There is a clear presenteeism problem in UK business, in the financial and professional services sectors in particular. Without structured initiatives to ensure the proper work life balance is adopted by staff, there is a real danger that this can lead to sluggish productivity and impact the quality of work as staff come under undue pressure to deliver.
As business structures evolve and younger employees make up a greater share of London’s workforce, workplace cultures are being transformed – gone are the days when the salary was the stand out factor in choosing an employer. An increasing number of employees weigh up the working environment and subsequent hours needed to man the desks.
Despite steps to improve work life balance across business and professional sectors, it’s crucial to keep this momentum going and commit to flexible working structures in line with business and employee needs. We may not be at the four-days a week stage, but just acknowledging the day-to-day needs of staff and their families will ensure businesses thrive and the workforce are valued.
So how can you ensure employees are getting the proper work/life balance? Here are a few tips…
It is incredibly important for organisations to understand the employee’s needs and how they are feeling. Take for example the topic of flexible working. It is an area that all organisations talk about, but very few do particularly well, especially at an enterprise scale.
The starting point is understanding what people in your organisation need and want and the best way of doing that is opening the dialogue and asking them a question. Not in the form of a check box or continuum but in a way that they can express themselves using their own language.
The degree of flexible working will differ depending on the organisation. However, prioritising the needs of the workforce demonstrates support in and outside of the office, building trust and lasting working relationships.
Time spent fostering an inclusive and healthy office culture is not time wasted. Often, that development stems from the top. If managers are being open and transparent with their workforce, so should peers and wider networks within the business.
Encouraging your team to give active feedback to managers in settings where appropriate, something which should be handled on a case-by-case basis, will promote honesty, clarity of what’s needed from management to support and should allow for any personal issues to be solved. This could include issues such as overtime, flexi-hours and childcare support.
3. The stats don’t lie
Our analysis into the people behind some of the UK’s largest organisations has found there to be a strong correlation between high overtime and high levels of attrition. That may sound straight-forward but too often managers forget or unable to check in with individual team members and get an understanding of how hard your employees are working to improve management and identify personal strengths across teams.
Remember: Constant high demands on staff leads to sluggish productivity over time and can be the main driver for resignations or long-term absences.
Using cutting-edge AI technology which harnesses multiple employee perspectives, Qlearsite delivers insights into the workplace culture – enabling organisations to understand the true experiences of its workforce. With full disclosure, businesses can make smarter, more informed decisions about their people and get on the path to being culturally sustainable.