All you need to know about Work-family balance
While the salary was once the main attraction of a job, a new trend is emerging. Above all else, employees are looking for an organization where they will feel good and which will allow them to balance work and family or work and personal life. Work-family balance is not the sole concern of companies, and even less that of working mothers. In reality, it is everyone's business. Based on this fact, how then to promote work-family balance in your company and, above all, how to make it successful? But what is the work-family balance? This expression is on everyone's lips, but how does it translate into the reality of the world of work? We have compiled some examples of good practices to increase your employees' level of engagement and improve the image of your company through work-family balance. Here’s everything you need to know about work-family balance.
How to promote work-family balance
Work-family balance is the set of measures implemented in a workplace to balance professional and family life. This aims to establish a work climate that considers the vagaries of employee family life and allows employees to be at their best, sometimes at the office, sometimes at home.
Develop a work-family balance strategy
Do you want to take action and move forward with a work-family balance program? Great! But first and foremost: listen and listen! First, make sure that this desire for change is shared, even initiated by senior management members. Several changes in the organization of work will take place; you will need their full cooperation and their unwavering support to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Then talk to the managers. They can help you paint the current portrait of human resources management and can even give you excellent leads on which avenue to take to improve it. Finally, don't forget to consult with the employees. Offer them the opportunity to express their needs and expectations in terms of work-family balance. This initiative will, at the same time, make it possible to alert them to the company's interest in their well-being. You can then develop a work-family balance strategy adapted to the reality of your company and its employees.
Create a committee
While the support of senior management and the good faith of the employees is essential to this project's success, you do not have to bear full responsibility alone.
Consider creating an internal work-family balance committee and appointing a manager. This committee will assist you in monitoring the progress of the program, serving as a think tank when developing solutions, and proposing adjustments to ensure the sustainability of the plan.
This is a great way to involve employees in their own happiness at work. Of course, this committee must allow employees to contribute to the sound management of everyone's time. Avoid it being seen as an additional energy-consuming task, so adjust the hours and tasks accordingly.
Development of the work-family balance strategy
Like everything else, the work-family balance must be planned. The strategy must take into account the current irritants and the actions planned to improve the situation to each company its measures! What is beneficial in one organization might turn out to be irrelevant in another. There must be a match between the needs and the measures.
Here are some solutions that are often identified in work-family balance programs:
Adapted work schedule
- reduction of working time
- compressed week (35 hours in 4 days)
- creation of a bank of hours
- schedule according to traffic (outside traffic jam hours)
- parental leave: maternal, paternal and adoption
- increase in leave and increase in duration
- preventive withdrawal in case of pregnancy and the gradual return
- installation of a childcare service
- financial support for childcare services
- release for medical appointments of child, parent
- increase in leave related to the illness of a loved one or bereavement
In this regard, it is strongly recommended to consult the Work-Family Balance standard. Although this is not an obligation, this reference document can guide you in developing your strategy.
Allow the necessary time.
The implementation of a work-family balance program must be done according to a realistic schedule. Some companies can devote up to a whole year to the latter. Beware of the apparent savings in time and devote the necessary time to it!
Monitoring and communication
Make the work-family balance program a project to which all employees will join. As a result, make sure that management initiatives and support are clearly communicated to employees. This is a unifying program that everyone will benefit from at one time or another, so it is worth knowing!
Of course, you have seen others: you know full well that any change leads to questions and often objections. Be prepared to answer questions, offer active listening, and be humble and diligent enough to make the necessary changes to the plan.
Without a doubt, employees need a balanced family and professional life to performing to the best of their ability at work. Thus, in a market with changing demographics and in which quality employees will become scarce, employers offering CTF programs will hold the upper hand. Does your business have everything it takes to be a leader in a work-family balance?
Work-family balance: 6 solutions to be happier!
We must not hide it; the balance of work and family is not always easy to live with. Parents are often on the run and feel a lot of guilt. The important thing is to find what works for us, our job and our family, but most of all, what makes us happy. Here are some ideas to help you better balance your work and family life.
You have to plan and organize your days, your week, and the current month in a quarter-turn. A diary containing the family schedule will help you a lot. Some online apps, like Google Calendar, let you share a single calendar with all family members. Work, events, activities, and appointments are, therefore, included in everyone's schedule, and reminders allow you to remember nothing. This allows you to better organize your working days and deal with the unexpected. For example, start your day early so you can leave the office at 3 p.m. for your daughter's dentist appointment.
