Research by Investec Private Banking has revealed that a quarter of UK workers are unhappy with their current work-life balance.
The survey of 2000 professionals found that 29% of workers felt that their work-life balance had got worse since 2010 but 33% said that they felt more optimistic about striking a better work-life balance over the coming five years.
Professionals in London are least likely to ‘switch off’ from work, with 38% of workers saying that their friends and family described them as ‘workaholics’. In spite of this 64% said that they loved working in the capital.
Head of Banking at Investec Wayne Preston says that investments in technology has created a long hours culture and means workers are under pressure to be ‘always on’ outside the normal hours of 9-5.
But with many employees valuing their work-life balance as important as their salary when it comes to staying in a job, it is essential that employers don’t just pay lip-service to the issue and consider how they can improve employee work-life balance.
Technology the answer
Time and Attendance software is critical to helping employees obtain a better work-life balance and address the administration involved.
Today’s web-based systems enable organisations to accommodate flexible working patterns and allow workers to fit their work around personal commitments at home by managing their own working time.
Self-service functions allow workers view staff rosters, see specific job tasks they are required to carry out, automatically submit timesheets and use the system to submit holiday requests.
‘Live’ audit trail
The creation of a live audit trail of attendance enables managers to gain an insight into the ‘actual’ hours worked by staff so they can identify any ‘extra’ overtime hours that have been carried out.
With this information at their disposal managers can demonstrate their compliance to regulations such as the Working Time Directive, which stipulates that employers can’t force adults to work more than 48 hours a week on average, and take necessary steps to reduce overtime or acknowledge the effort being put in their employees, perhaps allowing them to take time off in-lieu.
Effective management of ‘actual hours’ worked by staff also enables organisations to efficiently manage holiday policies so managers can ensure employees use their holiday days entitlement.
Valuing work-life balance
For employers it is to recognise staff work-life balance equally as much as workers do.
Supporting employee work-life balance can help increase employee productivity, reduce stress related absence as a result of long working hours and increase staff retention.
Happy workers are more productive and are more likely to stay with an organisation, which in turn enhances overall service levels.
With high costs associated with recruitment, retaining good employees has a positive effect on the bottom line too.