Work life balance means being able to maintain a busy work schedule whilst still being able to have a balanced lifestyle that you can spend your family and friends.
Educating Matters offers work life balance seminars for parents in the workplace. Rachel Vecht visits organisations all over the UK to discuss a topic chosen by the employer and employees that will empower a parent to maximize the time they spend with their children. Parents and carers leave with tools that can be implemented immediately in that precious 5 minutes that they have with their children.
In making their home life more streamlined and efficient, the pressure of maintaining a work/life balance is eased. This allows for higher productivity at work. Parents feel proud of their achievement. Feedback from previous sessions shows that even 2 years after attending a seminar, attendees are using the skills and tools they have learned to maintain a healthy home life and better work/life balance. Employers see the significance that a healthy work/life balance makes on employee engagement and attendance. It only makes sense for employers to take advantage of the skills and tools offered by Educating Matters to empower their workforce and increase efficiency.
How to improve work life balance for employees
Simply because you work long hours or have strong career ambitions doesn’t mean that you can’t spend quality time with your loved ones. More recently, work life balance has become something that organisations and corporations have to offer their employees. Giving employees a better lifestyle promotes productivity and those employees that feel they receive a good work life balance will be more loyal to the company too.
Whether it’s helping with reading, writing, maths, exam preparation, siblings, confidence, emotional intelligence or friendships, seminars from Educating Matters provide practical support to hard working parents. In short, we want you to achieve your career goals and also be the best parent you can be.
What is work life balance?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines work life balance as “the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time you spend with your family and doing the things you enjoy.”
As a definition, this is a highly emotive statement and with good reason. The balance is going to be different for each individual. There is simply no one size fits all formula for an employer to apply to his or her workforce. The balance point for each individual in any given workplace is going to vary drastically depending on the number of and complexity of their out of work responsibilities. Unfortunately, the individuals who will find maintaining this balance the hardest will be the ones with the most of these. The largest group would be that of parents and carers of children.
Why is work life balance important to an employer?
Work life balance is important to employers because if staff do not have a work life balance, it leads to potential long and short term sickness, reduced turnover and less efficiency. So employers have a responsibility to help staff achieve a work life balance and how to do this is always something unclear to most employers – whether it is giving them time off, flexible working hours, parenting benefits or coaching.
Work life balance by numbers
Parents and carers are the groups with the hardest time maintaining a work/life balance. According to a report in the Guardian, 2.5 million people in England and Wales juggle jobs with caring for children and/or elderly relatives and 90% of these carers are over 30. The reality is that this figure will only rise with the increased life expectancy in the UK. These carers will often try to juggle their responsibilities, managing a 40 hour work week in addition to parenting, helping with homework, getting children to and from activities and visiting elderly relatives.
The increased financial requirements of caring combined with the fear of underperforming at work means many people will not ask for help. Many feel unable to ask for considerations that their co workers may not be getting. They need the help, but will continue to struggle until something breaks, usually them. Even if the employer is able and willing to help, the carer feels inadequate or guilty for needing to ask for it, fearing judgement for being unable to cope with the stresses of parenting.
While many employers would want to help their workers, the lack of an available cookie cutter solution makes creating individual solutions difficult. Is it any surprise that employers are in many cases unfairly accused of getting it wrong and putting profits before people?
A recent UK study concluded that 3 out of 4 UK workers believe that maintaining a good work/life balance is not down to the employer, but rather to the employee. In light of the uniquely individual needs of each worker, this makes sense. Yet, we still see figures like the one quoted by the Mental Health Foundation, that stress from a poor balance is going to impact 3 out of 10 employees. 75% of employees believe getting the balance is their responsibility, yet 30% of employees are not able to achieve this.