WORK-LIFE BALANCE: HR’S UNFINISHED BUSINESS FOR THE ‘BACK TO SCHOOL’ SEASON
The pandemic served to raise awareness among many employees with children of the importance of wellbeing, balance and the need for employment that takes into account the mental and physical health of professionals. Did you know that 20% of parents would be willing to work four days a week for lower pay and a better work-life balance? For many, the fact that companies take their professional situation into account has helped them to make decisions about their jobs.
To attract and retain talent, companies need to offer more comprehensive proposals. It is no longer enough to offer a good salary; professionals are looking for other keys: work-life balance and flexibility. Although these are common demands, they are especially relevant in these weeks with the “back to school”. It is now that the need to establish a balance between work and personal life is gaining momentum and is on the rise. In order to respond to these needs, companies must offer a solution that facilitates work-life balance.
By supporting internal talent by offering greater flexibility, productivity is increased and it is essential that the company has strong leaders with innovative ideas, who are able to collaborate with their teams, bring out the best in themselves and bring out the best in others.
If we look in more detail, we can see the different preferences of professionals when it comes to adapting their working hours in the best possible way. 93% of professionals see work flexibility as important, 45% want to choose their start and end time, and 35% would like to decide where they work.
Unfortunately, work flexibility is still a utopia in many cases and with the arrival of September, it is more noticeable than ever. Reconciling work and family life is possible, or at least adaptable. In some EU countries, measures have been introduced to promote work-life balance and joint parental responsibility for childcare. There are differences between employed fathers and mothers, and also between professionals with children and those without.
If we talk about the differences between professional fathers and mothers, we look at the following data from the National Statistics Institute (INE): curiously, men with children under the age of 12 have the highest employment rate (81.7%), while in the case of women, as the number of children under 12 increases, the employment rate decreases. With one child under 12, the rate drops to 62.4%, with two to 61.4%, and with three or more children the value was 44.2%. The most direct effect of this reality is that the time we can devote to the family is reduced, and consequently, so is the number of children.
Work-life balance is not the only demand of employees with children. There are several differences between professionals who are parents and those who are not, especially in the area of health and fitness. To optimise time, professionals with children prefer to have access to fitness equipment at their workplace. When it comes to healthy food in the office, 54% of professionals without children see this as very important, compared to 37% of professionals without children.