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Do companies care about their employees’ work-life balance?

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

Perform, achieve goals, attract more business, sell more and obtain positive results. These have always been requested from every employee, every year, and companies have the right to ask for all of these factors to be essential duties of their employees.

However, today, as I pay attention to what people around me are sharing, those requests become more and more difficult to accomplish, as many are taking the responsibilities from three or more people who were furloughed or laid off due to the crisis. Many companies were forced to close their doors for two or three months and many businesses had to reduce their number of employees in order to survive.

The pressure is bigger, either working on site or from home. Many rarely take a break and work twelve or more hours a day.

I understand and applaud the loyalty employees have to their companies, the desire to cooperate to help them to survive or to increase the businesses. Many are obviously grateful that they could keep their jobs, but they start to think that it is normal to work like that, with no breaks and leaving their personal life behind, using the phrase: “It is not such a big deal, at least I kept my job and I was not let go”.

I know that today we all need to make an extra effort, but I do not believe that people can continue working that way without any consequences. I constantly hear that they barely accomplish their own work and they must manage to do the work of their ex colleagues. From what I observe, four out of ten people are developing stress, anxiety, and other health issues because they have to achieve their goals for the year, but they have the triple or more to execute. I even have acquaintances that quit their jobs because they could not continue working with that level of pressure.

The important thing today is to find a balance between work and personal life, but this is also a company’s responsibility. Every person who is fighting from their trenches should be considered valuable to their company and should be afforded a work-life balance.

Another problem to consider is the fact that social life stopped because many places are closed and people are afraid to go to gyms, restaurants, or do other activities that allow them to socialize. This is understandable as they do not want to be contaminated with the virus, so they are working more to avoid feeling the need to socialize and somehow distract themselves from the lack of choices.

There are more and more virtual meetings because of the lack of business travel, and because employees are not going to the office and instead work from home. Many of these virtual meetings that include seminars, webinars, etc, are more often than no irrelevant to many employees, and don’t consider the constraints of working from home that affect many. Because of that, employees are losing precious time to perform on what is important and struggle setting priorities.

Perhaps companies need to revise their yearly plan in order not to have their employees go under water. And employees also need to speak up and not be afraid to ask for help if there is a huge need.

I often wonder if companies have a short term plan to avoid these problems or if they are changing their strategy in order not to lose their employees to the health issues that arise from pressure and stress. I suggest that companies come up with solutions to maintain a work-life balance for their employees and that they open the channels of communication for those who have ideas on how to make the current working environment better.

It is ok to work overtime when it is needed to help companies survive, but this should not be the norm, and both companies and employees are responsible for finding solutions and maintaining a healthier and sustainable workplace, even when remote work is the standard.

Susana Munari.

Chief Communication Officer

Bridges Unite

Chief Communication Officer – Bridges Unite

Passionate about life experiences, I started my journey traveling and telling stories, making people discover the wonders of my country, Ecuador. All my life I wanted to create unforgettable moments, those that stay forever in our memories. That is how I became Event Manager and started creating concepts and strategies for events and incentive trips.

I mastered negotiation and communication and know how important brand and culture awareness is. This is why I am currently increasing my skills in Digital Marketing at London Business School.

Within Bridges Unite I will lead communication strategies and make sure I propose unforgettable experiences to our audience.

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