Work-Life Balance – The Code to Create a Happy Workplace 0

Suchitra Pisal is a passionate talent acquisition and recruitment professional who comes with an experience of working on diversified portfolios. She currently leads the Centre of Excellence – Talent Acquisition at Zycus. In the past, Suchitra has worked with Capegemini as the Global HR Manager- Talent Acquisition, Talent Branding and HR Reporting & Analytics. There she handled senior, strategic and leadership hiring across verticals, domains, technologies and units for Capgemini India.

The secret to making your employees happy isn’t actually a secret at all. It is more of a holistic approach of combining various factors to address the varying needs of employees on a daily basis and helping them achieve a work-life balance.

A decade ago it was very commonplace to hear of people working for the same firm for over two decades. We still hear of such dedicated people, but they are usually the ones who are slated to retire soon. The millennial generation or even the current baby boomers are not expected nor inclined to continue to work with companies for more than 5-7 years at a time unless it is a public sector undertaking.

Reasons that prompt people to shift jobs can be money, work profile, location, learning opportunities, but more often than not, it is a work- life balance. In today’s working world the concept of work-life balance has grown into much more than just a mere appealing concept. Throughout the years, the demands and desires of the employees have evolved, and with this, it has become more pertinent than ever for companies to become more aware of the growing expectations of their employees in terms of the work-life balance. The job of making the lives of employees happier at the workplace is crucial but often overlooked. The companies have to understand that the goal is not to make employees only productive, but also happier and more balanced. According to research, employees who lead a more balanced lifestyle are happy and these employees are ultimately more productive and motivated.

The companies have to understand that the goal is not to make employees only productive, but also happier and more balanced.

But striking that perfect balance between professional and personal life is a challenge in today’s work scenario. As the schedules get busier and a large number of employees work overtime on a regular basis, employees’ personal life gets affected as an unnatural amount of pressure keeps mounting. This eventually results in dissatisfaction and stress that further leads to more grave problems- health issues, decreased productivity and alienation from the company.

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An organisation’s mandate does not end with simply hiring the best people; it needs to provide an environment for those brilliant hires to thrive. At the same time, creating happy workplaces is not a one-size-fits-all concept -different people are motivated by different drivers. Some employees value learning while others, acknowledgment of their peers and appreciation from the management. For someone else, flexibility, inclusion, and career progression may be more important. An organisation should recognize these factors and make constant efforts to create rewarding workspaces. Enabling happy and fun workspaces is not reduced to providing nap pods or canine day-care, nor is it about celebrating events periodically. Institutionalizing happy offices requires a more holistic approach of combining various factors to address the varying needs of employees on a daily basis.

An employee is expected to give his/ her 100% to the organisation, and here he/she ends up spending more than 60 per cent of her time. The call of duty should be reciprocated by employers by standing with their people when they need it the most. Time off, flexible hours etc are merely some of the many tools for building robust teams that employers can count on. It is usually strengthened by supporting your teammates when they need you. When employees feel empowered to take control of their own lives, they tend to feel more organised and are able to leave work issues at work and home issues at home. Balanced employees tend to feel more happy and motivated and less stressed out at work, which whereby decreases attrition rate and increases company productivity. Therefore, promoting a healthy work-life balance is beneficial both to individuals and the company.

Time off, flexible hours are merely some of the many tools for building robust teams that employers can count
on. When employees feel empowered to take control over their own lives, they tend to feel more organised and
balance their personal and professional lives.

In order to achieve an ideal balance between an employee’s working life and personal life, a healthy attitude towards achieving this balance has to begin with the employer. The organisations can no longer disregard the importance of the “happy employee” principle. The organisation needs to transition from an authoritarian body to a reliable companion that encourages its employees to lead a healthy lifestyle.

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The relationship between happiness and productivity is quite causal in terms of how happy workers can take organisations to new heights. Offices should not be reduced to employee engagement, which eventually loses the very ideology of building a happy workplace somewhere along the way.

The organisations need to lay out a suitable model where both employers and employees equally benefit from a work-life balance. The model must be adapted to each individual person. We need this now more than ever when the workplace dynamics, corporate strategies, virtual offices, and automation are causing colossal gear shifts. Where does the happiness stem from in such uncertain times? We as organisations need to regroup and align our happiness goals from time to time, and not let it lose its essence.

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