Beyond espresso machines and pool tables, which are the most ‘profitable’ working conditions for employers? Here is one expert’s opinion.
Balancing family and work is practically an acrobatic sport for many employees. So much so that 62% of US employees would be willing to change jobs if another organization offered them better measures to achieve the work-family balance, according to a recent survey conducted by Care.com.
The survey’s results are unsurprising to organizational psychologist and Human Resources advisor Guylaine Deschênes, at GD Resources. The wellness at work specialist also believes that if they were surveyed on the topic, Quebecers would express the same concerns as their American counterparts.
“Anything that touches the work-life balance is very important for productivity and retention of employees,” says Deschênes, who stresses the importance of not reducing personal life to only the family sphere.
Flexible schedules and telecommuting
Flexible hours and the ability to work remotely or part-time fosters employee satisfaction. And not only for those who are dealing with school holidays or their offspring’s health: education, recreation and volunteering can also motivate the desire to escape from the usual nine-to-five office life. “Several surveys have shown that it is the most sought out benefit for workers,” states Deschênes. “They are also associated with a good productivity.”
Given some latitude in regards to the time and place of work gives employees a sense of empowerment. “It is this perception that is important for wellbeing at work. The fact of not feeling guilty, feeling that you have the right to do so,” says the organizational psychologist.
By allowing such flexibility, the employer also transforms, for the better, their own vision of absenteeism. Going back to the Care.com survey, 90% of participants say they have missed a day of work to take care of a family member. Deschênes argues that the possibility of moving those hours around can avoid having an absent employee if it’s just a matter of rearranging your schedule.
Healthy, motivated workers
Counseling, yoga, fitness, chair massages or the possibility of being reimbursed, at least in part, for such services: physical and mental health prevention and treatments strategies are another initiative for productivity and worker satisfaction. “Health is global. When giving employees the tools to be healthy and manage their stress, everyone wins,” says Deschênes.
Providing team members with opportunities to improve their knowledge and tools to better achieve their professional goals is another way to increase job satisfaction rates. “The impression of not being challenged in their jobs is one of the main reasons employees leave,” states the specialist.
These measures are basically a way of treating employees not only as workers but as individuals whose development is at the heart of the organization. An approach that never loses.