Global Day of Parents
All too often work comes first.
Employers and employees alike have strived for a ‘work-life balance’ ever since the term was coined. As we all know, maintaining a good work-life balance will improve overall happiness and wellbeing, and in turn contribute to a healthy environment whilst at work.
It has also been shown to have real business benefits, including increased productivity, improvements in performance and competitiveness, better morale, and lower levels of stress, absenteeism and sickness. It can help to enhance employee motivation and retention and support recruitment. In the UK, it is now government policy to promote work-life balance and to support working families.
The exact balance between work life and personal life may vary depending on age, career goals, and other commitments – but no matter the type of work or responsibilities outside of work, it’s key to keep the balance as even as possible.
It has been said a lot over the last 12 months, but it has indeed been an extraordinary year, and the challenge of this balance is even greater than before. Whilst the perception may be that for those employees able to work from home this balance may be better, in many instances the opposite seems to be true. The distinction between home and work has become blurred, as has the ability to say ‘no.’
There is no doubt that the pandemic is having a huge impact, affecting mental health and family relationships. It’s not a sign of weakness to reach out: it is a sign of strength and wherever and whenever possible, encouragement needs to be given to talk and to allow those in difficulty the ability to ask for help.
While not everyone will be a parent, there may be a wider family group which can be equally celebrated. The 1st of June is proclaimed the ‘Global Day of Parents,’ and can perhaps provide pause for thought on the balance between our work families and home families. The two don’t always need to be separate, but time is needed for each.
Stephen Jarrett – Principal, Group Risk Proposition Leader