Between mothers and relatives, between friends and neighbors, as well as with the extended family, it is important to show solidarity. The key to this friend is mutual aid and support. Parents in couples or single parents need a friend to raise their children. The friend does not replace the family but supports it. Babysitting a neighbor's daughter after school, picking up your and a friend's children from daycare, and taking several children to their sports activities are all examples of parenting solidarity. This can sometimes allow you to complete an urgent job, then to pick up a son who is having fun while waiting for you at the neighbors. Grandparents are great "caregivers"! They love spending time with their grandchildren, so take the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
Meals and shopping will take less time if your menu is fully planned. In the evening when you come home from work, this is not the right time to organize your dinner. The whole family is hungry, and we must act quickly! Learn how to make your shopping list and menu ahead of time. Plan three meals a day for the week, including take-out lunches. Taking a few hours in the kitchen on Sunday to cook will save you a tremendous amount of time and money during the week. Cooking in a group and swapping meals with family and friends can also help. After all, think about it. Your ready-made meal will heat up quickly when you get home from work, during homework time, or playing with the kids. The whole family will win.
Dare to ask for help when you need it and exchange services with other parents in your network. Taking work-study leave with a neighbor or a friend during the children's educational days and carpooling to accompany the children to their activities are solutions that allow you to balance your work schedules without sacrificing too much the children's activities. Ask grandparents to take your daughter to the dentist or welcome her after school when you are overwhelmed and have to work overtime.
Simplification makes you happier by making your life easier. Whether it's hiring a housekeeper, putting a frozen pizza in the oven, or sometimes buying ready-made meals from the caterer, moving to live closer to your job, working less, or choosing a school/daycare inside of the house, the important thing is to simplify your daily life. By making things easier, you will have more time to enjoy family life, and everything will become more enjoyable. Simplifying can also mean doing a little less activity, which will keep you from feeling like you're running around. Owning a little less also means fewer clothes to wash, fewer books and toys to put away, etc. Each family must find its balance within its means and budget.
6- The unexpected
You will need the helper to help you deal with the unexpected! A delay, a job to be completed, an unplanned meeting, or an illness is just some of the hazards of life. Make sure you have the help and support you need to deal with these unforeseen events. Working from home when your son is sick may be a solution, but it won't always work. A friend at home or an available grandmother becomes a gold value.
Whatever your way of reconciling your professional and family life, we hope to have brought you some new ideas in order to allow you to better live this balance while being happier!
5 ways to improve work-family balance in your business
Evaluate performance based on results obtained.
What if you found a method to assess your employees based on what really matters to your business - the quality and quantity of the work performed? You will agree with us; not all employees are fully effective from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. behind a screen. For example, some employees may reach their peak of efficiency very early in the morning and become ineffective in the late afternoon. Take the test. By showing concretely that you attach more importance to the results obtained than to the hours worked, you put the odds on your side to see the productivity of your teams increase.
Provide on-call duty in the workplace.
Think about how much time your parenting employees can save each day if they don't have to run to drop off and pick up their children from daycare. With on-site child care, they don't have to coordinate their schedule with that of the daycare or worry about the safety of their children. This time saved is precious, and it can turn into real recognition for you!
Encourage physical activity.
There is nothing worse for an employee than having to choose between taking care of their health and performing at work. Think about logistics to optimize your workplaces and make life easier for anyone who wants to train easily without having to make a detour in the morning or evening to go to the gym. Showers or the workout room are ideal options. You can also offer time during working hours to train, pay for the gym membership, or even offer yoga classes during the lunch break.
Offer a flexible work schedule.
Traffic jams, delays in public transport, children who do not want to dress: there are many reasons for a delay. If your organizational structure allows it, give your employees the flexibility to choose their own work schedule. For example, it may be possible to require that all your staff be on site from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but that they can arrive before or leave after that time. Another solution is to offer compressed workweeks allowing your employees who have completed everything they have to do to leave earlier on Friday.
Be open to working at home.
It may be a good idea to offer your employees the opportunity to work from home one to four times a month, or even more if you feel this doesn't affect the corporate culture. Working from home is another solution to help your employees save time and better balance work and personal life. By avoiding the commute to work, your employees have more time to focus, they are less stressed by outside distractions, and can often accomplish more in a day.
Author: Vicki Lezama