Organisations struggle with the work-life balance of their employees.
- 4 min read
It seems that current day organisations are not able to offer their employees the work-life balance they need, while a work-home balance is an increasingly more important topic in the lives of the current generation in the labour market. Having a well-balanced work-home situation is a hot topic, which can also provide new opportunities. This is one of the conclusions Jenny Sok stated in her thesis ‘Make it work, Rethinking the work-home interface’, with which she got promoted on 24 June 2016 at Nyenrode Business University.
The big changes that happened in the past 60 years, both in the working as the private life of people seems to be the biggest cause for the need of a well-balanced work-home balance. “One of the biggest developments is the big increase of women who entered the labour market since 1950. It caused a big shift in the way time was and roles where divided between men and women,” states Sok. “Moreover there is an increasing diversity in families due to the higher rate of divorces. Voluntarily caregiving to elder relatives is another factor that asks more time of employees. Especially single parents and divorced co-parents are having trouble combining work and home tasks.
In her dissertation Jenny sok tried to answer the question on how to make the work-home relationship work efficiently. She implemented different perspectives in her research, she examined the problem from a social perspective, organisational perspective and an individual perspective. “One of the conclusions from this research was that when organisations invest into the work-home balance of their employees it provides them with benefits. Employees who have a positive work-home balance tend to be healthier, do their work better and do not take as many days off as employees who have a negative work-home balance. This is an opportunity for organisations”. According to Sok.
A practical recommendation to better the work-home balance in an organisation, is to map out the diversity in the organisation. Sok recommends that HR departments develop different measures for different groups, because men and women and young and old employees have different needs. Next to gender and age there are more forms of diversity, such as cultural backgrounds, stage in life and more. She recommends to capture the work-home needs of all these different groups and monitor them: “With the information that is gathered through this method there is the opportunity to do targeted interventions so the work-home balance will be steered towards a preferable positive direction. “
Read the entire thesis by Jenny Sok: . Make it work, Rethinking the work-home interface