Is your workforce struggling with their work/life balance? Helen Swire thinks it might cause a less than amicable break-up

break up

The beginning of 2016 saw the media dominated by the conversation about Brexit – the end of the year has been consumed by another ‘B’, another breakdown of a relationship, another separation.

I am, of course, referring to Brangelina. Social media, in particular, has been on fire with gossip about the reason for the latest Hollywood separation: from the by-products of fame such as drink, drugs and affairs, to those issues that affect most ‘normal’ relationships, such as the struggle to balance work and family commitments adequately.

Brad and Angelina Jolie-Pitt aside, and in spite of such government measures as the right to request flexible working, and shared parental leave, a poor work/life balance seems to remain a persistent problem for the workplace.

Reward has recently written about how 49% of UK workers would like to improve this balance (Grass Roots), and how 35% of Brits say that their work schedule is detrimental to their relationship with their partner (Coople). Meanwhile, 60% of workers say that they feel happier when working from home (SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) Workers report).

With the quintessential family time of Christmas fast-approaching, the issue is more topical than ever – especially in light of the hot topic of workplace wellbeing playing a key role in HR strategies. Anything that can contribute to an employee’s happiness and relaxation at all times, including at home, is only going to have a positive impact on their engagement and productivity at work.

How you can support employees to this end varies by workplace and there is no such thing as ‘one-size-fits-all’ – but with the progression of employee benefit technology it is becoming easier for employers to measure the needs of their staff, and reward and care for them in a way that resonates.

Many organisations are now thinking in these terms, and Reward will shortly be re-opening the entry process for our 2017 Very Important Benefit awards (VIBs), where we will celebrate those companies who have demonstrated excellence in employee benefits and reward. Keep an eye out for the launch…

And as we reach the start of a new year, take the opportunity to think about your employees’ needs, in and outside of work, to keep them engaged and to deter them from deciding to split – however amicably – from your company.