Which factors make for a successful work-life balance?

Peninsula, for example, offers its employees free breakfast every Monday to start off the week!

The traditional pattern of working 9am-5pm, five days a week and with limited holiday allowance and a fixed salary at the end of the month, is changing as the world of work evolves.

Employees are seeking more beyond their monthly salary, as they look to gain more varied opportunities and to work more flexibly around the other commitments in their busy lives.

Organisations are accepting the value of flexible and part-time working patterns as employees become more committed to their roles, offering perks such as childcare vouchers, competitive pension schemes and health insurance to retain employees.

Companies need to be ever more creative to address their employees’ desire to achieve a good work-like balance; for example, employees are entitled to a statutory 5.6 weeks paid holiday a year and employers are provided with the option of including the eight days’ annual bank holiday entitlement within this leave allowance. Even so, many employees are choosing to add the bank holiday entitlement on top of their annual leave allowance. Some companies further extend the entitlement to leave; for example, Salesforce provides an additional four-week block of annual leave for every four years’ continuous service completed.

Many organisations offer the opportunity to work from home, which can give employees a welcome break from commuting and save them time to use for other activities. Other companies provide travel opportunities as part of an employee’s role, with many employees keen to travel as part of their work. Such opportunities can provide a wealth of experience.

Glassdoor UK gathered anonymous reviews from employees about their experience of various aspects of working within their company. From examining data regarding work-life balance, it uncovered a variety of increasingly creative ideas to both motivate and balance the busy working lives of employees.

Peninsula, for example, offers its employees free breakfast every Monday to start off the week. To round off the week, employees can partake in monthly Friday social sessions with other employees. The company also offers non-compulsory weekly fitness classes, which are free for employees to join in and enable employees to burn off any work stress and fit exercise into their working day.

One of Glassdoor UK’s best places to work is Google, which has extremely creative ideas linked to work-life balance. These ideas include massage sessions, music lessons, and various outings such as picnics, parties and even ski trips. Employees who become fathers are given six weeks’ paternity leave, which is three times the statutory allowance.

Another big change in large corporate companies is the supporting of its employees in voluntary work. There has been a growth in the number of employees expanding their skills/experience by volunteering alongside their paid roles, usually outside their paid working hours; however, many companies can see the value of encouraging employees to gain such experience and the fact that it will help the employer’s own brand.

Companies such as ARM provide their staff with a minimum of one day annually to undertake volunteering activities within their paid working time; meanwhile, Salesforce allows 56 hours a year for employees to carry out volunteering activities.

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