What’s the Benefit of Work/Life Balance?

Job satisfaction is important and once we’re earning enough to cover our lifestyle costs, we can look at ensuring we’re achieving full job satisfaction and ultimately reaching our self actualisation goals, as per Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs!

Throughout the education system, we are encouraged to push ourselves and achieve the best results we can – often so we can get the best job possible! However, “best job” usually refers to “highest paid job possible”. Is this the right approach? Does job happiness merely rest with remuneration? In my many years experience of speaking with candidates, money generally doesn’t equate to job happiness.

Work/life balance is becoming more important in today’s work environment. We have come out of a deep recession where we were “lucky to have jobs” and there is a residual fatigue amongst candidates who have fought hard to hold their jobs in an environment were job scarcity was prevalent. Salary freezes, additional work loads and redundancies have all added to the previous decade of uncertainty. 2018 bodes well for employment opportunities in Ireland. With unemployment at approximately 6% and salaries expected to increase approximately 3% this year; employees are now looking to employers to reward them for their loyalty and hard work.

Time is our most valuable and most scarce commodity. You can’t buy time and when it’s passed, it’s gone! As the job market continues to compete strongly for candidates, organisations have an opportunity to look at their flexible working arrangements and ask themselves if they really are sufficiently flexible to retain their top talent. The youngest working generation (termed as millennials) expect to have flexible working arrangements. This generation has grown up in an “always-on” world where employees are often expected to login remotely to ensure urgent emails are dealt with. This is accepted by most employees are expected however; millennials expect that this will be a two-way street. If flexibility is given by the employee, it should be given by the company also. In a truly “always-on” world, the days of sitting at your desk from 9am to 5pm each day and leaving for lunch from 1pm to 2pm with no remote logins are gone. If they are gone; so should the need to sit for the full office hours when employees have perhaps logged in for several hours over the course of the week from their own home and often their own device and broadband! By giving this time back to employees, you will see overall employee engagement improve and you will retain employees for longer, which is always a good thing.