Work-life balance is one of the most important measures of job satisfaction for the modern employee. Gone are the days when employees were happy to work around the clock simply to put food on the table. These days, millennials, in particular, want to work hard and play hard. In fact, businesses that gain a reputation for encouraging a healthy work-life balance have become extremely attractive, even compared to other roles that offer better traditional measures of job quality like benefits and pay.
A recent CIPD UK Working Lives survey revealed a few surprising findings about the work-life balance of modern employees, with those considered to have ‘bad’ jobs often enjoying a more balanced life than those in more senior, better-paid roles.
The increasing role of workplace flexibility
Research from the CIPD reveals that while many people are happy to go with the flow and work the traditional 9-5, there comes a point in most people’s lives when factors such as convenient hours or the ability to work from home become extremely important. In fact, the ability to choose when and where they work is one of the main reasons why people choose to work for themselves.
That means employers looking to recruit and retain employees in the competitive post-Brexit labour market and particularly those looking for in-demand bilingual workers may find they are missing a trick if they do not offer some level of workplace flexibility.
The ‘best’ jobs often have the ‘worst’ work-life balance
Many of us aspire to progress in our careers by gaining increasingly senior roles, but given that the roles we consider to be the ‘best’ often have the ‘worst’ work-life balance, we might start to wonder why. The survey found that senior managers and professionals work more hours than they’d like to and often find that their work clashes with other important aspects of their lives.
However, it’s also true that senior professionals tend to be the people who have the most control over how they work and when they do it. The trouble is that traditional maxims like ‘professionals don’t clock-watch’ still exist leading to less healthy, less content and more stressed and fatigued employees.
How can employers improve the work-life balance?
The most common approaches employers use to improve the work-life balance of their employees include flexitime, which is particularly common in the public sector, and working from home, which has been made much easier given recent technological innovations.
But simply making these arrangements available to employees alone is not always an effective way to redress the work-life balance. In some workplaces, there can also be other more subtle barriers that need to be removed, such as an outdated organisational culture. If there is scepticism about the effectiveness of employees working from home or a lack of confidence in flexible working schemes then the impact they have will be limited.
Helping you find the perfect work-life balance
At Linguistica Recruitment, we are aware just how important it is for modern employees to have a healthy work-life balance but also to realise other dimensions of job quality such as good pay. Find out more about how we help bilingual candidates find rewarding roles on the English South Coast.