Benefits to employee flexibility says study
As circumstances at home or at work change, the pressure goes on an individual to maintain their work-family balance. While some employees deal with it internally and don’t bring their issues to work, others struggle to keep the two sides apart.
A study conducted by the University of Minnesota called “Changing Work and Work-Family Conflict: Evidence from the Work, Family, and Health Network” has looked at how employers can help employees deal with work-family conflict.
A sample of 700 employees from an IT department were split into two groups for six months.
One group of employees was given control over when and where they worked and given specific supervisor support for issues going on in their lives. The other group worked as normal.
There were significant improvements seen in one group over the other, which wasn’t surprising.
One group experienced a decrease in work-family conflict and believed they were in more control of their time. It was important to note that despite spending more time with their families, the work-load was not affected.
Sociologist Erin L. Kelly said the study showed how an employer can improve the work-family balance while increasing the productivity levels.
“The purpose was to help employees work more effectively and more sanely, so they can get their work done well but also address their personal and family needs,” she said.
Rosalind King of the Population Dynamics Branch at the National Institutes of Health said juggling the work-family balance can have a detrimental affect on employees’ lives and their health.
“The researchers have shown that by restructuring work practice to focus on results achieved and providing supervisors with an instructional program to improve their sensitivity to employees’ after-work demands, they can reduce that stress and improve employees’ family time,” she said.
Businesses could also invest in HR management software that can help identify and manage employee concerns and alert executives to potential issues.