Posted by: the3rdi | August 3, 2010

UK plc must tackle the way it works as stress levels soar

As stress and absenteeism levels rise, Working Families first National Work- Life Week will highlight why UK plc must tackle the way it works in order to increase productivity, loyalty and wellbeing. Work-Life Week will show that work life balance is a win for everyone and is as vital as ever during tough economic times and that it is possible to combine work and care or
outside interests and still be successful at work and home.

Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive of Working Families comments:

“National Work-Life Week will highlight the importance of promoting a healthier work life balance and tackling the way we work. Britain has the longest working hours in the EU and this is resulting in stress, ill health and less productive employees. In fact, stress has become the number one reason employees take time off at a huge cost to UK plc.

Offering better work life balance makes good business sense: Working Families research has shown a positive link between flexible working and employee performance*”

Why is work life balance not being achieved? Obstacles include:

* Employees may not be aware of their Right to Request flexible working.
* They may also fear that they will miss out on promotion or lose credibility if they ask for flexible or part time hours.

* Employees may dread asking for time off when their child is unwell, to care for an elderly parent, for sports day or the school play or for other family reasons. They may also be reluctant to ask for time off to pursue other interests outside work.

* Employers may be unaware of the many ways in which they can help their employees to achieve a good work life balance and of the business benefits which this will bring.

* If you are low paid, a man or a manager, you are less likely to be working flexibly. Work-Life Week aims to reach these groups with the news that they too can benefit from work life balance, and how they can achieve it!

National Work-Life Week will offer employees the following tips:

* Flexible working comes in many shapes and sizes and can be adapted to fit in with their employer’s particular needs. Research shows that a good work life balance will benefit both employee and employer.

* They have the Right to Request flexible working if they care for a child aged up to 17, for a disabled child up to 18 or for an adult. Over 10 million people have the Right to Request and 91% of requests are accepted by employers.

* That all employees need work life balance

National Work Life Week will spread the word to employers that:

* Employers who offer flexible working will benefit from increased skill retention, increased productivity and profits and reduced absenteeism – all very welcome news in a recession. Employees with a good work life balance will benefit from better health and wellbeing which in turn leads to enhanced productivity and loyalty.

* Good employers will work out mutually beneficial arrangements and will grant reasonable requests to work flexibly and improve work life balance.

* All employees need work life balance and that it should not be offered only to people with caring responsibilities

What will you do? Working Families is inviting everyone to get involved in National Work-Life Week. Updates on all planned activities will be included on the Week’s web page National Work- Life Week

Let Working Families know your plans for the Week – sign up today on the National Work- Life Week webpage!

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