Is work “hard and party harder” your idea of work-life balance? Imagine, after one week of endless pouring, the Friday has dawned to be a bright and sunny day. Keeping the weekend in mind, you finally decide to take your family out for a nice cozy dinner, a late-night movie and a long drive followed by ice-cream. The perfect plan for spending some quality family-time.
Reservations are made, tickets are booked, everybody is super excited and… You get a call from your senior manager saying that he needs a presentation in his inbox by 6.00 a.m. the following day! After all the cussing and letting out some steam, how do you feel? Annoyed? Disgusted? Morose?
Thanks to the long and irregular working hours, plans made in advance often go down the drain and social life goes for a toss. For the sake of their jobs, working personnel try to adjust to the absurd routines, which in turn take a toll on their health. But such is the reality of the work culture in the corporate world. Adverse outcomes include poorer cognitive stimulation and emotional or behavioural difficulties. Higher the number of working hours, lesser is the chance of attaining any form of work life balance or even work-life blend.
Both employees and employers have to face this issue at some point or the other. Although most employers say that there are fixed shift timings, in reality it is an unsaid fact that the employees should mentally be prepared to work for hours beyond. It isn’t called working extra-time. Nowadays, it is simply called ‘work requirement’. Good people management is if employers make their expectations very clear during the induction itself that the working hours may be irregular. Because when employees suddenly find themselves in a position they had never intended to be in, they start developing a kind of dislike for their work and the company. They lose their trust in the employer and in the long run, endangering the work culture and can prove to be harmful for the organisation.
If employees need to stay on for some extra time when there is some extra work load or some important project deadline at hand, staying back late is justifiable. But apart from one off instances, if it becomes a routine, it tends to be a disappointment. To prevent this from becoming a habit, create an employee engagement strategy. With a strategy in place, you will be able to identify and handle critical situations before it blows out of proportion.
You, as a company, want the work done in time. They, as employees, want their own personal space. So blend the two, set an appropriate timeline for the task, and let them work on their own pace at their convenience. Let harmony prevail. Allowing flexi-timings and work from home options are splendid alternatives which should be looked upon as incentives. But with flexi-timings comes the responsibility of being ever-present and ever accessible. In today’s workplace, finding the perfect work-life blend thus seems all the more relevant.
A happy employee will always be a productive employee. When the required amount of work is at it is getting done without compromising on quality, why worry about other old-school rules and regulations? After all, any change for the better is always welcome.
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