What is Work-Life Balance?
- WORK AND LIFE: the ability to effectively take care of work responsibilities and life/family/personal responsibilities without compromising one for the other
- LIFE AT WORK: a workplace that is positive, supportive, places reasonable demands on its workers, and provides avenues that allows workers to grow professionally and establish connections with colleagues.
What is Workplace Flexibility?
- WORKING IN NEW WAYS. Ensuring an effective workplace today requires supervisors to think creatively in defining how, where, and when work gets done and how careers are organized. It is important as a recruitment and retention tool, and improves the bottom line.
- SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE. While the best interests of the organization are primary, and while there are certainly flexibility constraints depending on the type of job being performed and contractual requirements, there are many creative options to consider. While different options are appropriate for different types of employees, everyone can be afforded some sort of flexibility – it is not reserved for those with family responsibilities, or for those who don’t punch a time clock.
- SUPERVISOR SUPPORT IS KEY. The one, and most important, thing all supervisors can do is become educated about how to create a flexible workplace culture, and to be understanding and responsive to employee’s work-life balance needs. Research shows that employees who feel their supervisors will work with them to find work-life accomodations when needed are much more satisfied and more productive in their jobs. Not all employees need regular flexibility in their working arrangements, but all employees need the reassurance that they have a supervisor who can be easily approached if a situation arises requiring some kind of alternative arrangement.
- THINK BROADLY ABOUT FLEXIBILITY. Flexibility doesn’t just mean re-arranging working hours. It can also mean allowing employees time during the day for professional development and networking activities, health and wellness activities, etc. It requires a life-course perspective, being attuned to the changing needs of employees over time and changing life situations.