WORK LIFE BALANCE, IS IT POSSIBLE?

All organisations exist for a particular reason and/ or purpose. The importance of work in the lives of the workforce is more than we can imagine and the influence it has is such that the whole of your existence can be shaped by the work you do. Some of the scholars in the Human Capital Management space urges that work is more than a way to earn money. It is an opportunity to use our skills and abilities and to feel successful and effective. It also provides a context in which to have meaningful relationships with other people.

 

One way to demonstrate the importance of work in the lives of the workforce can be observed by the amount of time we spend at work as opposed at our homes. A typical person working week consists of 5 days, with a minimum of 9 hours spent at work in each day and the weekend just consist of 2 days. For some of the workers in lower level positions and or blue collar workers, a typical week consist of even 6 working days and most likely more than 9 hours in each day. This leaves them just one day for resting and spending time within the social circles outside our work environment. Experts agree: the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

 

Organisation Psychology purports that although it may seem reasonable that companies should concentrate on “the bottom line,” focusing exclusively on the economic results of work may not always be the best way to do business. Other important factors that have been the subject of organizational research also matter, including management approaches, job satisfaction, employee commitment, the meaning of work, and leadership styles. In the modern era where employee wellness is featuring and more on the human strategic agenda, what is your organisation doing to enable an environment where employees can develop, flourish and find a sustainable balance between work and life priorities. It is a responsibility of the employer to facilitate such work-life balance or it is the onus on the employees to find the environment and where personal goals and work related goals are aligned?

 

According to the survey conducted by Harvard Business Review; a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week. Given this concentration of time at work, organisations should be spending a considerable effort, time and financial resources to ensure that the employees are engaged and kept at optimum conditions so that they can continuously contribute meaningfully to the organisational strategic objectives but are also enjoying the balance between work and family or social life. It should not be a question of focusing on them as working tools and neglect the well being and the impact work has on their social and family settings. Is your organisation doing enough to ensure that employees are engaged and assisted to find the balance, or better yet is your organisation actively providing means and ways of ensuring that employees are exposed to elements that can facilitate work-life balance?

By Sthembiso Ntshangase, MD Sobethu Consulting



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