18 February 2016

Work-Life Balance in 2016

We all know that balancing work and life can be a juggling act. We also know how important it is for employees to find a way to achieve this balance. When employees are distracted at work, they’re less productive and creative. But the fact is that we’re human, and as hard as we try to keep our personal lives out of the workplace, and our professional lives out of our home life, it just doesn’t happen. The two are constantly engaged in a precarious dance that, when out of balance, impacts everything we do.

Employers recognize the importance of this, and as such, are making strides to ensure more work-life balance for employees. After all, employers realize that this imbalance directly impacts their bottom line. With that, here are some work-life balance benefits that we found companies making the most of for 2016.

Flexible work schedule

This isn’t radical. It’s not even new. But what we found is that many companies haven’t offered this work-life benefit to employees, and those who haven’t are now jumping on board. With the rise of new technology tools, employers are finding it easier to offer a flexible work schedule. And quite honestly, workers are demanding it. In 2016, look for an increased acceptance of flexible schedules as employees ask for this and job seekers choose employers who provide it.

Overwork, overtime

Employees who feel as if they’re drowning in a culture of overwork may get a lifeline. Backlash has been growing against the expectation that work hours never really end, and that employees should work until the job is done. No matter how long it takes. Look for this backlash to get even stronger in 2016 as workers push back against 24/7 connectivity and the expectation of overwork (with or without overtime pay), and companies deal with their role in creating employee burnout.

Raises

For employees who have been putting in the hours with no monetary reward in sight, this could be changing in 2016. Many companies say that this year will be a breakout year for wage growth as the economy heads toward full employment. In fact, 68% of employers plan to increase the amount current employees are compensated.

Paid leave

One of the greatest stressors employees face is needing time off from work to care for a newborn, critically ill child or aging parent. Currently, only 13% of employees have access to paid leave, but that’s expected to change in 2016. Companies like Netflix, which offers unlimited maternity leave, are driving this trend, as other companies begin to offer more in the way of paid leave.

Engagement and recognition

One of the biggest challenges companies face is employee engagement. According to a recent Gallup survey, 66% of employees are not engaged in their jobs, leading to a decrease in productivity and impacting the company bottom line. Therefore, organizations are launching more engagement initiatives in 2016, including employee recognition programs.

So what do you think? Are any of these work-life balance trends making their way into your corporate culture this year? How many have you already incorporated?