangements have many benefits, and not just for employees.
They also benefit workplaces and employers since a better balance has been shown to lead to increased job satisfaction, improved job retention and decreased absenteeism. So what is flexible work? It’s giving people a say over the hours they work, the times and days they work, or where they work. It includes: Flexible start and finish times. Flexible hours worked to get the job done (including working a certain number of hours over a day, week or year, with employee choice when they are worked).
Working from home part or all the time.
Part-time work or reduced hours (such as school hours only). Job sharing. Extra unpaid leave provisions. Five years ago an amendment was made to the Employer Relations Act (2000), which now entitles employees who care for someone the right to request flexible working arrangements.
So parents, that means that under law you can request flexibility in your role to help you achieve that elusive best balance in life.
New Zealand workplaces are increasingly picking up on this.
Every year the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment carries out a national survey of employers and results from 2011/2012 show that 95 per cent of employers offered staff one or more flexible working arrangements.
We are seeing a slow shift going on in the world of employment.
Not only are employers increasingly offering these arrangements, but workers are taking them up on it.
The shift has been led by technological advances that certainly help, giving us the ability to work from anywhere – we don’t all need to be in the same office to network, meet or chat.
Workplaces are increasingly using Skype, smartphones, social media, webinars and conferencing to conduct business.
Parents, in particular, need flexible working hours to meet the needs of their children for the before and after school juggle of homework and activities, and during school holidays.
The more flexible parents’ working arrangements are, the less stress there is on the family.
As any parent will tell you, it is really difficult to find the right position that is flexible enough to work around family life.
It’s disappointing to continue to see the vast majority of job vacancies advertised as ‘‘fulltime permanent’’.
Employers could offer reduced hours and job sharing from the outset and might be surprised by the resulting calibre of job applicants.
Employees who have a say over their working arrangements don’t suffer the burnout that fulltimers do, and tend to be more engaged and productive.
It’s a wellness thing, but it’s also great for business.
You can find out more about flexible working arrangements and the law at dol.govt.nz. video their