Healthy Business, healthy workforce News
work/life balance(June 18, 2011)
Managers should encourage good work-life balance, finds report
Bosses should be assessed on their ability to help staff achieve a healthy work-life balance in their performance reviews, according to new research.
The report, by Alexandra Beauregard of the LSE Department of Management, found a ‘strong link’ between a healthy work-life balance and reduced levels of stress in the workplace.
The research studied 224 employees across the south of England. More than 60% were women, with an average age of 41. Most had children or were caring for adult relatives.
The research found that giving employees access to benefits such as help with childcare and flexible working hours did not reduce stress, unless it was accompanied by positive managerial endorsement.
Stress and other health-related absenteeism is estimated to cost the UK economy £11bn per year.
Dr. Beauregard’s report said: "The development of an organisational culture supportive of work-home balance is necessary for organisations to fully reap the benefits of their work-home options and alleviate work-home interference”. Beauregard described this culture change as “long overdue”.
Beauregard added that appraisals are an essential part of this culture change.
He said: "Assessment of managers' work-home awareness and effectiveness in rendering assistance to affected employees could be incorporated into the performance appraisal process, as a means of strengthening management incentive to work with employees towards an answer to the problem of interference.
"Increased managerial support for work-home issues may then have a 'top-down' effect on improving staff attitudes towards employees taking time off for personal or family reasons.”
See also our article - The stress of managment