Manal Haddad

Work Life Balance and its Impact on Business

The key to achieving Work Life balance is to have a sense of empowerment and control. The meaning of work life balance, however, is different for different individuals and is subject to change over the course of one’s life.

“Work Life Balance is about people having a measure of control overwhelm, where and how they work. It is achieved when an individual’s right to a fulfilled life inside and out paid work is accepted and respected as the norm, to the mutual benefit of the individual, business and society.” – The Work Foundation

Work Life Balance revolves around the idea of creating and maintaining a healthy and supportive work environment that not only encourages but also enables employees to have a balance between their personal responsibilities and professional life thus strengthening employee loyalty and productivity.

The key to achieving work life balance is to have a sense of empowerment and control. The meaning of work life balance is however different for different individuals and is subject to change over the course of one’s life.

The Relevance of Work-Life Balance

It is critically important for organizations dedicated to corporate social responsibility to focus on work-life balance.  It is the responsibility of employers to make sure that all employees are fairly treated and are given respect as individuals with responsibilities outside of work. Nevertheless, it is not just about being socially responsible.

With the new generation entering the work force, employers are expected of providing their employees with reasonable and flexible work arrangements. Addressing the issues of work-life balance therefore is substantially important in terms of an employer’s brand and being an ‘employer of choice’.

Is Work Life Balance a Business Issue?

Work life balance is a fundamental part of businesses that have a direct impact on recruitment, talent management, business performance, productivity and development. In addition, poor work-life balance has a negative impact not only on the employees but the business as well.

Additionally, dedicating too much time to work can be a root cause of a number of problems including disturbed relationships, stress, physical illness, mental illness, depression and other mental health problems.

For the business, a poor work-life balance can have a negative impact on the productivity of employees which is impaired through lack of motivation, increased absenteeism, increased errors and decreased level of engagement at work.

What Can Organizations Do to Address the Issue of Work Life Balance?

There are a number of things organizations can do to address the issue of work life balance, nevertheless, general terms, promoting work life balance requires four key factors;

  • Organizational Leadership – The organizational leadership has a clear idea about the nature of the business, the needs of their employees and therefore they can take measures to integrate work-life balance into the culture of their organizations. The work life balance policy of a company is a clear statement of the commitment of the company as a responsible employer.
  •  Training and Communicating the Importance of ‘Work-life Balance’ to your Employees– It is also important for organizations to engage their employees into understanding their interests and assist them in defining clear guidelines and promote a win-win situation for the business and the employees.
  • Measuring Performance and Evaluating results – It is also important for organizations to monitor the impact of policies and work-life balance initiatives in order to evaluate progress and determine their future strategy.

One of the most common misconceptions about work-life balance is that it is only meant for big organizations. Nevertheless, work-life balance being a business issue applies across the board and has an impact on businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Compared to big organizations, smaller organizations and businesses may in fact offer greater flexibility to their employees when it comes to creating work arrangements that can accommodate the unique needs of employees.

So, instead of viewing work life balance initiatives as an expense, it is important for businesses and organizations to focus on the potential benefits of such policies that include increased ability to retain the best talent, improved work quality and employee productivity, increased levels of employee commitment and last but not the least, the ability to offer superior services to their clients.

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